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How Fear Impacts On Our Lives

Aug 17, 2007
Fear. It is something everyone has experienced at some point in time during their lives. Brief moments, like someone cutting in front of you with a car, a bully at school, even something as mundane as whether or not you've passed a class. They happen for all of us and for some of us, fear can be more than a brief moment, it can be an all consuming emotional disability. Everyone has experienced fear and most say it's hard to describe. So, what exactly is fear and how does it affect us.

What is fear?

There are many definitions of the word fear, an emotion experienced in anticipation, to be uneasy or apprehensive, to have a profound emotion that is related to or inspired by a deity or high spiritual being. Fear can also be defined as a group of biological responses that occur during a situation that activates a human's flight or fight survival response.

What ever the fear response is, it will fall into various categories. There are levels of fear, and degrees in which fear is felt. Fear can be everything from distrust of a person or of a situation. Many people feel that distrust is actually when a person has lack of faith or there is an absence of belief in a situation or in an individual. However, this is not actually the case. Distrust is usually a feeling of uneasiness or a subconscious twinge that let's us know that something might not be right or that there is something that should be watched out for. It is a protective fear response.

Paranoia is another classification of fear response. This is used when a fear of something causes the individual experiencing the fear to change their behavior in extreme ways. The ultimate result of paranoia is classified as a phobia.

Finally, the classification of fear known as terror. This is an extreme state of fear, usually resulting from an overwhelming flight response. This can be caused but a situation or by coming across something that is a phobia or fear for the person experiencing it. In these instances, instead of just a radical change in behavior, irrational decisions can occur because the level of fear is so high that the chemical response prevents individuals from being able to make rational decisions.

How fear stops us from experiencing life

Have you ever known someone with glossophobia, the fear of speaking in public, all of us have it to some extent, getting up in front of a crowd and talking about something. Even those who are experts in what they are going to be discussing experience this fear in some fashion.

Someone with a strong case of glossophobia might be a wonderful speaker, but no one would ever know. They might have wonderful ideas, but this fear prevents them from speaking and getting those ideas across. Some people experience fear to such an extent that they become trapped in their homes, unable to leave because of the symptoms of fear they experience. Allowing fear to make decisions for us prevents us from enjoying and experiencing life the way it can be experienced. Because of fear, some people never travel by plane, or take long car trips missing out on visiting family, friends, and events and missing out on perhaps life changing experiences because fear stops them from taking part in the experience.

Steps for over coming fear

The first step is to identify the fear. What is it exactly? Then identify where the fear came from, an experience, faith based, or social based? All fear has some sort of situation or reason behind it. Now that the fear has been identified and the cause, the next step is to work out a plan. Depending on the type and level of the fear, it might be a good idea to seek professional help. Then face the fear and follow the steps. If you are afraid of dogs, start by visiting a dog park, work up to playing with puppies, then larger dogs. That way, the situations are manageable and time can be taken to work through the fear. Rushing through overcoming fears can often lead to an increase in the phobia or response rather than a decrease.

Some fear is good

Having some fear is healthy. Fear protects us. A biological response to a situation that could endanger life or progeny. Without fear, we would get into dangerous situations, and cause dangerous situations.


Fear is a natural biological reaction to situations that may prove dangerous, or it can be a learned response to a situation or event that happened in our past. It is important to identify these fears, discover their origins and over come them so that we can experience life to the fullest.
About the Author
Kevin Sinclair is the publisher and editor of my-personal-growth.com, a site that provides information and articles for self improvement and personal growth and development.
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