Are you Afraid?

Are you Afraid?

My niece halted outside the door. She wouldn’t go in. We had come on prior appointment to collect some information.
“I am not comfortable. You go in and ask. I will wait outside”, she said. To which I responded:
“Oh, then in that case, I insist that you come in with me and you ask for the information”.
She was stunned and irritated that I was asking her to do the very thing she was fearful of.

“ You may be a little scared initially, but once you overcome the fear of the first question, it will be smooth sailing all the way, for always”, I assured her.

My niece took that first step. Courage under fear. Overcoming the first hurdle, she glowed with increasing confidence as she proceeded to collect the information.

An initial fear of speaking to strangers is but natural. We are all apprehensive of uncertainty and being uninformed. On starting off on anything new, we do not possess the full and complete picture at the initial stage. So a little fear is but natural. Will the work get done? What kind of obstacles will we face? How will the person react? And other such questions cloud the mind. There is also no dearth of people who would want to pull us down, stop us from setting our sights high and pose innumerable questions focusing on the anticipated difficulties. Such people attack whatever little self- confidence we may have. Some ‘experienced’ souls will affirm straight away “you will never succeed!”

One will naturally be fearful. Feel trepidations. But the problem here is not the trepidations. The real problem starts when we begin to be scared of the trepidations let alone the actual situation or problem. We are lost even before we take the first step.

Since our childhood one has constantly heard lot of admonishments and negative forms of instructions. The outcome of this mode of instructions is that we have been conditioned to believe that anything that gives us pleasure is the only good feeling, if not then it is bad. We grow up making these two assumptions about our feelings.

Accordingly, Happiness, Laughter, Confidence, Love, Companionship are considered good while Grief, Fear, Boredom, Loneliness are considered bad. Over the years, this settles deep in our being. We tend to forget that every feeling is just a sensation. There is no ‘good’ or ‘bad’ emotion. And we forget that whatever the feeling, how one reacts to it makes it ‘good’ or ‘bad’.

When any major exams are round the corner, we start building up extreme fear. Whatever we would have done spaced out over a year, we try and do it in one week. All of us have experienced this at least once in our lives. But no matter how scared we are, we have to go to the exam center and appear for the exam. Our families had always insisted upon this. And that is how we had done all our examinations in spite of our fears. Unfortunately when we grow up, we have no loving compulsions or family insistence to fall back upon. And that is when we start missing out on many great opportunities, sighting the excuse of fear

Solution? The only thing we need to do is to make a resolution: When on the threshold of fear, just take the first step and then the next and the next...

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