Overcoming Fear

Fear is an emotion we all know the struggle of managing and overcoming.

Some fears are relatively small but they can still be inhibiting one’s life. 

Communication is a huge fear for many people, something as small as eye contact can be nerve-racking.  

Money is something that also brings out fear in people. We often worry about making next month’s rent or our savings. This is a rational fear which is harder to overcome. 

To combat a rationally grounded fear, it is helpful to do research and look for resources to help. Laurier offers a free course to students every semester called, ‘Dollars and Sense: Money Management.’ 

The aim of this course is to enhance student’s financial literacy and money management skills. The certificate offers students information about budgeting and financial coaching. 

Some people are fearful of things because they have survived traumas in their life. In these situations, it is useful for students to use the Wellness Centre to overcome their fears. 

Wesley Strassburger a third-year Laurier Brantford student is hoping to graduate with a degree in literary theory and philosophy. 

“We need to recognize that there are two distinct types of fear; the fear that protects, and the fear that paralyzes,” he said, “the first kind of fear is a natural response that discourages us from doing things that can lead to harm.”

Strassburger has fears that have grown disproportionate to its object making them irrational and paralyzing. This kind of fear, if it gets out of hand, can prevent us from being the person we want to be. 

“This seems reasonable to me because life is often painful and harmful so being afraid seems like a reasonable response,” he said.

For Strassburger, the keyword is “risk.”

He believes that it is important to take risks, and it is important to know what risks you should be really fearful of.

When you are afraid of something, first try to educate yourself. The information you find may give you the ability to gain a sense of control.

If your fears are less rational, try practicing mindfulness, it can help you manage the tendency of your mind to run off in unhelpful directions. If it is at all possible, confront the thing you are afraid of head-on. 

Start small, and go bigger, until you have worked up to doing the thing that you were afraid of doing.  

The value that we find in life is intrinsically linked to the pain we experience. Joy and happiness are not experienced in the absence of pain but in spite of pain. 

Fear can protect you from experiencing pain, but it can also prevent you from the joy of overcoming pain in the process. 

The courageous people we admire are not without fear, they simply recognize that the joy of overcoming their fear is worth the potential pain. 

Do not focus on eliminating fear from your life, because it is there to protect you. Focus on weighing the potential pain you are afraid of against the potential joy in overcoming it.

You will find more often than not, that joy is worth the risk.


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