Webster’s dictionary defines fear as “an unpleasant, sometimes strong emotion caused by an anticipation or awareness of danger” or “anxious concern” Fear is a feeling that causes agitation and anxiety mostly caused by presence or imminence of danger. It is a state or condition marked by feeling of agitation or anxiety. It can also be described as a feeling of disquiet. Fear is an abstract concept and may have different meanings. Holder (2007) adds that fear is more pervasive when there is lack of faith that we have greater significance in the universe than what we own or how others perceive us.
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Fear is manifested in many ways in human beings. It may manifest as showing signs of withdrawing or by cowering. But the most profound manifestation of fear is anger and hatred. People acts out their insecurity as anger which shows that they are the most fearful people.
Effects of fear
Effects of fear have been documented in many studies. Fear has been documented to case mind paralyses, heart attacks and closure of fallopian tube due to fear of pain during child birth (Jim Rohn, 2004), describes fear, indifference, indecision, doubt, worry and timidness as the five greatest enemies within us which can destroy our lives completely. Fear may manifest itself in physical short term effects or affect your whole life. It will affect both he physiology of the body and the brain. Fear generates stress which manifests itself physically in many signs physically and emotionally. It causes judgmental errors and affects our reasoning that most of time when we are in a fearful situation; we tend to take the wrong action.
According to Sidney B., (1988), fear is a great paralyzer. It will keep you from making positive changes in your life and thus retard your recovery from depression. He continues to argue that fear persuades you to set easier goals and do less than your capability. It will also cause internal defense system fooling you that you have good reasons not to change. Fear of failure reduces the available alternatives you can pursue because you cannot stand by the outcome of what you do. You always feel that you cannot succeed in anything you try. It will keep you away from seeking help because you don’t want others to see you as a failure. Fear has been identified by psychologist as what causes people to give up when they are one step short to their goal. It will keep you stuck or make you develop unhealthy habits and behavior problems. Most of all fear keeps many people from taking risks.
How to overcome fear
Rim Rohn, (2004), argues that we are not born with courage, neither are we born with fear. He argues that some of our fears are brought on by our own experiences by what someone has told us or what we read in papers and books. Sri Swami Sivananda, (2007), describes fear as an illusion that cannot live. He suggests that to overcome fear we should always feel the presence of a Supreme Being watching us, by meditating and developing positive thoughts all the time. We should devote ourselves to eradicating fear. Since we have seen that fear is developed within our minds, it can also be eradicated within our mind and hence it is just a matter of reconditioning our minds that will help us overcome fear. It is also suggesting that we should share with others our fears. In this way they will help us find solutions to the cause of fears. President Roosevelt said, “We have nothing to fear but the fear itself” hence fearing fear starts and ends with us.
Holder P. (2007): FEAR… YOUR WORST ENEMY. Web.
Rohn, J., (2004). Build courage to face the enemies within. Web.
Sidney S., (1998). Getting Unstuck: Breaking through Your Barriers to Change. Web.
Sri Sivanand, S. (2007). The Divine Life Society: How to overcome fear. Web.