Fear Forward

Most of us are no longer faced with life and death experiences on a daily basis and it's been a very long time since we've been this way. We have a sophisticated world now, with complex systems and gadgets to keep us connected and informed.  We also have our minds that are capable of deciphering a real threat from make-believe.

We're hardwired with the ability to fear. It's a huge component of our animal instincts and it keeps us safe from danger. It's important to our survival, or at least it once was.  

So why is it that we have these intense and often irrational fears like stage fright or performance anxiety or camera shyness? Why do we feel anxious at parties, or sweaty and nervous before a big date?

It can't be that there's an actual perceived threat, it must be something else. Vanity? Fear of failure? Long standing defence mechanisms?

And what about that thrilling exhilaration you get when you're afraid to do something new and then you decide to take a leap and just go for it! I wonder if those "niggles" of fear are really just our internal road markers telling us that we're on a new path, not to veer off, not to return to our comfort zone, but to carry on and push toward this new place that's terrifying but potentially very rewarding. To develop a new skill, a new perspective on who you are and what you're capable of. 

There aren't many circumstances in life where a comfortable, inactive place leads to change or personal growth.  We need fear, we need discomfort. These feelings can push us further past the tried-and-true, out of the nest, into something new and hopefully very rewarding. 

October 2018

Writer
Melody Klamph

Photographer
Thomas Branconier

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