The Thing You Fear is an Opportunity to Grow

The Thing You Fear is an Opportunity to Grow
Fátima Servián Franco

Written and verified by the psychologist Fátima Servián Franco.

Last update: 21 December, 2022

Sometimes your fear disguises itself as logic. It doesn’t let you see the real reason why you avoid challenging situations: fear of the unknown.

That feeling of uncertainty and the weight of expectations can paralyze you. It might even make you avoid situations that you need in order to grow.

But the only way you can unearth the opportunities behind your fear is to put yourself in those very situations.

And really, knowing how to manage your fear feels good. It helps keep anxiety and other disorders at bay. No one likes to be afraid, but you will feel much better if you understand it and control it.

You will feel your tension start to melt away and no longer threaten your health. It can also help you discover a new way to grow as a person.

It’s easy to forget that you now handle situations with ease but they used to paralyze you. Tests, speaking in public, socializing, etc. Behind each one of these situations was some kind of motivation.

The motivation of personal growth made you do these new or stressful things in spite of feeling paralyzed. Let’s dig a little deeper…

“Fear is always willing to see things worse than they are.”

-Tito Livio-

Only one thing makes your dream impossible: fear of failure

Why do you have mixed feelings when you face a new situation? The reason is that your body tries to defend itself. It is responding to feelings of uncertainty and fear. The automatic response is to prepare to flee immediately in order to save yourself.

So, on a physical level, blood flow in the upper part of your body slows so that the blood flows to your lower extremities. Hence a quicker, easier escape. That’s why your first reaction in these situations is avoidance, or flight.

fight or flight

Your first natural reaction is to dodge these situations. However, you have power over yourself and your thoughts that make it possible to make more rational and less intuitive decisions. That power is where you will find the opportunities hiding behind fear and new situations.

So, fear of failing at new things is intuitive. You have it because of a phylogenetic inheritance from your ancestors.

However, desire to achieve your goals is something more personal, hiding in your thoughts and feelings. That’s why this fight between our genes and our thoughts is what determines your success or failure. It determines whether or not you make your dreams come true.

Don’t fear prison, nor poverty, nor death. Be afraid of fear itself.

The things that scare you are the ones that make you the happiest

People say that when you really want something, you have to go and get it. So why are you so afraid of the things you really want?

 Sometimes it is simply because you prefer to stay in the fantasy world. It’s easier to have impossible expectations and only ever imagine what would happen if you got what you truly desired.

Other times, the uncertainty and effort required to follow your desires weigh more than your dreams. You prefer to stay static and avoid big changes.

fear and opportunity

The key is knowing that the more you do, the more you can do. This is the circle you have to be in if you want to overcome your fears again and again. That way you can get what you really want.

Fear is just an emotion. Once you understand it, you realize that it is only truly useful in a limited set of situations that are actually infrequent in life.

Most of the fear you feel is made up of irrational worries and thoughts. The sooner you learn to identify and manage them, the sooner you can enjoy things that are truly worth your time.

Because the thing you fear is actually an opportunity for victory and growth.

“Life is not a problem to be solved, but a reality to be experienced.”

-Soren Kierkegaard-

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.