Logic will help you overcome fear.

Logic will help you overcome fear.
Photo by Chase Baker / Unsplash

Everybody wants to be brave. 

There is a mode in us that longs to stand against the crowd, do something bold, and be remembered for our courage. What stops us? What force exists in the world that could keep even the most determined among us shackled?

Fear. Phobos.

It's impossible to beat an enemy you don't understand, and fear - in all its forms of hatred to apathy, swinging recklessly to playing it small - is the opposite of bravery. 

Many don't know why fear overcomes them, but they feel its black grip on their mouth, hearts, and feet. They imagine a world where they are flying, but their feet stay cemented to the floor. 

The Imagination of Fear

An Athenian statesman, Pericles, approached a troop of soldiers paralyzed by thunder clapping from an impending storm. Shaking from the loud noises in the sky, these elite warriors couldn't fully understand and know its origin. 

Seeing their unwillingness to continue from their fear state, Pericles grabbed two large stones and began beating them together. The booming sound of the rocks imitated the thundering clouds. What do you think it is, he called to the troops, but the clouds doing the same thing

There is something about knowledge that dispels fear. Steven Spielberg's use of the fear of the unknown in the movie "Jaws" is a classic example of how a lack of knowledge leaves us shaken.

Throughout the movie, Spielberg often keeps the shark hidden from view, particularly in the first half. He uses the shark's point of view, and the audience rarely sees the shark itself. By keeping the creature concealed, Spielberg taps into the fear of what might be lurking just beneath the surface of the water, creating a sense of anticipation and dread.

"A man that flies from his fear may find that he has only taken a shortcut to meet it." - J. R. R. Tolkien.

What Voice Controls You?

Life is unpredictable. There is no way to know everything there is to know, especially when it comes to the future or how others will react. 

But we are at the whim of our fear and doubt. Fear will always try to take control of the wheel. The only way through it is to attack that fear. Logically. With reason and understanding. 

That voice of exaggeration and catastrophe is not helping you. It lifts you to uncanny heights and lets you drop into free fall. That's the part of your brain that sees the worst. Ignore it. 

That voice is not making you braver. 

Tell yourself: It's just a job. It's just debt. It's just people with different opinions. It's just a girl. It's just a boy. It's just money. It's just a moment.

Take it in. Investigate. Question it. 

The more you know something, the less it feels like a shark lurking under the water's surface. Set your mind to what you want, not what you don't understand. 

Or, as Rosa Parks puts it, "I have learned over the years that when one's mind is made up, this diminishes fear."