Fear. A word I associate with heights, paper cuts and talking to men. *gulp*
Fears. Some silly, others illogical and many completely justified.
We will all experience fear at some point or another and I find it a truly fascinating emotion.
Sweaty palms, thumping heartbeat, it located somewhere in your throat threatening to choke you, stomach in knots, and laboured breathing. It makes some people cower and others step up.
This got me thinking why do we fear?
Fear comes with time, with knowledge. It is something learnt from experience.
As a child you are fearless.
Jumping off high places, climbing unstable things and running on uneven ground don’t pose a hazard. When a child falls down or hurts themselves as soon as the last tear falls all is forgotten, there is no memory of why they were crying in the first place.
It’s different when you get older. As the years go by it seems there is more to fear, because there is more to lose. Fearlessness is a thing of youth. It suggests an insensibility, a lack of fear only innocence can hold. Bravery is what comes after.
The ability to square up to or at least push aside fear and take each day with it as a driving force. To be brave is to accept the fear as an inevitable.
I was once asked “what would you do if you weren’t afraid?” The funny thing is I would answer it with another question, what would I do without fear? The absence of fear doesn’t necessarily mean you’re fearless, it makes you numb. Without fear there is no bravery and without bravery we have a lot to fear.
The truth is without fear we wouldn’t learn from mistakes, we wouldn’t develop as people.
As a great man once said ” courage is not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it.” We need fear to make us brave. I would do, could do, a lot if I was brave.