What is Fear? Why is it something we would like to avoid? Why is it something we don’t tend to show? What causes Fear? What are we scared of? And how can we override fear?
By definition, fear is a feeling induced by perceived danger or threat that occurs in certain types of life form, which causes a change in our behavior, such as fleeing, hiding, or freezing. It may occur in response to a specific stimulus occurring in the present, or in anticipation or expectation of a future threat.
When we were younger, fear came in the form of a scary movie, like, Friday the 13th, The Shining or Nightmare on Elm Street or from “Abou Kiiss”, “Sorcière”, etc. A little bit later, the fright was whether or not we would get picked by our parents or neighbors doing something wrong, and a little bit after that it was which person I should ask to the school dance. After that, dread was dealt in the form of finding a job after university, and then anxiety came about keeping that same job, marriage, building a family, finding a house, being financially stable …
Psychologists such as John B. Watson, Robert Plutchik, and Paul Ekman have suggested that there is only a small set of basic or innate emotions and that fear is one of them. This hypothesized set includes such emotions as acute stress reaction, anger, angst, anxiety, fright, horror, joy, panic, and sadness. Fear is closely related to, but should be distinguished from, the emotion anxiety, which occurs as the result of threats that are perceived to be uncontrollable or unavoidable.
Fear can come from many different factors, including:
- Fear of change or ambiguity
- Fear of the consequences from not achieving a task/goal
- Fear of losing one’s job or a poor performance appraisal
- Fear of looking foolish or making a mistake
- Fear of an individual such as a boss, manager or even other co-workers
- Fear if taking decision
- Fear of public speaking, stating an opinion
- Fear of failure
- Fear of death
- Fear of heights
- Fear of drowning
- Fear of rejection
But how to overcome Fear? Here below you can find 4 simple steps to follow:
- Identify Your Fear:
Start by looking at the things you avoid, put them on a piece of paper and analyze how frequent they are paralyzing your life.
- Accept Your Fear:
It’s normal and everyone has them. Don’t feel weak that you are fearing something, instead accept it, face it and move to the next step. One of the best trick you can use is to talk about it with someone you trust. The feeling of “someone else knows about it too” makes you more with ease with your fear.
- Face Your Fear:
Decide it is time for change. Get rid of your past baggage to get rid of Fear. Have you noticed how something that happened in the past sometimes bothers you in the present? And isn’t it amazing to see children not afraid of anything? This is because they have no impressions. But as we grow up, we gather a stock of good and bad experiences that become impressions. Some of these impressions turn into fear or phobia, such as fear of darkness or fear of heights.
Among many practices, taking risks can help you remove these impressions and makes you free from within and gives you the inner strength to face any situation. It instills in you the faith that whatever happens will happen for the best, even if that ‘whatever’ is unknown to you.
- Take Action – Developing Confidence is a process:
Drop the ‘ME’ to conquer Fear. When we go to social functions or run a presentation in front of important audience, we sometimes tend to make an effort to impress others. We are often scared of how others may judge us. This is because our ‘ego’ intervenes.On the contrary, when you are hanging out with a bunch of friends, you are very comfortable and natural.
Being natural is an antidote to ego and reminding yourself that you are not alone in this planet will help you to manage your ego, get accepted from your surrounding and hence, build up your confidence.
With heightened feelings of personal insecurity, workers will lose concern for team or company success and instead become more focused on protecting themselves. Low employee morale inevitably results in absenteeism, misuse of sick leave and high turnover.
If you have a little fear – relax! Like salt in the food, a little bit of fear is essential for you to be righteous.
Motivation is the characteristic that helps you break your fear and achieve your goal. It is the drive that pushes you to work hard. It is the energy that gives you the strength to get up and keep going even when things are not going your way.
“Atifec” University of Bucharest (Assoc. Prof. Cibela Neagu PhD)