As a strategy, fear should be realized, understood, respected and even embraced. So it can be used as an asset while never actually getting frightened.
“Fear is like worrying, it’s a bodily emotional response telling us something is wrong or will be. With fear, however, it’s not only useful but a fundamental part of our survival instincts – it can help us tackle these situations with increased adrenaline and focus. –John Cain
This is one of the best pieces of advice I ever received while in training from my first instructor. That the concept of fear (when it comes to your own state of mind) is good and useful if harnessed correctly, like unstable explosives or complex machinery.
It’s not easy or pleasant to use, but if applied right, then you can work wonders – or terrors, depending on the objective. The same goes with fear.
Feeling fear is that gut and mental change of state when something dangerous, scary or unknown comes into play. It’s our natural alarm system.
Just as important, fear, when “set off”, heightens our focus, energy and drive – which is the point. It’s our body momentarily optimizing itself for the situation.
The problem is that, the sudden rise in our senses and adrenaline is not properly harnessed and so “feeling fear” becomes feeling frightened – which has no benefit. It’s a very fine line, but as long as you don’t cross it, fear can help you – as nature intended.
Obviously it’s easier said than done, the process I learned takes experience and calming clarity:
When the sensation of fear trickles in, let it in but don’t let it take over. Let that energy and focus flow through you, but control it.
Don’t deny that the fear is present in you, embrace it by considering it as a momentary upgrade to your defenses / offenses. Respect it.
Analyze what exactly is the reason for the fear by breaking it down into smaller or less complex parts by using that increased focus, otherwise it will convert to real fear. Because energy has to go somewhere.
When you understand it, you can better overcome it or realize there’s nothing to fear in the first place.
There’s a distinction between feeling fear and being frightened, and that’s how you differentiate it, so you can use it to your advantage or never be scared.
When you’re feeling angry and bottle it up without an outlet, you become fractured. It’s the same with feeling fear, but instead you become frightened. So this process is the outlet to prevail.
Fear is volatile, it can limit our options or capabilities but it’s meant to enhance them – let it.
“Expose yourself to your deepest fear; after that, fear has no power, and the fear of freedom shrinks and vanishes. You are free.” -Jim Morrison