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  • Atiya Pope

Fear can be motivating?

Fear. Fear is a powerful emotion that has the ability to make you uncomfortable, push you forward or immobilize you. Fear of failure, fear of the unknown, fear of stepping out on faith, fear of procrastination; working on yourself can help you to use your fear as a motivator, not a deterrent.

Human beings react to fear in two different ways; fight or flight. When most people think of fear, they consider it to be a reaction to something instant that is threatening to their safety or security such as you are walking down the street and someone suddenly comes up behind and startles you. The emotion of fear can incite a feeling of dread, warning a person of the possibility that harm is near, which in turn motivates them to protect themselves. Fear does have its place in that if a person experiences a situation that was bad, they work diligently to make sure they never forget how to avoid the situation in the future. For instance, if a person has a bad experience eating food that made them sick, they are less likely to try that food again and more likely to be pickier about what they eat.

Will Smith is a prime example of someone who used fear as motivation, not a deterrent. Even as someone who has conquered music and also acting and seen as the "Hollywood royalty," he is still a human being who has fears. In an interview he discussed that because of his high SAT scores, he could have probably could have gone to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) but knew that is not what he wanted to do. "I had no intention of going to college." Instead of being safe and following what his parents wanted him to do, he used his fear to step out on faith and pursue music. Even though it was difficult for his parents to understand, they gave him one (1) year to make it happen, and it did as a senior in high school. He did not let his fear keep him from doing what he wanted, even if others did not agree. In 2017, he spoke to an audience about his thoughts and feelings when he decided to face his fear and go sky-diving. His fear had the potential to immobilize him but once he took that leap off the plane, the feelings he had could be a universal theme to every person must or has to face their fears to become conquer their fears. He states, "Skydiving is a really interesting confront with fear … So you get onto the airplane, and you're sitting there, you fly, and you go up to 14,000 feet, and the guy walks up [to the edge], and you're looking down to death! Terror! They say on three … and you fall out of the airplane, and in one second you realize that it's the most blissful experience of your life. You realize at the point of maximum danger, is the point of minimum fear. God placed the best things in life on the other side of fear."

Whatever your fear, use that as a way to propel yourself forward not a standstill. Whatever your fear or concern, it could be showing people you have a talent, or stepping out on faith and pursuing your dream, traveling the world, or even doing what Will Smith did by jumping out of a plane, do it. The feeling of facing your fear, telling yourself that you can do it and then overcoming it can range from accomplishment to exhilaration.


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