Fear – Do You Stand Still or Step-up and Strike?

by Melody Jean

Stand Up and Strike Fear Contemporary SeekerIn my effort to better understand fear in relation to the human psyche I found this quote by Arthur Ashe.

“Fear isn’t an excuse to come to a standstill. It’s the impetus to step up and strike.”

Fear Lurks Within

I believe understanding fear, and how it motivates or hinders is key to understanding ourselves. Especially in terms of life’s triumphs and pitfalls.

As I spoke to in my post All Emotions Stem From Love and Fear, everyone has fear. Even if we hide behind our strong masks, don’t articulate it, or share with others. Fear lurks within our being.

No Shame in Fear – It’s in There

I think sometimes people are ashamed to admit they’re fearful, or that they too have fears.

Yet, I know, that he knows, that she knows, that we all know – you have fears <wink, wink>.

In a nutshell, just because someone appears as if they’re void of fears, we all know that there’s a thread of terror somewhere in there.

Fear is Necessary Contrary to Belief

The quote above reminds me of something that my father always says.

Fear is necessary to a certain degree. It’s when it becomes all-consuming that it’s destructive.”

To keep this simple – I’ll use the example that my dad offered to me.

Fear is the reason that we get up in the morning to go to work. We fear not having enough money to pay our bills, mortgages or rent, feed and clothe ourselves and families, and so forth.

–> It Motivates and Drives

In a sense, fear is our motivating, or driving force. Without the need for money or a fear of a lack thereof, I wonder how many of us would hold steady jobs?

I often think if there were other ways to meet our needs (food, clothes, shelter) how many of us would be doing what we’re paid to be doing.

What purpose does work really serve beyond affording that which we need to survive and additional luxuries? Perhaps for some it off-sets boredom, fulfills artistic energies (painter, writer, musician, etc.), feeds the adrenaline junkies addiction, or a community need (doctor, nurse, etc.).

Yet for most, a job is a job. We find an occupation that we can tolerate, perhaps enjoy to some extent and hopefully perform well for the most part.

Those who love what they do, would likely do it to some degree without being paid. However, it most likely wouldn’t be at the level to which they do it for payment

So for all of us, the main motivation for doing said work rigidly, every day, is that it results in a paycheck. Further, it’s the fear of losing our jobs that drives us to do it well. Sadly for most, what we’re paid to do is usually outside of what we would really like to be doing full-time.

–> It Wills Us to Survive

Let’s call a spade, a spade. Not being able to meet the necessary requirements to exist in our modern world is what drives most, if not all of us, to “work” for the most part.

This fear is healthy. It’s the force that motivates us “to step up and strike,”  to survive.

Unhealthy Fear – It Destructs

Then there are unhealthy fears. Per my dad’s example – fear can be destructive too, as well as serve the purposeful intent of motivation.

Unhealthy are those worries and fears which drive us to isolate or stop us in your tracks. Irrational fears that immobilize.

–> Case(s) in Point

Someone who is afraid to change jobs and therefore doesn’t apply for one which may be a better fit.

Deep down it’s because he or she fears rejection, failure, or even perhaps aligning themselves with a possibly worse scenario than what they’re currently enduring. They are essential road-blocked by fear.

The same holds true for those who worry over seemingly smaller issues, constantly. He or she fears they won’t marry, have children, or own a house.

It’s as if they live in a perpetual state of dissatisfaction consumed by worry for all they don’t have or fear they won’t achieve.

There are also those who have phobias. These are actually diseases symptomatic of death defying fears of certain entities (i.e. fear of flying, heights, germs, small spaces, etc.).

It’s these examples of fear ranging the gamut which can stop people from achieving their full potential and enjoying life as is. They destruct, and they destroy.

In Summation

If we allow our fear to motivate, rather than to road-block our efforts, then it’s purposeful.

So the next time that you find yourself fearful, remember it’s likely because it’s time to “step up and strike.”

You may also enjoy several of my other posts on fear:

Don’t Be Afraid of Fear

How to Recognize Fear: Fear Facts Part I

How to Overcome Fear: Fear Facts Part II

All Emotions Stem From Love and Fear

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