FEAR is the emotional response to a perceived danger, whether or not that danger truly does exist.
There are many things in life that trigger this response, from the mundane to the specific. Some people are afraid of insects, while others are not.
Some people fear the very thought of public speaking, while others find much more ease.
When I consider the typical effects of fear, two primary ideas are clear to me: fear can stop you, but fear can also push you.
While we might find ourselves refusing to do certain things out of fear, it often means we would do other things in response.
Imagine a situation where you are required to do something important, but for some reason you are afraid of doing it. Maybe you have to engage in an activity outside of your own capabilities, or you don't savor the consequences of failure, such as in an upcoming exam.
Maybe you have to talk to someone you want to avoid, possibly in anticipation of conflict, reprimand, or because they are simply intimidating.
Maybe an activity involves direct danger or risk, such as learning how to drive or handling dangerous tools and equipment.
With the acknowledgement of a present danger or threat, there will always be the need to respond to it in a way that yields a favorable outcome. Alongside most fears is a goal beyond them.
If one fears death, they will do what they can to avoid it. Here, we can see that the fear of death can also serve as a motivator to find ways to avoid it, by extension motivating the selected courses of action.
If one is afraid of failure, he will find ways to decrease or eliminate the chances of it occurring. With this, he is simultaneously motivated to take actions towards a successful conclusion, one that would prevent the consequences of failure.
A student who fears the failure of a test could either study harder or cheat. Depending on the person, it is one or the other, but both choices are motivated by the same fear of failure.
One who is afraid of conflict may be motivated to find peaceful means of resolution. One who is afraid of social interaction may look for alternative ways to go about certain tasks. One who is afraid of harm will put measures in place to prevent it from coming to them.
Roads and Roadblocks
While fear does close us off to certain decisions or possibilities, sometimes making us less rational, it is still a normal part of us for good reason.
It is an emotion that exists not to paralyze us, but to protect us from different sorts of threats, spurring our instinct to act on the desire to avoid or eliminate them.