5 June 2014

Why do we sometimes fear things that others don’t? Is it a useful emotion or one that sometimes holds us back?

In a way, fear acts as a kind of message, an awareness of the possible consequences of acting in a certain way. Whilst it’s a good thing when you’re standing at the top of a mountain wondering whether to ski off into some high avalanche risk terrain, fear can sometimes prevent you from achieving goals or experiences that you actually want to achieve.

scaredAside from the instinctive fear we experience during the fight or flight response to life-threatening situations, feelings of dread can often be overcome by changing our approach and the way we think about certain things.

We’ve all been guilty of fretting about scenarios that we’ve only ever imagined, playing out ‘what if’ scenarios in our heads. Whilst it’s good to think ahead, we sometimes run the risk of going overboard with our worries and letting them obscure the positive answers to those ‘what if’ questions. It’s good practice to question our own thoughts now and then, and attempt to look at them from another angle.

Looking back on my own journey, I can pick out several moments where I’ve felt pangs of fear. Some of them I should have taken more seriously, but many of them have been moments before pressing the button on a plan or project, and in hindsight, I’m relieved that I had the people around me to give me that courage to take the leap.

What is it that you’ve wanted to do for some time now, but have been too scared to confront? Have you written off skydiving because you don’t like heights or maybe even delayed asking for a pay review because you’re worried about causing offense? Don’t focus on the negatives at the expense of the positives. If there’s risk involved in your decision, just make sure it’s a calculated risk that you take in the knowledge that you’ll be achieving something that you really want to achieve.

If fear wasn’t an issue, what would you do?

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