The Essence of Fear

August 15, 2009
What spreads like cancer and kills confidence? For young adults, the answer is fear. Many people agree that for young adults, “the only thing you have to fear is fear itself”. Is that true? What makes the bone-chilling feeling of fear so negative and detested?

Fear influences and controls a young person like a remote control does to a television. For example, if a young woman had practiced for many excruciating years to compete in the Olympics, fear would surely grip her with its claws at the last moment. Can I really do this? She would ponder worriedly. Sure enough, fear would chew away at her confidence until it was reduced to nothing. In a situation like this, the young woman would be afraid of the feeling of defeat, letting fear drown all her other emotions. What would have happened, however, if she had constantly reassured herself that as long as she didn’t worry, she would do her best? A person’s potential never changes; it’s only the fear of failure that dampens it.

If Martin Luther King Jr. had been afraid of provoking people, would he have ever melted the hearts of thousands by writing “I Have a Dream”? Would he have helped convert America into a free nation? Definitely not. If Mother Teresa had feared rejection, would she have transformed the lives of so many people? Would she have reached out to the homeless all around the world? Of course not. Jackie Chan is one of the most famous stunt-actors in the world. If had been too scared to perform hundreds of life-threatening, gasp-producing stunts, he wouldn’t be. As you can see, these role models are simply people who did not fear for themselves, but feared only fear itself.

Looking from a different perspective, what would happen if a young person feared absolutely nothing but fear? For example, if a young woman had many relatives diagnosed with cancer, it would be sensible for her to fear cancer; that way, she could be regularly tested, slimming her chances of getting the disease. If she only feared fear, the young woman would refuse to acknowledge her medical background, and she would have a greater chance of acquiring cancer. Fear is a natural instinct that is born with us to preserve our safety; to completely reject it would be equivalent to destroying one of the body’s main defense systems. Sometimes, it’s healthy to avoid fear. In other cases, it is deadly.

“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” In many cases, this quote is true…but also false. Fear can be both a bad influence and a vital life-saver; young people that live by this citation may succeed or fail, but fearing fear itself will always bring results.

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This article has 3 comments. Post your own now!

Aidyl said...
Jan. 21, 2011 at 12:39 pm

I'm sorry, I got stuck on the first line, "What spreads like cancer..." Cancer doesn't spread, it's not contagious. Aside from that, I liked the piece, although sometimes, I think your definition of fear is a little vague. Is being afraid the same thing as being nrevous? Someone might not necessairily be afraid to compete in a sporting event, just nervous.

I don't understand some of your arguments. You say a young woman who fears only fear itself would have a greater chance of acquirin... (more »)

N-WESTRN13 replied...
Mar. 28, 2011 at 1:25 am
Ya said "Someone might not necessairily be afraid to compete in a sporting event, just nervous" - Wrong, this is absolutly fear. They are afraid of the possible negative out comes. Nervousness is just a by product of fear.
N-WESTRN13 replied...
Mar. 28, 2011 at 1:34 am
Hah looks like someone uploaded there homework from last night
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