Fear is one of the most basic emotions embedded in the nervous system. Not just that of man, but in every creature that has nerves. All creatures that have nerves are equipped with the survival instinct necessary to respond with fear when we sense danger or feel unsafe. It is a warning or signal to be careful and to escape from danger. The reason you run when you see an oncoming vehicle is because of that natural fear instinct. So there is no such thing as a fearless man or woman.
Anytime we encounter anything we fear, whether physical or emotional, the brain immediately transmits the information to the nervous system. The nervous system then prepares you to either flee or fight. The preparation process usually includes faster heartbeat, intense breathing, perspiration, sensation. Blood pumps with increased pressure to the muscles to prepare the body for physical action.
Because the fear instinct is programmed to protect you, it is activated faster than the thinking faculty of the brain, which processes the information. As soon as the brain evaluates the information and gives an all clear signal, the fear instinct is immediately turned off. All this process is completed in seconds.
We all have our different fears. People fear situations or things that make them feel unsafe. People fear the uncertainty of the future or the next moment. And there are many people who prefer to avoid their fears. It usually seems like an easier path. But it is simple knowledge that you cannot overcome what you avoid. We overcome our fears by giving ourselves the chance to learn about and gradually get used to those things or situations that make us fear.
Tourists who visit a zoo may be afraid of lions, but the care givers who tender the lions have overcome that fear. If you are not a trained paratrooper, you will be afraid of jumping from heights. That fear helps to keep you out of danger. But if you receive the training, you gradually overcome that fear and become adept in para-trooping.
So in essence, a fearless man is not the one that does not have fears, it is the one who has learnt to overcome his fears. We all have fears. Those things that suddenly increase our blood pressure. But whether these fears are sudden or prolonged, it is by staying very determined to confront them that is the most formidable path. Face that fear today!
Citizen Agba Jalingo.