General, It happened to me, Problem solving


Faith Uyi Minister Written by Faith Uyi Minister · 2 min read >

‘’ …you gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you stop to look fear in the face. You can say to yourself, I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along. YOU MUST DO THE THINGS YOU THINK YOU CAN NOT DO.’’
I have seen and read a million quotes about fear, but none have hit me so deep as the above statement by Eleanor Roosevelt. Orphaned at an early age, she would revolutionize the office of the first lady forever.
Fear comes in different forms, shapes, and sizes but it is fear, nonetheless. It brings us to ask, is fear evil? To this question, I do not feel there is a yes or no. I would say it boils down to utility, hinging on the philosophical principle of utilitarianism.
Fear is a tool and like every tool, it could make or destroy. Let us take it back to our class on emotional intelligence. During the brush-up session, we were taught that fear is physical. It is a deep psychological reaction that shows physically. When the body experiences fear, stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline are released. Your blood pressure and heart rate increase too. You start breathing faster, and your blood flow changes. Blood flows from your heart into your limbs preparing your body for the fight or flight reaction. You are set to either throw punches or run for your life.
During a physical attack, the above-described scenario may occur, and you may recall it vividly. However, in the case of a psychological attack resulting from decision making, we go through the same experience but more psychologically than physically. Whatever informs fear, the reaction is always felt physically, at varying degrees.
Fear is the mind’s way of telling us that it is time to run away or to stay and fight. I greatly believe that the dilemma of what to do in the face of fear has been man’s greatest and most confusing confusion. To this problem, I have observed that the solution lies in seeing fear as a friend and not a foe. Fear is an ally and not the enemy. This perception will help us to calm the storm in our hearts, positioning us right at the eye of the hurricane.
Fear like every other element can only be to our benefit when tamed. It is a terrible leader but the most loyal of followers. We must learn to calm the storm, listen to the fear, and let it guide us to see what we need to see.
Life’s mysteries are only scary when viewed as mysteries. If we sit down to demystify them, we will realize that they hold the greatness we seek within.
Psychiatrists who treat fear and study its neurobiology have suggested that a major factor in how we experience and react to fear depends largely on the context within which we view that fear. For example, when you enter a haunted house during the Halloween season, anticipating the jump scares and understanding that they are not real threats, you can relabel the experience. However, in direct contrast, if you were attacked on a lonely dark street at night, both your emotional and thinking areas of the brain would agree it is a dangerous situation and it is time to either flee or fight.
The hippocampus which is closely related to the amygdala helps interprets the perceived threat. We must therefore put deliberate efforts into training our minds to interpret threats, especially psychological threats, calmly.
Fear is not the enemy, fear can be an ally, a tool to use, a horse to ride to victory. Fear could be a gift, but untamed fear only destroys. Our lives are ours to live, and the elements ours to use. Fear can be a teacher that only teaches those brave enough to look her in the eye, she is indeed a bridge. We must not hate fear but rather hate our inability to confront it, that is the real enemy. For everything we desire is indeed on the other side of fear.


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