Fear Is Not the Enemy


By Rawan Olma
Fear is one of the biggest paradoxes and mysteries of human behavior. It shows us the true magnitude of the complexity we encompass as a people. Humans are said to be creatures of habit- we find comfort in stability and routines, yet at the same time they bring boredom. We yearn for adventure and chaos, but anything beyond our monotonous sequence of formulas and schedules terrifies us. We’re never truly satisfied and that’s the sort of imperfection that makes us so distinctly and so beautifully human. Most people look at fear as the enemy- what they don’t realize is that fear is essential to developing not only as a person, but as a creator by using it to to drive our passions and push our creativity and work without limits.  
We need fear to experience what this world is holding us back from. We need to look at it as a way to prove wrong all the odds that are stacked against us. We need to face fear to fight back against everyone that’s telling us no- even if that someone is ourselves. In overcoming fear, our eyes are opened.
There is a constant oversimplification attached to terms like 'facing your fears' and 'stepping out of your comfort zone'. It's definitely much easier said than done. Doing so is not an overnight miracle. It's not all cute inspirational posters and upbeat motivational songs. Sometimes, it's having your heart broken to pieces. It’s wanting to quit before you have even begun. The path will never be a straightforward sprint- it's going to be a long and winding road. You'll take a thousand wrong turns and maybe even get hurt along the way. But what I've found is that throughout that journey, numerous people have a habit of comparing with others to see who has had a tougher journey, who has had to endure the most, and in that process, they end up either belittling their own accomplishments or others' accomplishments. Besides the fact that this is a very destructive habit, comparing what you had to go through will never provide an accurate description of what someone else has had to go through. Our conditions shape us in a way that is specific to our problems. No accomplishment is too small and no one is handed an award for having it worse. A pebble for you might be an entire mountain for someone else.
I also feel that there is a huge misconception about people that are labeled as brave as being completely bold and fearless. What most people don’t understand is that bravery does not equate to having no fear. You can be brave and still have doubts! The terms should not be viewed as conflicting, but seen supplementary to each other and go hand in hand. To a certain extent, one cannot have bravery without having had- or even currently dealing with- some sort of fear. Lin-Manuel Miranda, writer of the Hamilton musical, said self-doubt is like rocket fuel. It can destroy you if you don’t channel it correctly. Being brave doesn’t equate to being reckless and free of fear, just as being afraid does not make you inferior and weak. Channel it to your advantage. Let fear fuel your passion and life, let that emotion paint the canvas for your new piece, let all those thoughts that linger within you be the ink to your new poem. But no matter what you do, never stop creating.

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