Joy, fear, and anger are three of the most basic human emotions. You can see all of these emotions in infants, young children, and certainly in us as adults as well. Of course, there are dozens of variations on emotion. Many of them originate out of these basic three. For example, anger in its extreme may manifest as rage or in a milder form as frustration or annoyance. The continuum of joy may range from pleasant feelings and contentment to euphoria and ecstasy. Fear may manifest on a
a continuum from unease and mild anxiety to terror and blind panic.
Fear is one of the most powerful drivers of our choices. Some people are generally quite fearful which others are naturally less fearful. We see ourselves and others overcome fear in a variety of situations. Most of us start out with some degree of anxiety about starting school or college,
forming social and romantic connections, starting a new job, or learning challenging athletic activities. Outward Bound training, the military, and certain personal growth seminar intensives are examples of systems of training that enable people to overcome and cope with extreme fear and anxiety. So is becoming a parent for the first time–as you become a “seasoned” parent fear is gradually replaced by knowledge and some degree of comfort and confidence.
A lot of the fear we experience dissipates naturally in the course of gaining experience in life.
We push through our fear or seek out education about what to expect from a new job or school endeavor and this knowledge can reduce our fear. Reframing a fearful activity, such as moving across
the country) as exciting rather than fearful can also be very effective. Encouragement and support from teachers, parents, siblings, friends, and others can also be extremely helpful in going beyond our fears. And reading on a subject can also be a wonderful tool for reducing fear.
1) Every person’s fear is evoked by different situations. What types of activities, people, or situations evoke fear for you.
2) What is your personal tendency? Do you tend to be a more fearful person or a less fearful person?
3) What fears do you have about getting older? about this stage of life?
4) What approaches and resources (books, tools, teachers, courses) have helped you reduce the amount of fear you feel around various things?
5) Are there fears you have overcome? How have you accomplished this?