Fear is a concept many of us struggle with. Some believe the absence of fear is the key to strength. Others believe that everyone has fears, but the true test is whether or not one faces them. Unfortunately plenty of humans among us tend to ignore fear until it becomes all-consuming. What is the correct answer?
Not too long ago my personal belief was in the necessity to eliminate fear from oneself. Currently, what seems like the correct thing to do is to face your fears as you encounter them. It’s not the most Bruce Lee-esque solution, but it seems like the most realistic.
Absence of fear doesn’t seem plausible only because anyone who eliminates their fears will gain new ones. That’s part of the growing process after all. Whatever you lose, whether that be strengths, weaknesses, or fears, can only manifest into something new. Even as loved ones die, long forgotten memories reawaken.
Once, in a video interview, Chris Evans stated something along the lines of “…that’s why I took Captain America. Because it scared me. Maybe the best thing to do is to do what ever your most afraid of.” Of course that quote is quite butchered, but you get the point. It’s a great concept. In fact, if I’m not mistaken, it’ s a concept that comes up often in Stoicism.
Maybe what you fear is actually what you love and you don’t know it yet. And fear, much like love isn’t some force you can conquer so naively. It can certainly be controlled, and that should be enough for anyone. Perhaps it’s time to climb Mount Everest, or you know, get over your fear of dogs. Tiny steps in the right direction ARE still steps after all.