When my children were young, I often took them to the playing yard. On one of the occasions, I saw two kids, about five years old, swinging on the seesaw.
After a while, the bigger boy, who looked stronger and heavier, lifted the younger boy up in the air and left him there a bit longer than usual.
I paid attention to the behavior of the young kid. It was very clear that he was afraid to stay so long up in the air, but he said nothing. The older kid tried to frighten him with words and sudden movements, but the young boy remained silent and did not react, until the big kid got tired of the game and brought him down to the ground.
I could see his shivering little body, as he was running to his mother who sat nearby.
I told you this story, because I think that this little boy is destined to succeed in life. He did not let anyone bully him; he did not show any fear though he was very afraid, and did not beg the other kid to lower him down. He was so young, yet smart enough to choose to be afraid, yet not give in to fear.
The little boy’s behavior teaches a lesson about fear and how to handle it.
What Is Fear?
It is a basic emotion, which is important and essential for our survival.
It is a feeling that keeps us alert in times of danger, and determines whether to fight or run away when confronting dangerous situations.
Fear Is a Positive Feeling
I do not consider fear as a negative feeling, but a healthy and positive feeling, because it restrains hasty and risky actions, which might lead to harmful outcomes.
It is good to be hesitant and think over and again before taking a significant step, or doing any action that might jeopardize your safety.
You better think over and again, before climbing a high mountain without the proper training, risk all your savings on an uncertain financial adventure, or take part in an activity that looks good only in James bond’s movies.
For such kind of actions, fear is the exact and right feeling. It ensures that you do not risk your life and happiness in vain.
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Fear Is also a Negative Feeling
- Fear can be a negative energy, if you let it rule your life.
- Fear is a negative way of thinking, if it is followed by fearful behavior.
- Fear can hinder success.
Fear Determines Your Actions
Now that you know what is fear, you are in a better position to handle it.
- If fear determines your actions, or lack of actions, then fear always wins.
- If every small or big decision, every small or big initiative, automatically falls down due to fear, then, you cannot be happy because fear controls you.
- If you base most of your decisions on fear, then you nurture fear, allow it to flourish, let good opportunities slip away, and destroy any chance of thriving and progressing in life.
I am not going to talk about the reasons that cause fears to flourish, because this belongs to another article. However, I think that I can help you understand the value of being afraid, yet, not let it control your life and prevent you from being happy.
Fears and Worries Cannot Coexist with Happiness
Fear and happiness are on the two opposite sides of the scale. Happiness cannot coexist with fears and worries, and fears cannot thrive in the mind of a person who is happy and content.
Fear is a negative state of mind, which expects difficulties, obstacles and failure. It is negative thinking, which anticipates rejection, failure and disappointments, and such an attitude results in stress, anxiety and obviously, lack of happiness and inner peace.
I have made a firm decision long ago, to listen to the voice of fear, because it often makes sense, but not to give in and let it dictate my thinking and my actions.
Quotes about Fear
“Confront your fears, list them, get to know them, and only then will you be able to put them aside and move ahead.”
– Jerry Gille
“You can conquer almost any fear if you will only make up your mind to do so. For remember, fear doesn’t exist anywhere except in the mind.”
– Dale Carnegie
“Many of our fears are tissue-paper-thin, and a single courageous step would carry us clear through them.”
– Brendan Francis
About the Author
Dorina Sasson has been trained in Louise L. Hay’s teacher training course, and is a certified teacher for “You can heal your life” study course, and “Love yourself, heal your life” workshop.