Fear is a completely normal part of life. Maybe you’re afraid of spiders or other critters. Perhaps you’re fearful of losing your loved ones to illness. Or it’s possible you’re terrified of what you don’t know, the unknown.
Regardless of what your fears are or where they come from, one thing is for sure: The antidote to fear is education and preparedness. So, let’s talk about what that means and how you can make that a reality in your life.
Why We Have Fears
There are plenty of reasons that we as humans develop fears.
In some cases, we’re fearful because we know something is potentially dangerous to our safety and well-being. For example, you may be afraid of heights because you know that losing your balance can cause severe injury or death.
Sometimes, fear is something that we learn. For example, growing up in a household where your family members are deathly afraid of snakes may lead you to develop this fear as well. That may be the case even if you’ve never encountered a snake in person.
Then, you also have fear that comes from the unknown.
The Importance of Education
A lot of times, what we see as the “unknown” comes down to a lack of education on our part. It’s not that the information isn’t readily available to us. It’s simply that we haven’t learned about it or haven’t been exposed to it.
- Education is key, especially if you have irrational fears.
Let’s say that, as a child, you watched a special on television about shark attacks on humans. Ever since you saw those haunting scenes of shark bite injuries and shark attacks, you’ve refused to go to the beach and get in the water.
Now, let’s say you choose to investigate your fear a little further.
Doing your own research and looking at the topic in-depth might end up easing your fears. Instead of believing that all sharks will attack humans while they’re in the ocean, you’ll learn that this very rarely occurs in this day and age.
Will this suddenly cure your fear? Maybe not. But it may just help you to work toward overcoming your fear in the future.
The Importance of Preparedness
Sometimes, we have fears that come from what we know might happen. Though these instances may be rare, we intentionally avoid certain people, environments, or thoughts in order to protect ourselves from these fears.
- Because of fear, you might end up living your life in a bubble.
Let’s say that you grew up in a home where you witnessed emotional and verbal abuse. You were told that your parents truly loved each other, leading your younger self to believe that love comes with pain and abuse.
- Because of fear, you might choose to avoid relationships altogether as you get older.
Instead of letting your fear of bad relationships consume your life and deprive you of healthy relationships, it’s a better idea to prepare yourself for the “what-ifs.” That may mean figuring out where your personal boundaries are and knowing when to leave a relationship.
You’ll be less afraid of what triggers your fear because you’ll know how to cope with it and handle negative situations if they happen.
Nobody ever said that overcoming fear is simple, especially if these fears date back years or even decades. The best thing you can do is learn about what you’re afraid of to figure out whether your fear is rational and warranted. Otherwise, continue to live your life and simply be prepared to protect yourself if you ever come face-to-face with your fears.