I think, for me, growing up, I was conditioned, either by my own actions or my environment, regardless, to react to situations that were unfamiliar to me with fear and then consequently, back away. I’m pretty sure most people would rather not be in a fearful situation if asked. I know for myself, I was afraid of fear. That’s almost worse than fear itself, because it keeps you from coming in direct contact with a fearful concept or situation. Just considering the possibility of a scary concept or situation before it even happens and being afraid of it, is like a thick double barrier between yourself and that scary unfamiliar thing, only thicker than the first barrier.
My point is, be fearless of fear. When something enters our life and causes us to react in a way that scares us or fills your gut with fear, think of it as a warning sign. An alarm of sorts. Not an alarm telling you to run away, danger ahead. But an alarm that is sending you a message that something is isn’t right and investigation is needed. This can only uncover parts of your self you otherwise would have never discovered had you run away from it because it was scary at first sight.
That famous saying, “There’s nothing to fear but fear itself” basically tells you don’t be afraid of anything but it’s okay to be afraid of that fearful feeling you get when from fearful, unfamiliar ideas or situations. I say, there’s nothing to fear, especially fear itself. I think Frederick Nietsche said it best, something like “that which does not kill you, can make you stronger.” I emphasize the word “can” because that something has two potential outcomes that are totally up to you as to which one will occur. If you’re afraid of it and therefore avoid it, it didn’t kill you but a part of you that could have gotten stronger is stunted because you were afraid to address it. On the other more obvious hand, if you are standing at the top of a building looking down, you may feel fear at that moment because if you fell, you would die. In that case, it would kill you to jump off the building. If it kills you, it won’t make you stronger. That should be obvious. So coming back around, if it doesn’t kill you, allow it to make you stronger. The secret? Don’t be afraid of fear.