Why is Fear so Important?

Drawing by Adrian Serghie

We’re always afraid of something. It’s part of our human nature and it’s a survival instinct. When we’re afraid of something we tend to avoid that thing or to run away from it, which will strengthen both the fear and our response to it.

However, fear is just an emotion, just like joy. It’s not our boss to tell us what to do, but somehow it does. Fear triggers the fight or flight mode and we behave based on previous similar situations. If we’re used to run away, that’s what we’re going to do.

I like lists and if you like them too, you’re my kind of person. Therefore, I’m going to write down some reasons why I think fear is important:

  • Repetitive similar response to similar situations create habits and once a habit is in place, it’s very hard to break; so our response to fear will determine and strengthen similar responses to future similar situations;
  • Fear signals areas of improvement, so if we’re afraid of something it’s because we’re not used to that thing and we need to make some changes so we can handle that particular type of situation;
  • Fear makes us feel like shit after the situation ends (if we run away). If you think about the past situations in which you are afraid and you ran away, how does that make you feel? Is there some regret involved? Have you ever been proud of you because you ran away or avoided a particular situation because of fear? I don’t think so.
  • Fear is a dream killer, which is actually the biggest blocker people can face. Every other excuse like money, time, the lack of resources or whichever excuse people like to tell so they won’t start pursuing their dreams comes from fear (fear of failure which is related with fear of judgement).
  • Fear lowers our self-esteem. As mentioned above, you won’t be happy and satisfied about the way you behave because of fear. You’ll probably have some regrets and what’s even more important, you’ll probably think about “What kind of person am I if I ………… because of fear?” The good thing is that if we confront our fear, our self-esteem will raise because we know it takes courage to go against whatever we’re afraid of.

Fear is just a moment in time whilst our life is bigger. Yes, fear is very important because it has the power to steer the course of our life, but only if we let it decide that. If we jump on the steering wheel with courage, the dragon called fear has no chance.

How many important decisions did fear took instead of you in your life?

29 thoughts on “Why is Fear so Important?

  1. NICE. My Fav is ‘Fear It’s not our boss to tell us what to do.’ Love it. We have a kindred post this week.
    If you can, check it out and let me know what you think.

  2. I’m reading a really interesting book called “Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway” and it’s shown me an angle on fear that I’ve never really thought of before… that ANY and all fear – whether it be a situation/thing/person/place/thing – comes from the fear of not being able to handle it. She uses a good example of parents being over protective or coming across like they have no faith in us, when really it’s THEIR fear – their fear of not being able to handle the idea of losing us. (and so on with other examples). Thought it was very thought provoking!

    1. Yes, it is! And this is totally true! I often say that the way others behave is based on their own way to see things, their own fears and their own core beliefs. That’s why there are so many “negative people” out there that judge everybody and try to keep others down. It’s because they wouldn’t be able to handle the change…

  3. Well said.
    I see fear as a linear concept and on each end there’s the intensity level of fear. To progress in life, across all aspects, we need to keep this scale balanced. To much fear impede our advancement and too little fear interfere with our survival instincts.

    1. Yes, and the more we increase the level of fear we can handle, the more we get used to that and its influence diminishes be cause it becomes part of our “comfort zone”.

  4. For too long too many decisions in my life were fear based. Fear of what I may never get, fear of loss, fear of what others may think……on and on. Not any more. Now I try to base my decisions on acknowledging my fear, sitting with it and doing what scares me anyway if it is something I may regret. Fear serves us to a certain degree. A necessary survival tool. But I actively work against allowing it to take over my life.

    1. Yes, it is a necessary survival tool, but most our actions are not related to survival (like speaking in public, for example). Fear is strong, but we are stronger. We just need to figure out our reasons behind everything…

      1. Agreed our systems are equipped for prehistoric survival which rarely happens today, thankfully. I try to tell myself that. Remind my body that I am safe. Breathe goes a long way as a simple but powerful tool and imagery also.

  5. I’m finally to the point that I recognize that if I am afraid of something, it is probably very worthwhile. If there wasn’t inherent value in it, there would be no fear.

  6. Fear isn’t all bad. Sometimes fear can do some good in our lives, put us back on the right track, make up feel empowered by overcoming a fear.

    Are lives are full of fear, it’s just that some fears are insignificant and overcome without us realising it, where other fears are harder to overcome.

  7. Remember what Yoda said to young Luke: “Beware of the dark side. Anger, fear, aggression; the dark side of the Force are they. Easily they flow, quick to join you in a fight. If once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny, consume you it will…” ― Yoda.

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