Nothing to Fear but Fear Itself

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Fear. The human history is tangled with fear. It has driven humankind to wondrous achievements while, on the other hand, has prevented many more from seeing the light of day. However useful fear might have been for the survival of our ancestors, it should find no comfort in the 21st century.

A human being is born with only two heritable fears. The fear of falling and the fear of loud noises. Makes sense. What doesn’t make sense, however, is that an average adult human today, has a whole truck-load of (mostly) irrational fears that have little or nothing to do with his or her survival, most crucially, the fear of life. People are afraid to take bold steps and to take risks for fear of something happening to them and believe that by not taking risks, they’re safe. The truth is that everything is risky. People rather accept their conditions than move to change them and that, to an extent, is always a choice. For example, there’s a strange belief in the world that jobs are safe and secure, when in fact, that has never been more false than it is now. With technology on the rise, so are employee redundancies but the majority still rather accept the life someone else dictates for them than make their own path.

But I’m not here to talk about the employment situation but rather the freedom of choice between mere survival and life. There’s a popular saying that people prefer familiar hells, to unknown heavens and I think that beautifully illustrates the point. Whenever we have a choice to go down a worn down path or turn to a new unfamiliar direction, fear as a defence mechanism lights up. It makes us prefer the former and we humans are only too good at justifying, why that path is actually the correct one. That is normal. That is fear in action and everyone has fears so don’t be ashamed of them but confront them. Nelson Mandela said it best when he said “The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.

Do me a favour, next time you’re in a dilemma and you’re afraid of one choice for some reason or another, examine that fear. I’ve read an article that said that in a lot of cases, what we translate as fear is actually excitement. Think about it, you get giddy and your heart starts pumping with slight traces of adrenaline. You’ll realise that the fearful choice is often actually just the exciting one and what is life if not one big adventure, so make sure it’s exciting. And if that doesn’t work, think about which of your options is going to offer survival and which will offer life. What’s the worst that can happen? And if that does happen it will either be a great chance to grow and a lesson and you’ll be richer for it. So, either you win or you grow. Win – win. Most importantly, you’re in charge.


When faced with any choice you have to be absolutely honest with yourself. Which choice have you painted as the smart one and which one your heart is drawn to and if those are two different options, you’ll know what to do. Better yet, you’ll feel what to do. No bull**it, you’ll always know what you feel.

In conclusion, my dear reader, or maybe even readers, do not be afraid of doing something out of the ordinary, new and maybe even a bit more difficult, if you feel that’s the choice you heart will choose. Don’t be deterred by fear because the only thing worse, than something happening to you, is nothing happening to you.

Nejc Oblak

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