Look Fear In The Eye

I always dread visiting my dad at his workplace. The reason is that anytime my dad is trying to work on a plank, he will ask me to sit on it while he cuts the plank.

The fear of falling off the plank while he works is the main reason for always wanting to stay back.

He would carry me and place me on the plank with a stern warning that I should stay put. The look on his face and the tone make me eager to obey, but once he starts working, I forget his warning so quickly that the fear of falling supersedes his instructions.

His instructions were, "Don’t look at the part of the plank that is about to fall off; look at me or the other side. Simple, right? But it’s only simple once I’m off the plank.

A thousand times, I berated myself for acting like a coward.

Similarly, Peter was walking on the water at Jesus' command, but immediately after he took his eyes off Jesus, he began to sink. Fear took the best of him. Just like it did to me.

Fear is a false expectation that appears to be real. Fear can develop from anything. The things we fear can be realistic or imagined.

Realistic fear is physical fear. It besets you when you are in danger of being physically harmed.

Imagined fear is when you think you are in danger but aren’t. Some examples are fear of failure, fear of people, fear of writing in public, fear of walking or standing, etc. The issue is that this type of fear makes up most of what we experience today.

And one way to overcome fear is to look it in the eye.

Robert Schiller said, “If you listen to your fears, you will die never knowing what a great person you might have been.”

This described the way I feel standing away from the plank; it looks like something I could do, but sitting on it is quite different.

This particular memory also surfaced in my heart; I remembered that during my secondary school days, the distance from home to school was far. Yet my parents were always certain that I would always come back safely.

Maybe they were scared too but they never showed it. They must have learnt that the only way they can take care of their kids is to face their fear by looking at it in the eye.

It’s normal to have fears; it helps protect us from harm. However, it can also prevent us from reaching our goals.

If you let your fear drive your life, you will greatly limit your ability to grow and prosper. On the other hand, when you push through your fears, you realise you are capable of so much more than you can imagine.

You can look the fear in the eye when you learn to control your mind. Learn to control your thoughts by replacing negatives with positives, fear with determination, and worries with hope.

Another way to look fear in the eye is by setting yourself free just by dealing with it. Avoiding fear will only exhaust you.

For example, you say you’re scared of standing in front of a large audience. You do your best to avoid any. That might work for a while, but what happens when you finally find yourself in a situation that requires you to stand to talk or give a speech in a church or school?

A writer once wrote, "One thing we must fear is fear itself, for indeed if we allow it to, it will control us. If we confront it, we will master it.”

You can’t keep avoiding your fears. The best option is to deal with it and set yourself free.

If you don’t overcome your fear, you will never move from where you are.

©Oluwadamilola Ajayi


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