Meet your new best friend: Fear

When I shared my previous post to the public on Instagram and some other social media platforms, I had a brief moment of being feared. That momentary fear was all about how people will perceive my thoughts on solitude, why I did write that, and the quality of that written content.

Fortunately, that brief moment of fear faded away, and I felt relieved and proud of what I did share - even though it was my first shared post in a long time.

And in fact, I received some heartful and great feedback from friends, family, distant acquaintances, and even colleagues. Which I am thankful for.

That feeling made me realize: that no matter what level of self-reflection and self-esteem we have, fear will always be a part of our life.

My life is nothing different. In elementary school, my days were all around fear: the fear of being mocked by my male classmates in the changing room before PE lessons for being more chubby than anyone else. The fear of being disliked by the girls I had some attraction to. The fear of being disciplined by my parents for bringing some bad grades. This is nothing unique as many experience similar fears in that period of our life.

Flight-or-fight

But as we become adults, fear does not fade away. Those childish fears turn into something more real - with similar fundamentals, such as the fear of failure and the fear of public perception. Among others.

But as we become adults, fear does not fade away. Those childish fears turn into something more tangible - with similar fundamentals, such as the fear of failure and the fear of public perception, among others.

During my early 20s, I was struggling with low self-esteem. That manifested into the constant fear of losing the person I loved when I was in a relationship. That persistent fear daily forced me to act against my own good to avoid losing the person I loved for some "competition" of guys.

This was a repetitive action throughout some of my relationships. It took years of self-reflection and a half-a-year of psychology therapy to understand how fear ruined some aspects of my life.

But as we understand the deep source of fear and learn how to leverage fear, we can start befriending that motherfucker for our own good. Mark my words, fear never leaves us until the moment we die.

We will always fear losing the people we love, not only through breakups, divorces, and ruined friendships but also through the only thing that no one can avoid in life - death itself.

Other aspects of fear are also constantly present in our lives, appearing on our doorstep every day. In our current economic situation, the fear of losing our primary source of income and becoming broke is a real fear among many.

And then it comes to the fear of failure. We tend to live in our comfort zone too much to avoid any chance of failure in what we do. We keep the job we don't like just because we don't have to experience that change which could end up in two different ways. We avoid most of the risks we should take to exploit our full potential in ourselves.

When we start something new - let it be a new job, relocation, or even a passion project - we are scared to fail at first or even to suck in the things we start. Because let us be honest, we mostly won't succeed in the things we begin to do.

If we start running, many of us cannot run a 5K for the first few attempts. Same with our gym sessions, when we try to do bench press with dozens of kilos, it won't happen. Or, if we start writing - just as I recently started -, our work won't be the quality as our favorite creators' work.

Fear is your lifelong companion. Befriend it

I have a love-hate relationship with fear. As mentioned above, it has guided my life since an early age. Fear and low self-esteem came hand-in-hand and caused some troublesome moments for me. Approaching women was always fearful and held me back. People's perception was always scary and held me back from expressing myself. Fear of failure was present for quite a while and resulted in procrastination (sometimes it still does).

My relationship with fear changed around five years ago. Going through my first period of anxiety and panic attacks and looking into the devil's eyes helped me to stop avoiding fear and the proxy emotions it generated. The faith that I could get better and defeat most parts of that painful depth pushed me more to face & befriend fear.

Befriending fear helped me make an easy decision to move abroad for work. The fear of being away from my friends and family and feeling lonely was intense, but the faith in a significant leap in my career got stronger as I faced my fear. It turned out to be a great decision, obviously.

Of course, I did make some risky decisions that turned out to be a failure. I went broke a couple of years ago because I disregarded the fear I had. It took half a year to start standing up from being broke, but as I look back, I don't regret that decision. It made me become more mindful of the risks that could face me in the future. Fear turned out to be a reality; even if I had some pain, it was not irreversible. I'm back on my feet.

Photo by Jaqueline Fritz on Unsplash

Photo by Jaqueline Fritz on Unsplash

The "what-ifs"

After I posted my previous work on this blog, a great person I know asked me: "isn't it scary to share your thoughts that bluntly?". It is indeed scary, but the more I befriend fear, the more I practice going against the fear, and the easier it gets.

Naturally, fear still tries to make noises in my head when I am writing & posting this work. The fear of people's perception is still there, but I tend to care less about that. The faith and urge to improve my writing are so strong that fear does not get a seat at the table.

And since I have been through many fearful moments and crossroads, I tend to enjoy the emotion of fear. Even these days, I know I am ahead of many more crossroads, which tend to be scary. The decisions I want to make for my own happiness and self-identity generate plenty of fearful thoughts—the "what if" questions are constantly in my head.

"What if I make that decision but turns out to be wrong?"

"What if my decision will turn out to be one step back in my path?"

"What if I get hurt?"

One can simplify the answer to these questions: nothing is permanent, not even failure or pain. Unless you jump from a cliff and manage to fall on a rock, smash your head and die. That's permanent.

Unless you face a decision that could result in death, most things are not irreversible. Even some potentially dangerous situations could be appropriately assessed - to take that jump off the cliff or to do skydiving or other adventures, you name it.

I am not yet experienced enough to tell you how to defeat fear. I only know how to face it and start befriending it.

Be aware that most decisions will not result in irreversible consequences.

Be aware that moving out of your comfort zone toward something fearful can result in bigger happiness and fulfillment than what you have right now.

Be aware that most people don't care about what you decide and won't judge. You are the one who creates that false image of people's judgment in your mind.

How is your relationship with fear? Have you befriended them yet? Are there some fearful dilemmas in your mind and heart right now?

Embrace the fear.

Máté - TMBNC

Disclaimer: I might revert to the topic of fear in the future. I feel like my distracted and fast-paced mind did not comprehensively cover what I wanted to share about fear. The more I practice writing, the better it should get in terms of structure and organizing my own thoughts - which, as I shared in my intro post, can be pretty chaotic.

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