What is fear?
The Oxford dictionary defines it to be “a strong uncontrollable unpleasant emotion caused by actual or perceived danger or threat”. Some say it is false evidence appearing real. From both definitions, one would be correct to say that this means whatever uncomfortable feeling of dread or panic you are having about a particular thing that you cannot seem to lay a finger on or still your heart from beating wildly because of it. That is, it is most probably in your head and not factual. And even though it is real, it is really not as serious as it may appear.
So, both definitions are wonderful and give us an inkling into what fear is.
Another question asked is, can fear be avoided? It is wise to say that this question can only have a positive response if it is subjective as seen from the topic at hand. Yes, fear factors can be avoided before it stops us from achieving our goals. This feat can be achieved in the following ways;
First, a strong believe that you can get what you want. Fear is always just beneath the surface after you have laid out your plan to succeed, to ask the “what ifs” question. An inducement to prevent a person from thinking he can get whatever he wants or surmount any obstacle that comes with life’s achievements and accomplishments. And this flames of fear can only be quelled with strong faith and a firm belief in oneself and ability.
Second, is staying away from negative narratives. Have you wanted to take on a journey or a new job and then you make enquiries from people who have taken that same path or had the same position you are about to fill in at that workplace in order to learn from their experiences but all you hear is sad and scary tales. You hear words like; the road is so bad your body gets to recover in a week, the traffic is terrible. The colleagues at the new organization may have words like; the boss is a hard man to please, you cannot get to improve in this environment. And on and on they go with the bad exposition.
This tends to let in fear, the negative conversations and energy that emit from people who you think will encourage you to carry on. This makes one begins to doubt the possibility of anything good happening. In order to avoid this kind of fear, stay away from those narratives.
Another is, stop the people pleasing. People pleasing has stopped so many people from becoming. It has killed dreams. The fear of not displeasing people, of being too careful with whatever you do so you maintain favour with them. It happens that, if they take one step and the look on their favourite person shows unhappiness, they will become afraid and then stop what they are doing.
You have to realize that you are not going to be able to please everyone. Why? Because humans are different. They have different social constructs and you cannot expect one to see something the way the other sees. Besides, you should remind yourself that you are not doing this for them, you are not pursuing your goals for others but for you. That alone should make you let go of the fear and keep going.
Another is be open to criticism. If you are starting out on something and want the whole world to see, be sure to get enough criticisms. You see some persons are afraid of criticism, one critique of their work will get them recoiling into their shells. You have to be open to scrutiny. It is the only way you can make progress, it is the only way you can become better at what you do. Do not let the fear of being criticized stop you from starting. Criticisms is a part of your growth process, it is something to be welcomed and not to be dreaded.
The last but not the least is stifle the voice of “the perfectionism syndrome”. This is the state of wanting to be perfect before you start. This is part of fear, it is almost as an echo around us. The fear whispers that if you are not perfect, then nobody is going to consider your work or listen to you. It then gives you the laborious task of striving to be perfect before you let your work to be seen in the open.
This is not supposed to be so. Ask yourself, how will I be “PERFECT” without even trying, without taking a step?. Perfect in bold because it is personal, a very subjective word.
A baby first sits, then shifts in its seated position before crawling or walking. Some babies they walk without crawling. In all this, there is a step. A deliberate act to keep moving. Don’t let the fear of perfectionism stop you from starting out.
If you still find yourself afraid and fearful and you are paralysed by it. You cannot seem to take any major step or make a decision because your thought and will power is crippled by fear then all I have to say is do it. Take that step unsure, make that decision uncertain and take actions afraid. Do whatever you want to do afraid and very soon you will have no idea where the fear is or if you ever had one to begin with. How else will courage exist, if there was no fear?