Using fear to propel rather than paralyze

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Alyza LeBlanc

Have you ever heard the 'false evidence appearing real' acronym to describe fear? According to Oxford Languages, the actual definition of fear is " an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat. This acronym then discounts the legitimacy of our emotions by defining them as false.

In my opinion, all emotions that we experience are real. Whether the circumstance causing them is valid or not is not the question. The emotion is being evoked for a reason, and that is exactly what needs to be explored.

Fear can absolutely be a legitimate signal that the situation being faced has the potential to hurt us physically, mentally or emotionally. In my mind, the goal is not to eliminate fear, nor is it wise to simply plunge forward in an attempt to ignore fear. Fear is a natural built in response for the purpose of self protection, we need fear to survive. Without fear most of us would lead a very short life.

Our goal is to evaluate and separate fear that presents itself because it is protecting us from true harm, versus the type of fear that simply holds us back from broadening the spectrum of our capabilities creatively or physically. When fear presents itself, we should ask is the source of the emotion something that could pose a true threat to our wellbeing. If there is true danger, then listen and divert.

If not a physical threat, then we must analyze the emotion from an internal growth perspective. Fear will always follow creativity, therefore, if you determine the fear experienced is originating from putting yourself out there, exposing an original idea or invention; this is the type of fear you need to come to terms with. This is the type of fear that can paralyze you from achieving the mountaintops if you let it.

You will never eliminate fear from your life, it will be a constant companion as you journey through. As such, my goal is to allow fear in just enough to propel me to do my best and to push toward making a difference in this world, but I will not give it the space to derail me or scare me into quitting my pursuit. Listen to your fear but don't let it keep you from becoming the best version of you.

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