Title: Fear And Success_1
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Fear as a noun is defined as an unpleasant emotion caused by the threat of danger, pain or harm. To be afraid which is the verb of the word “Fear” will mean to consider someone or something as likely to be a source of danger, pain, or harm. Both definitions make it clear that fear is an emotion which is defined as a strong feeling, deriving from one’s circumstances, mood or relationship. This further reveals the fluid nature of fear as it is very much dependent on external factors. The adjective “scared” is also used to describe the action of one who has fear or is afraid.
All the definitions reveal the following about fear;
1. It is a feeling that can change based on factors that are outside the control of the one that is afraid.
2. It presents like it is outside the control of the one that is afraid but in reality, this may not be true as it is really a choice to make, as to whether one should be scared or not.
3. There will have to be a development that will trigger the feeling of fear, which may be real or abstract but believed to be capable of exposing the one who is afraid to danger, pain or harm.
4. Only living things can entertain fear as they are the only ones that can feel.
All that the above points to is that “Fear” is a product of an earlier experience that was either directly acquired or transferred in the form of shared knowledge, of the danger, harm or pain potential that a fear object presents. A fear object could be a human being, an animal, or even an environmental situation which has the capacity to trigger fear in the one that is afraid.
Whatever the route of acquisition of such knowledge, there needs to be a retention of the memory of such experience and its potential to trigger fear in the one that is afraid. Most times, the situation that is triggering the fear may not be relevant to the one that is afraid, but mere awareness of the danger, harm and pain it has caused to someone else becomes sufficient reason to become scared of potentially being a victim of it.
However, some people who are faced by such confirmed fear objects sometimes may
not exhibit the feeling of “Fear”, either because they are not aware of the danger, harm or pain that such fear objects can cause (which means they are ignorant of the danger they are exposed to) or believe they have sufficient ability to avoid such effects. One who belongs to any of these groups will display no emotion of fear and may be considered as being brave. Those in the ignorant group may include children or those who are being exposed to such fear object for the first time, whilst those in the second group are mostly those who have experience of the extent of the danger posed by the fear object and have acquired the ability to prevent the fear effect that such fear object may have from getting to them.
In the case of the former, the result of such ignorance may be very bad such that with a lifetime psychological damage already done even if the result is not fatal. Mitigating factors may help to limit the physical, psychological or emotional damage, may not be able to erase the memory of such experience this leaving “Fear” scar in them. That is why those in the latter group need to have honest assessment of their ability to overcome the situation so as to avoid the potentially fatal repercussion of a wrong self-assessment.
The obvious fact in all this is that “Fear” is an admission of an inability to overcome a situation that one is in, or potentially exposed to. It could be a right or a wrong assessment of one’s ability but at that moment, the only solution that is available to such, is to flee to avoid the anticipated negative effect from being exposed to such fear object.
Fear will therefore remain for as long as the one who is afraid does not possess the ability to overcome those potential negative effects of the fear object, or believe he/she lacks the ability to avoid or overcome such effects. The natural reaction in such situations is to do all in one’s ability to avoid it.
However, the option to attempting an escape or lack of option, may actually make the one who is initially afraid, to tackle the object of fear headlong. This is not because such is brave but because such is left with no choice, as alternatives pose greater level of danger, harm or pain than what the current situation poses. In such situations, the one who is afraid musters all the capability available, in a do-or-die or a make-or-break manner, to confront the situation. Such may eventually succeed and become a hero but may fail and become a victim.
This concludes the first part of this article which will be concluded next week. Please send your reactions to this article to firstname.lastname@example.org.