In the fray of fear
I haven’t felt fear for a long time and recently I got rushed with fear, panic and some loss of control. This paralysing touch that prevents us from moving, from taking action and from making rational decisions can easily ruin one’s mind, covering our judgment with lies and corrupting the purest hearts with doubt.
So why do we feel fear?
Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering. — Yoda.
Fear is indeed loss of control. It appears in a scenario were we don’t have enough information in order to control or to make quick decisions, we lose our control to fear and freeze our normal functions and wander in a place were nothing can be explained, unless there’s someone to tell us what to do.
To better understand fear, and to explain it a little better, I came up with an analogy so anyone can make a physical representation of fear itself.
Imagine you are a knight riding a horse into a battle field. Against your enemy foot soldiers you have the upper hand:
- With greater speed it is possible to swiftly attack anyone with his back turned;
- Having an higher point of view in the battle field makes the Knight more difficult to reach out and able to deliver heavier blows toward your enemies.
But there are also big disadvantages against other enemies when using a horse as a tool:
- The Knight becomes an easier target for long range shooters and marksmen;
- The horse’s noises makes it easier to spot which gives the enemy a higher chance for preventive strikes;
- Every strike agains you can make the horse startle and lose the control.
Any kind of attack against the knight, the horse or even the surroundings may cause the horse to startle, making the knight lose control or even fall from it’s back.
Although horse and knight are two separate creatures with control over their selves, they fight together as an individual using both their advantages traits for their gain. The knight grabs the rains and commands the horse with his knowledge/training and expertise in combat and field tactics, while the horse lets itself to be commanded by the knight’s orders so it can focus solely in his intense physical abilities and power.
The bound between Knight and Horse converges all in the knight’s own experience:
- How well he knows his horse;
- in his ability to calm down his horse;
- in his self control to calm down himself;
If by any chance both Knight and Horse get startled, which means the knight stops giving orders, the Horse will take control and throw the knight off its back or even ran away.
So in this analogy: the knight represents our brain, which seeks and grabs inputs from our surrounding, and the horse our body, which reacts and behaves differently according to these inputs. When succumbed to fear if our brain (the Knight) doesn’t have enough skill, be it by instinct or training, it will cease its functions and lose all of its control over our body (the Horse), it may freeze with fear, start running in panic or react without any reason in a way that will harm us for sure.
How can we take control of ourselves and prevent fear from taking over?
There is no way to fully prevent fear, but there are ways to make you more in control in these situations:
- Training yourself mentally to overcome your fears by confronting them directly in different ways will make you more at ease from time-to-time;
- Understanding your flaws, when and why they are triggered, is important in order to prevent your fear from scaling;
- Learning how to hack yourself in order to teach your brain what to do when it gets blocked by fear.
I myself still can’t overcome fear in some situations but understanding how and why I feel fear has been a good way to unlock some interesting skills to prevent and, sometimes, overcome fear easily.
Hope this reading will be of any use for you in this present and in the unexpecting future.