Recently, I had an encounter in my personal life that made me start thinking of fear. And I mean really thinking about her and personalizing her. You may be surprised that I am speaking about her in the female gender. This is not because I am feminist; rather it is because my study of fear has led me to the belief that Fear is a woman.
According to Wikipedia, Fear is an emotion induced by a perceived threat that causes animals to move quickly away from the location of the perceived threat, and sometimes hide. It is a basic survival mechanism occurring in response to a specific stimulus, such as pain or the threat of danger. I have chosen not to go with the regular definition of fear by most dictionaries because they seem to give the connotation that fear is negative.
Fear is not always negative, just as a woman is not necessarily evil. However, having the wrong type of woman in your life could be destructive.
In a similar vein, just like having one woman in your life is not a bad thing having several women in your life at the same time can slow down your progress.
Yet, when you allow fear to rule your life, it is much like allowing a woman to run things. One study points out that women who lead are unique in certain ways. Two of which are:
- Women leaders are more persuasive than their male counterparts.
- When feeling the sting of rejection, women leaders learn from adversity and carry on with an “I’ll show you” attitude.
Can you see how easily you can relate this to having fear in your life?
Let’s start with persuasiveness. Fear persuades you to hold back. Fear can have a paralyzing effect. You want to leave this job and move on to the next that you have a passion for. That is what you really want, but you can’t. Why? Fear! All the what-ifs – What if the job does not pay? What if I stop loving this thing I have a passion for? What if I fail? By the time you begin to ponder all the what-ifs, you begin to over-think issues. You become immobilized and often decide to maintain status quo. Fear has successfully persuaded you to do that which it wishes. And why does Fear win? Fear is a woman and is thus more persuasive than men.
Next, we look at attitude towards rejection. When you reject Fear, Fear learns from the rejection and returns with an ‘I’ll show you’ attitude. When you reject fear, you take the plunge, no more holding back. You become free to make major decisions in your life. Fear cannot be happy about this and even though it momentarily accepts defeat it is going to come back to ‘show you’! There you are walking around, heads held high, being uppity and how does fear ‘show you’. Fear throws a cog in your wheel of success. She invites doubts to help with this and before you know it, you are running back into the arms of Fear and taking solace in the warmth and reassurance she gives. Fear smiles and of course keeps you all tied up.
However, Fear is not always a bad thing. A certain level of Fear keeps you from taking rash decisions. For instance, the fear of being hurt would prevent a young woman from staying out late at night or walking down a dark alley un-chaperoned. The fear of AIDS certainly prevents many young persons from having sex without a condom. The fear of an electric shock would prevent anyone from touching naked wires because they don’t want to be shocked to Thy Kingdom Come. More importantly, the fear of displeasing God moves us to keep his commandments, for others it is the fear of Karma.
Therefore Fear can be like a good woman in a relationship. She helps you keep the balance; often provides needed direction; and is a good friend that you can rely on to help you avoid taking unnecessary risks. In this instance, you would want to keep her for the rest of your days and even marry her.
So isn’t it time you had that chat with Ms. Fear? As in the case with most relationships, when things begin to get out of hand, it is time to pull up a seat and have a heart to heart. And if you don’t know how to contact Ms Fear, why not ask a trusted friend to set up a meeting?