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We don’t have to overcome all our fears

Many of us have fears that have prevented us from doing many things. People could be afraid of driving, swimming, speaking in public, and so many other phobias. The question that comes is should we work on all our fears or is it okay to make peace and live with our fears?

There is nothing which says, we should overcome all our fears. The origins of those fears may be deeply buried in our minds and maybe inaccessible to us. So no point in trying to dig and find out why we are afraid of certain things (snakes, spiders, lizards) or activities. People are under the mistaken belief that they have to work on all their fears and should make an effort to overcome that. Why is this necessary at all?

Those who do not drive on the road admire others who do and wish they could too but are afraid of doing it. On the one hand, we can say that if they can overcome their fears, maybe they will enjoy the driving experience and be independent. On the other hand, we can also say that today, one does not need to know driving to get from one place to another. With plenty of hiring options available, one need not learn driving if one is terribly afraid of driving.

The same goes for activities like swimming or public speaking. You don’t have to be good at everything. If you have no desire to swim or speak in public then you don’t have to work on those fears at all. On the contrary, if you want to swim or you want to speak in public, then you do have to work on your fears, overcome them so that you can enjoy the experience of either taking to waters or wowing an audience. Working on most fears is easy and it takes just a couple of months work.

At times, our work demands that we overcome our fears. In your work, if speaking to an audience is an essential part, then you need to work on that fear as it is hampering your work and growth. So when you look at your fears you need to assess if the fear is stopping you from something you desire, if the fear is preventing you from giving your best in your work or relationships, if the fear is immobilizing your life in some way. If it is then you need to work on it. Otherwise, it is okay to acknowledge your fears and make peace with it and coexist with the fears. Life is too short to work endlessly on self-improvement.

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