As Audrey O. deals with her fear, we discuss something important – why should we overcome fear? Is it important to be facing your fears or just letting them be?
Hey everyone! Audrey O. is back with a new episode, and today, she deals with what’s a metaphor for something we all have – fear.
Audrey O. (Vol.2 E6) – Facing Your Fears
All of us have something we are afraid of. Fear is more than a challenge, or an obstacle. Obstacles need our analytical skills, our problem-solving skills. Facing your fears, on the other hand, needs something much much more. It needs us to change a whole part of ourselves – to face our worst again and again.
Fear Makes Problems Seem Bigger than They are
Fear makes us totally illogical. It makes what we fear bigger than it is. While I know this for sure based on my own fear of lizards and the way I perceive their size, this is actually a proven theory. A study done by Brain and Cognitive Sciences department at Ben-Gurion University (BGU) found out that in a group, only participants who were very afraid of spiders rated their size to be larger than butterflies.
But this could even be true for fears that are not tangible. Some of us fear public speaking, some of us are afraid of failure, being insulted, humiliated or being hurt. Those of us who are afraid of talking to a crowd, for example, may perceive the audience to be larger than it is. Or if we fear failure, we may perceive it as more permanent or insuperable than others do.
Fear Makes Us Think More about Itself
Once we identify what we fear, we tend to spend excessive amounts of time thinking about it. If we’re really afraid of something, we end up thinking too many negative scenarios, repeatedly. We may also have unnecessary thoughts that tend to increase the negativity and waste our time.
Also check out: Audrey O. (Vol.1 E20) – How to Not Think Too Much
Do We Really Need to Overcome Our Fear?
The world is full of advice on conquering it. But the question is, do you really need to be facing your fears?
Well, honestly, I have an opinion about it that many may not agree with. I believe that fear doesn’t always need overcoming. Actually, let me rephrase that. I believe that not every fear needs overcoming. It’s not always a failure to fear something. Fear is so natural, and it’s okay to accept and live with some too. Well, at least until we’re in a position (and need) to face them.
They say that facing your fears is important, and to think of them as positive. But is facing fear just for the sake of it or facing too much too soon really needed? It can end up increasing our fear, lowering our self-confidence, too.
Instead, we need to focus our energies on fears that our life depends on, not on facing every teenie-meenie thing we’re afraid of. Exposure to fear to overcome it is a lengthy, time consuming process. So if we feared something that we just avoid talking or thinking about it, that would also be a helpful idea.
If avoiding something puts you in a more comfortable position, it may be worth it. I know that sounds like a lazy, millennial thing to do, but let me explain.
If speaking in public is your fear, you could easily go for a career that doesn’t involve it, instead of spending the first few years of your career going through a daily torture, just to strengthen yourself. What doesn’t kill you, does make you stronger, but at the cost of wasting a lot of time. Sometimes unnecessarily so.
Life is too short to spend it thinking just about our fears only.
Is This Fear Worthy of Your Commitment to Overcome It?
Everything in life should be balanced. Every yin needs a yang to balance it out. For every strength we have, we also have a weakness! That’s why facing your fears is difficult, but common.
Overcoming fear needs us to constantly work towards facing it. But is your fear worth it? We need to channel our energies into facing fears that we need to, in order to achieve our dreams, fulfilling our purpose. If you failure is what you fear, it’s certainly worth it to overcome it, because without overcoming failure, there’s no success.
Focus on your strengths as much as on your fears. If your fear is worthy of overcoming, you do need to bring out your inner Coco and let her deal with your lizard. Stephen R. Covey wrote, “To achieve goals you’ve never achieved before, you need to start doing things you’ve never done before.”
Shilpa Ahuja a designer and entrepreneur. She is the editor-in-chief of ShilpaAhuja.com, which she founded with the goal of inspiring confidence in the modern working woman through fashion.
Fashion has traditionally been for the rich, white, thin woman. That’s how it evolved over centuries and that’s how it’s been represented in fashion media. But Shilpa believes that with the changing role of women in the society, fashion has changed, too. She believes that fashion is for everyone, regardless of their age, gender, color, body type and background. So she translates runway fashion into easy style advice that one can incorporate into their daily lives.
Shilpa’s work has been published in the University of Fashion blog and Jet Airways magazine. She is also an artist, illustrator and cartoonist. She is also the creator of Audrey O., a comic series that represents the lifestyle of millennial women. She enjoys creative writing and world travel. Her art has been exhibited at Harvard Graduate School of Design and the Aroma Hotel, Chandigarh and been published in Chandigarh Times.
Originally from Chandigarh, Shilpa also has a professional degree in architecture and has worked in interior project management. She is also the author of the book “Designing a Chinese Cultural Center in India”. Shilpa has a Masters in Design Studies degree from Harvard University. For feedback and questions, please email [email protected]