Halloween is approaching rapidly, and there are tons of shows on TV and movies in theaters about ghosts and other scary things. Many Halloween related activities are centered around trying to scare someone. But the feelings of fear that we experience during these manufactured experiences, are often felt during other parts of the year too. As strange as it sounds, fear is part of who we are. Rather than avoid fear, let’s discuss the purpose of fear.
Fear is there to let you know you’re walking into something new or something dangerous. The feeling of fear lets you know that something could go wrong and you could be hurt. Fear is sometimes aroused for no reason at all though. So what should we do with our fears?
If you’re facing something with potential dangers, decide if the dangers are worth the risk or not. If you feel fear when you’re about to try your first cigarette, you’re feeling a good fear, the fear is trying to save your life from cancer and addiction. If you feel fear when you’re exploring caves to find treasure or lost civilizations, you run an understandable risk.
If you’re facing something new and feel fear about how that situation will result, as I’ve said before, change is inevitable. Some day you will have to face new things. You need to determine if that new thing will be an unsafe risk or an understandable one.
Feeling fear means “tread carefully,” and not always “don’t go there.” When you feel fear about a situation, person or activity, before the fear sweeps you away into a frenzy, stop. If you’re not in a life or death situation, evaluate the fear and what’s going on and decide if feeling the fear for a little while is worth it.
What about you? When have you felt fear and what have you learned from your fears?