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Fear; Illusion or Reality?

Updated on September 27, 2016

Fear is an inevitable factor that remains familiar in every human’s life. To American author, Napoleon Hill, “Fear is nothing more than a state of mind.” While this may be true, fear will always coincide with the events that have occurred throughout one’s life, causing its prevision to vary. Within its prevision follows the ultimate philosophies, are ones fears an illusion or reality? Are they rational or irrational? What kind of power do those fears truly withhold? Can one conquer a fear? The questions are simple, while the answers not so much.

A fear, a complex emotion, can be classified as an illusion or reality. If evaluated in depth one would find that the two categories are one in the same. An illusion can be found within a reality. Taking a common fear, the fear of heights; is the fear actually directed from how high up you are or is it directed from what would happen if you fell? The answer changes the fear in its entirety; it then becomes the fear of falling rather than the fear of being up high. The illusion in this covers the reality. One is afraid of falling even given the reality that they can only fall if they are close to the edge.

Determining whether a fear is rational or irrational can only be accurate when correlated with outsider’s opinions and when based off of one’s past experience. However, there is a defined line between when others opinions are to be taken into account and when they are not. When a fear is rational the actions taken as a repercussion are forgivable and most likely based off of past experiences, in this case outsiders opinions are irrelevant because they may not have had those same experiences. When a fear is irrational the actions taken most likely are as well. This is when the opinion of outsiders becomes relevant because the action taking place may be dangerous and unforgiveable. From a defined point of view, many people may see irrational and rational fears from a different perspective. For example, an irrational fear is based off of the “what if” factors and occurs over a moment of thinking. While a rational fear is raw and occurs in that very moment, it is the fear that is instinctual.

A question deserving of thought is, what kind of power does fear withhold? First take into consideration, decisions, we all need to make at least a few difficult ones throughout the span of our lives. Fear is the root to all decisions and the lessons learned from them. The fear of failure, the fear of a life infused with poverty and struggle, this is what leads us into our choices on what we want our lives to look like. As an example, the adolescent years are spent thinking about a future and the possibilities it may hold. Always thinking about what our wishes may be, and never thinking about what causes those wishes. Thinking deeper one can find that the decision of choosing what we want in life, is actually determined by its opposite, choosing what we don’t want. It is that the fear of a living life we don’t want causes the motivation to achieve a future that we do. So now going back to the question, what kind of power does fear withhold? Life shows us that any emotion with the capability to determine our fate at the blink of an eye holds an exquisite amount of incredible, unexplainable power.

All humans are born with instincts, fear being one of them. No person can live a life without fear because no person can change the way our species is programed. Fear holds the power to save our lives or victimize them. The difference of weather a fear was taught or instinctual deciphers this power and makes its path clear. Fear that is taught can be conquered, fear that is in our genealogy cannot. Franklin D. Roosevelt once said, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” However, I say there is no point in fearing something we are all destined to be a slave to.


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