To Fear or not to Fear?

Posted on October 19, 2015

When we think about the feeling of fear we automatically think of it as negative and assume we would be better off without it in our lives. However I would argue that fear has a necessary and appropriate place in our life. Learning to accept fear has been quite an education for me. I remember when I first had children and as any parent knows children have no fear. I watched my kids for the first several years of their life approach physical tasks with reckless abandonment that scared the crap out of me! Also as parents we learn the difference between when fear leads to necessary intervention and when we need to hold our breath not wanting to squash their bold attempts and to let them explore their own limits. Somewhere in time as children grow we begin to see a hesitancy, a moment of caution perhaps, usually based on a past fall or experience. This development of fear or caution is something we all have to eventually grapple with. Learning to honor and adapt our sense of fear or caution based on our own experiences. As people we tend to function best when we balance that risk calculation between courageous or calculated risk with a self-preservation strategy. When we don’t do well is when we allow worst case scenario fears and anxiety to get the best of us and make us incapable of action or growth.

Ultimately we have to choose our battles, calculate our risks and accurately discern real threats from baseless fear. If we learn how to balance that we stand the best chance of succeeding to our fullest potential. Mark Twain one said True courage is not superhuman immunity to fear. Rather it is a willingness to acknowledge our fears and the make conscious high integrity choices on how we respond to them.

So whether you are young or old learning this skill is essential to growth and success.

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