Everyday, around the world, every human feels fear. Every human experiences fear, as it is an inevitable consequence of human existence. Fear does not have a specific form in which it must come in, instead manifesting itself in a plethora of different forms. Anxiety, terror, horror, worry, all of these are forms of the same thing. Today, I will be talking about fear, and how society has twisted our view of fear into something that should be avoided at all costs.
Take, for example, the definition of fear. It is defined as “an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat.” Yet is this necessarily true? Does fear have to be something to negative in connotation? Or can we find a way to take fear, and not only normalize it, but reveal it as the positive thing that it really is? This may seem like a large step to take, so let’s start out the process with a simple analogy. Fight or flight, everyone has heard the words, and everyone knows what it means. The feeling of whether or not you should stay and fight to protect yourself and others, or flee for your life. This is a primal instinct, one which we cannot control. This phenomenon is based off of a flood of cortisone entering the body, and overtaking the emotions with a flood of adrenaline, therefore causing the fight or flight response. This is a classical form of fear.
In society, we have taken the idea of fight or flight, and applied it to the overall idea of fear, therefore twisting it into a feeling that should be avoided at all costs. When I was younger, I was told that fear was the feeling that kept us from doing things that would make us get hurt. But what about a fear of heights? Or a fear of monsters? Surely someone who is afraid of monsters is not being protected by that fear. Instead, it is better to stand face to face with your fears, and prove to them that they have no power over you. Embracing your fears gives you power over them, and once you have the power, you can use them however you want.
It is fear that has propelled us forward throughout history. A fear of the dark was solved with fire. A fear of being attacked was solved with weapons. Fear is not what we say it is. It is not the horrifying thing that we have made it out to be. Instead of seeing it as a roadblock, instead we should see it as a way to push ourselves beyond what we previously thought possible. Take our fear, and convert it into fuel, and we will find ourselves beyond what we thought was possible, and beyond what we could ever imagine.
Fear is a constant, something that will persist in your life, regardless of who you are, or what you’ve done. No matter how much we try, we can never get rid of the feeling of fear. What we can do is capitalize on it, and use it as a way to motivate ourselves to an extent that was once unthinkable. We must no longer treat fear as an unwanted guest, but instead an invited friend, one who wishes to help, not hurt. This is the ultimate choice that all humans must make, whether to give in, or push on. In the spite of overwhelming odds, we must make the right choice. To feel fear is the human experience, but to overcome it is the human expertise.