I was 10 years old at the time and just started my secondary school year in this new school. It’s was a two-storey building and all my life at the time, I have always been in a bungalow kind of building so I was very nervous about the height.
It got so bad that any time I get to the top floor, I don’t go near the railings at all. Now, we need to understand something yeah, the fear wasn’t that the structure of the school was good, it was a “what if” fear.
What if I go near and the building collapse, what if I touch the railings and the railings fall off, etc. The fear wasn’t me going and getting injured, the fear was me not trying to go at all.
I later neared, touched, and looked over the railings and saw the view I was missing all my time in school.
An estimated of more than 19 million people in the world have a specific phobia, and many people have more than one specific phobia, phobias of different nature and kinds Nyctophobia, Cynophobia, Acrophobia, Arachnophobia, etc some fears have more beautiful names than you do.
We need to understand that the concept itself is something we cannot fully theoretically give guidelines on how it works.
FEAR OF BEING AFRAID
I was privileged to meet one departmental president from FUTA and also one of my friends and when I asked them their concept about fear, they said, “the fear of being afraid is what causes fear not what we are afraid of itself.”
We have been fed with the mindset from childhood that it’s only positivity that should exist and that every negative happening shouldn’t exist.
So we must do everything possible to keep positivity which is a good thing right, but then I question myself, if life was all about positivity then why does it have negativity in it?
A lot of success stories we have heard watched and listened to started from a low state which we all try to avoid, FAILURE.
One thing failure does is either make you or mar you, but we are trying to avoid failing which is bad. It’s not failing that causes it, it’s trying to avoid failing that causes the FEAR.
A lot of us have come to different things we claim(I also)to be afraid of height, darkness, boys, women, future, etc but the thing is we don’t want to be afraid so we try to avoid everything and anything that will cause us to be afraid do we don’t even want to try out our fears at all.
So instead of getting afraid and dealing with it, we go for an easier and yet more damaging option avoidance.
Damaging, you ask me how? We are now moving into a world where every of our fear is something we see and also deal with every time.
You are afraid of height, we are having more skyscrapers in the world today, afraid of women or men, you will deal with them one way or the other, afraid of darkness (if you are a Nigerian and you have these fear, I mean is NEPA a joke to you?) you’d definitely walk at night in grey areas and so on and on.
Instead of dealing with this fear, why avoid it. Someone that has fear of failure, does everything to win so when he loses, he is so devastated that he doesn’t look at the lesson in the failure. You cannot even be successful if you don’t see failure as part of success.
Deal with the fear and stop avoiding it.
FEAR IS FICTION
I mean, how would I say fear is fictional. This is the same thing that has stopped a lot of people from achieving great things in life, this thing is so real.
Well, apparently fear is imaginary because it’s not the fear of rejection or darkness or height or even cockroaches that make us afraid but the fear in itself.
I’d explain how now because we are in an economical system where we want to achieve a perfect lifestyle, we try as much as we can to avoid things that will tarnish that perfect concept for us.
As a child, our parents and also their parents normally do this thing, they want their child to want to be the best and make the best option, it’s nice but in the long run, has its damages. You’d ask me how? We are built in a world where we want to be perfect so we don’t want to try and do something.
It’s the fear of trying that consumes not the consequences themselves so we are stuck not trying instead of trying and failing. So if you see someone that fears height, it’s not the height that fears them but rather a part in their head.
Someone is afraid of darkness, it’s not the darkness that creeps you out but rather the fear in the darkness.
You see someone that fears failure, it’s not failure itself that fears him but rather the fear in it and the thing is, you cannot grow if you don’t overcome your fear.
Overcoming is not like ending your fear (is there even something like ending fear) it’s just pushing yourself through the fear and striving in it, that’s where growth occurs. To grow is to overcome your initial inabilities(your fears).
FEAR OF SOMEONE’S FEAR
Everyone has to agree to have experienced this at one point or the other.
Let’s say you have a plan to go to the beach with your friends, and y’all have been planning it for like a month now like the beach dress you are going to rock, whose iPhone has the best camera to take the best pictures, food and snacks, games, transport, and everything. Everybody is set to go and you already told your parents about it.
One month to the day, they said no problem. A week to the day, they are even encouraging you, two days no issues at all.
On the very day, that’s when they’ll now sleep the sleep they didn’t sleep for like a month and now wake up and turn Martin Luther King “I have a dream😭”.
They now start bringing up stories that they read on social media, especially Facebook and telling you stories that happened in 19’s of how one of their friend’s brother-sister uncle wife mother younger sister died in the beach.
Their fear is not you going, but going and not returning so they just avoid you going.
Your friends go and arrive safely, you are angry but they will still call you to turn amala for them.
They are afraid of someone’s else fear not yours. Someone else experience becomes a motivation to limit your exposure which is dangerous.
Live life safely, take baby steps with your fear, Soon enough, you will prevail.