Legend’s VIEW

Becoming friends with fear

cartoon of man overcoming fear
Illustration by Sebastian Miguel

We’ve all heard the advice of overcoming our fears and not letting them control you, and that if you do, you will be able to achieve what your goals are.  Although we should never let fear control us, at times, fear can be a good thing. Actually a world without fear would be just as dangerous.  Our initial thought about fear is that we wish it could simply go away because there’s nothing as uncomfortable as fear. But fear can act as an important asset in our lives.  Fear can actually help us discern what is important to us. If we wish for a relationship to go well yet we commit an act that would sever that relationship, we will reap the consequences.

The distressing emotion caused by the thought of our negative actions help bind the relationship together. So without fear we would not have a compass to tell us which way is more trivial than others.  Or perhaps a simpler example would be why we make sure we buckle our seats belts, look both ways before crossing, and stay away from harmful products that may be bad for our health.  So in a sense fear truly is our friend. Fear helps us move to a call to action. It’s the driving force that causes something in us to say, “I don’t want to die” or “I’ll save myself the pain.”

Fear can motivate us to do things we never dreamt we would. If we spent our entire lives in fear of fear itself, what would we have gained?  This is a tactic that has been used on us since we were children. The reason why we’ve gone through presentations on the negative effects of drugs, addiction, and crime wasn’t to keep us from having fun but to keep us safe from harm. It was a good and kind warning that if we should engage in such things we would put ourselves through a lot of pain.

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These are archived stories from Mesa Legend editions before Fall 2018. See article for corresponding author.

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