So, before we know how to overcome our fear, we should first know what fear actually is and why we all feel it. The moment we think that our physical or psychological security is at risk, we feel fear. An example will help us understand it in a much better way.
Let’s take a story as an example. A man named Chris saw someone looking into his house at midnight. The man was trying to break into Chris’s house. Scared of the safety of his family, he immediately called police and later in the morning installed a new safety system in his house.
So in this example Chris’s fear got triggered when he predicted that the man looking at his house may have intended to rob his house or even worse, he could even intended to harm Chris’s family. And the prediction of future pain triggered his fear. Fear shows us the chinks in our armour, the places where our defence can be beefed up. It points directly to insecurity.
And by noticing our insecurity and the holes in our defence, we can actually work on them and patch them up. Just like in this case Chris installed a new security system. By doing this he overcame his fear and he could now feel more secure in his home.
Fear pinpoints the ways by which the things that we value are threatened, and overcoming that fear shows us the ways by which we can achieve those values. Like in this example, when the thief shows up near Chris’s house, he fears because the thing that Chris values, the security of himself and his family was in danger. But, as fear shows Chris what he value, it also shows the way to achieve his value, by installing the security system.
In this sense, what we value hides behind what we fear. Or as Joseph Campbell said, “…the very cave you are afraid to enter turns out to be the source of what you are looking for.”
So, for example if we are afraid of public speaking, we should ask ourself what we are feared of. When we get that suppose we are feared of getting embarrassed we get to know that the thing we value is our image in front of everyone. As now the fear we have told us what we value, it will also tell the way to achieve those values. Like now when we ask why we can get embarrassed, we will get that we can get embarrassed because we have lack of confidence and mastery of the material. So now we also get to know that to achieve those values we should get more knowledge about our material and should take public speaking classes to build our confidence.
The conclusion of this is that we should not take our fear as a sign of avoiding something, like avoiding public speaking or home security as in the above example, instead, we should take our fear as a signal to prepare, and only by preparation, a reward can be achieved. And now when you will be fully prepared, you will stop getting feared of that thing.