Fear, the dictionary defines it as “An emotion experienced in anticipation of some specific pain or danger (usually accompanied by a desire to flee or fight)” and technically, that sounds complete. But there will be a thousand more definitions coming out for it if you ask that to people around you. What is fear? Is it the same feeling that you have when you’re about to cheat in a test? Or the one when a barking dog looks towards you in a dark street. Is it what you feel when you’re about to propose a girl way out of your league or is it that look on your face when you see 23 missed calls from your parents? Just like love, fear too has different shades. It’s a cocktail of nervousness, ecstasy, pressure and self-consciousness, and only when you feel it, you know the importance of the event you’re about to face.
Fear is like a necessary evil, you need it to win it and only when you win your fear, you can win in anything else. Have you ever seen an athlete nervously shaking right before he’s about to take off in a 100m sprint? I guess no, that’s because he won his fear when he practiced that thing day and night. And this is what it takes, to face it and tell it that I am not scared. People have different kinds of phobias, mental situations where one has a fear of something, from an imaginary ghost to a simple notebook, anything can trigger a fear. Sometimes the fear is purely irrational, while sometimes it is things that normal people can’t even imagine. I, for an example, cannot even imagine jumping off of a mountain like the guys in this video. And the thing is, even they couldn’t, until they faced their fear, laughed at it and went for it.
People who don’t understand Tamil, I am sure you will know the very famous line “Darr ke aage jeet hai”, that’s like an anthem for most of us. I am the kind of person who likes to face his fears, may it be anything that I have to do, just the fact that I am afraid it may hurt me won’t stop me from doing it. Of course it is easy to say when it’s someone like me who lives a pretty normal life and doesn’t have to face any challenges regularly, but I believe we all have our little challenges in life. My biggest fear is water. Well, I am not hydrophobic but I do get scared thinking about seas or the fact that at some point in life, I may need to swim into that! When I was 13, my father (who happens to be a good swimmer himself) wanted me to take swimming lessons. The first day I went near the pool, I am pretty sure my heart skipped a beat. And that is when it was barely 4 feet deep. As the coach said, “Only the low self-esteem fishes would swim in such shallow waters. What are you afraid of?” Well… Drowning, slipping, not being able to come out, choking and did I mention drowning? I wanted to say all of that… But I asked myself, what if there’s a flood and I have to swim my out to life. Would I use these excuses then? Now as much as the chances of a flood in Jaipur were close to zero, it worked for a 13 year old shit scared mind. I entered the water and what hurt the most was its coolness, not the depth. I soon learned the basics of swimming and entered the deeper pools. I am not really proud of my swimming skills but I suppose I can be proud of the fact that water doesn’t scare me anymore. Since that day I’ve been to so many beaches and did banana boating in the Arabian Sea too! My next target is scuba diving, or at least put an Instagram pic in the suit… erm… well, I didn’t say I am more mature now! I wouldn’t say I emerged victorious against my fear, but I did beat it in the first bout.
In closing, I’d just say that fear is nothing but our own mind wanting to continue with its inertia of rest. Unless you apply the external force of your self-confidence, it will stay like that. I am not making that up, this is all science, right?