Fear: The Truth About It and How to Deal with It

Photo by Artem Bali on Unsplash

“The best things in life are on the other side of terror, on the other side of your maximum fear,…..”  

– Will Smith 

In this world where we are usually propelled by fear, it’s really hard to get out. We might not notice but most of our decisions are fear-based. Most of us are scared of the uncertainty of the future, scared of failing, and scared of being judged. That’s why most of the time, we just choose the safest way to live.

I will admit that there was a lot of times when I wasted an opportunity because I was just petrified. Just like the thought of starting my own blog, for example. I’ve been planning to blog since last year but whenever I feel the excitement to do something I like, my mind starts to bombard me with negative thoughts:

  • I’m not good enough.
  • I think nobody will want to read my blog.
  • What if this doesn’t work?
  • How will my friends react?
I think one of the misconceptions that we had about fear is that we should stop it or we should remove it from our system.

I tried actually, I thought that if I just stop thinking about it and pretend that I’m not scared, then everything will be okay but it doesn’t work that way. The more I try to resist fear, the more it resurfaces.

In her book, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond FearElizabeth Gilbert differentiate being fearless and being brave. She said, “Bravery means doing something scary. Fearlessness means not even understanding what the word scary means”. Being fearless is a myth and it’s not something that we need to achieve.

How did I deal with my fear

In that moment, I realized how important fear is with our life and that it’s already a part of us. Without fear, most of us are probably dead because we will not be able to sense danger. The only thing that we can do is to not allow it to control our decisions and it should not have the power to stop us doing things that matter to us.

That’s when I tried approaching fear in a different way. The day that I decided to have a tete-a-tete with my fear is the day that I discerned how it just wants to protect me. It’s not the villain, but a friend who just cares too much. After changing how I treat my fear, it doesn’t oppose me like it used to do anymore. I learned to acknowledge it’s presence, I don’t avoid it anymore and it’s so much better.
I let my fear write a letter to me and I write back to it. It might sound crazy, but it’s so liberating. You can do it too, so that you’ll know what I’m talking about.

One more exercise is something that I learned from theminimalists.com, this is to write the things that we are afraid of, or that we can’t do and ask ourselves why. Like the former ones, this too is liberating. It helps us dig deeper and get to know ourselves.

It’s very common in our society to just give up something that makes us happy but risky and settle for something that we feel more comfortable but have you ever ask yourself, “is that all?” What if we die tomorrow without even doing something that made us feel alive?

End note

I want to encourage each one of us to do something that we love, something that makes our heart sing, even if it’s scary, even if we don’t know what the future will bring because that’s the only way we will be able to live our life fully. Yes, it’s not easy but we will never know the beauty on the other side of our fear if we are not going to take the step.

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