If you think about it, fear is a ridiculous thing. The emotion of fear is it’s own emotion, when you fear something the feeling is the same for when you fear other things. Fear is it’s own emotion, unattached to situations and circumstances. It doesn’t care if your flying in a plane, in an elevator, in deep water, in a social setting, fear will simply arise because it’s been a normal thing for you to feel.
Fear actually is nothing. By nothing I mean it’s an unnecessary construct of our own thinking, which has it’s evidence based on false assumptions. Imagine yourself out enjoying the beach and socialising and suddenly you are reminded you have an exam or work project due which you haven’t done. You fear that you won’t do it well enough, you’ll have to rush it and it’ll turn out badly. That feeling is fear. But imagine now getting your result back and you actually didn’t do that well, the emotion from this isn’t as bad as the emotion of fear itself. So then what is fear?
Imagine each emotion in our body (house) as room mates, Fear is just some an attention seeking bully, its the one that everyone hates but they can’t stop it from having an opinion and stress out the house. It has no actual role but to stir shit up, it’s the drama queen. Nothing ever results from it’s actions except to just simply feel panic and stressed out. It has no real purpose in the house hold. Take motivation for example, he’s the one that helps get things done. Love helps keep things together and peaceful.
Fear is just the drama queen that you can’t kick out, but eventually you just learn to stop listening.
Edit : Fear it self has no use, the reason why you don’t put your hand in the fire is not because of fear, it’s because you know that you’ll get burned. You don’t need fear to avoid unnecessary danger – just a minimum of intelligence and common sense.
To be fair, fear keeps us alive. It’s why we come for air after being underwater for a long time, for example. That’s your amygdala, which also fuels aggression. It decides whether you fight or run the fuck away. Fear is an important thing.
Without it, well, you have a psychopath. And while not all psychopaths are harmful, none of them are afraid of making mistakes…they’re not afraid of getting in trouble. They’re not afraid of anything and that allows them to do anything–this includes harming other people.
Biologically, fear keeps us alive. Psychologically, it keeps the worst of us in check. It also applies pressure, which can be a perfectly good and helpful for some people. I personally don’t work well under pressure, under fear, but I know plenty of people who need that pressure to get shit done.
Fear is vital to our being. But, so is courage.
@kidd, I agree with you 100%. Fear is part of being human, it’s part of our DNA. The ancestors who weren’t afraid of heights for example, would have a lower chance of survival and eventually evolution would weed these kind of traits out of our DNA. Fear is built in, so are all emotions.
What I’m suggesting is to feel the fear, but to not react to it. It doesn’t take a genius to realize to not go near the cliff side, not to touch the fire, to come up and find air if you’re underwater. Fear may be necessary for an uneducated mind, without common sense, such as a child to keep them safe, but once we’ve come to an understanding of our environment fear is then useless, it isn’t necessary.
@qwuakeup, But do you know that for sure? What if it’s a part of common sense? Are you taking it for granted?
I mean, really, if you take away the source of fear–that part of your brain entirely–it frees you from the fear of the unknown and it frees you from the fear of failing. But time after time, that fear of making a mistake–subconsciously more often than not–is what pushes people to try harder. It’s a major driving force even though we rarely realize it. We react to it no matter what. I don’t believe it’ll ever be useless.
Unless you’re suggesting building courage to overcome fear. Building on courage so that we run on positive energy rather than the negativity of fear. Then, I think I’d agree with you.
@kidd, Fear is simply anything which threatens our sense of safety and security. Anything that threatens this creates feelings of insecurity , and all fear is based on insecurity.
I’m suggesting to realize that the fear is irrational and not to live your life according to this fear. I agree that fear may be what is needed for growth in people, but when we stop doing things out of fear but rather in love then life has a new perspective.
@qwuakeup, Then I agree with that. :)
I think of gun laws, to be honest. I’m for loose control because when guns are outlawed, only outlaws have guns. Crime rate goes down. The problem with that, though, is that people who would otherwise commit crimes aren’t doing so because they’re afraid of people owning guns, not because they actually want to do the right thing.
I’d much rather people just be responsible with guns for the sake of being responsible with guns–not to hurt people out of fear.
If I fear public speaking, my physiological response will be the same as if a lion were stalking me on the savannah. Fear is a survival mechanism which has developed over our long evolution as a species and functions to keep us alive.
Looking at the example of fear of public speaking, in the modern western civilization context it would seem purposeless, but standing out of the crowd on the lion patrolled savannah would most surely get you killed.
This is akin to our instinct to eat high fat, high carbohydrate foods. Back in the day it was what allowed our survival but, now with easy access for food, in the western world it is not so useful.
So it falls upon us to understand the root of the fear and run with it when we need to or confront it and vanquish it.
Vanquishing fear requires understanding and exercising your options. By understanding dog body language and behavior, for example, and by understanding my self-preservation options I was able to vanquish my fear of dogs. It helps to be in the moment. Our anticipation of a dog attack can start the fear response too early and by the time we need to defend ourselves we aren’t thinking very clearly. If you are “in the moment” you are aware of a potential attack but you maintain a calm alertness. If the dog(s) attack then you unload your fear and turn it into a rage. In most cases the dog does not attack, so you reinforce and build your capacity for calm alertness.
Being “in the moment” is asking yourself “what is happening right now?” or “is the danger immediate?”, to which the answer will be no right up until something happens. While you are ‘waiting’ for that something to happen, you are asking yourself “what can I be doing right now to improve my situation?” and you do it…calmly and with purpose.
We then get into the habit of asking ourselves “what can I be doing right now to improve my situation in the future?” By preparing ourselves mentally and physically for a potential threat we can fall into a calm alertness much more easily, as our confidence in a positive outcome is increased.