Fear is a very interesting emotion, I guess one of the most important emotions.
When we lived in Japan we should be afraid for earthquakes, In England for IRA related terrorist attacks, Australia has got deadly animals and spiders in and around the house, in the Netherlands we lived 3 meters below sea level, Qatar the injustice and arbitrariness of the Sharia. These were/are all realistic threats, but I never really feared them, they were/are normal and part of life and I had found a compromise, a balance to live with those threats.
More accidents occur in traffic then with terrorist attacks, yet I love being part of traffic and moving forwards and fear a certain looking young men.
Most people (not traumatised people) are afraid of the things that are not normal or what they’re not familiar with; the things we can’t visualise/imagine, the things we can’t predict or controle.
Fear it self is a good thing, the adrenaline makes us alert of situations which can cause danger. so we don’t do stupid things like swimming in deep water when we can’t swim.
It’s how we handle fear; Freeze? Accept? Hide? Get agressive? Bite? None of these basics reactions are very usefull reactions. Certainly not in long term.
People who’re afraid are in ‘surviving mode’, they have the urge to protect. That’s stressful, costs lots of energy, make us freeze and feel very small. People who are afraid avoid new situations or open their minds to new ideas and solutions. Like avoiding water rather then learn how to swim.
Knowledge about the things we fear does help a lot, it makes it less uncontrolable. when you know how to swimm, water isn’t scarry anymore.
In Japan we had a ‘flee suitcase’ with all our essentials to survive 3 days and make our way out, in Australia I informed my self about those animals and what to do to prevent those animals for being a danger and what to do in case, in the Netherlands I’m reassured by the dikes and the pump systems, in traffic I like to think I’m alert and trust I know how to respond, in Qatar I try to be invisable and be informed about the things that might offend their culture.
Because of the things I knew/learned I started to trust again that I had control over the situation. I’d faith and was open to enjoy and learn more from the cultures and environment I lived in.
Fear does not Feel Good, it hinders to enjoy.
My solution is to accept that there are situations which makes me afraid, but I’m not letting it withhold me doing the things I like. I just try inform my self about the things I fear and know about the actual risks so I’m prepared and in control and usually it works out great, with new opportunities and when not…… well I’ve learned from my mistakes and mostly I found some unexpected solutions.
Because I can swimm, I dare to learn how to sail.