Fear has the ability to cripple the best of us. It takes our surroundings and twists them into unknown beasts. And individually we are the only person capable of fighting our beasts. To face a fear is to go against oneself, and the natural desire to survive. I constantly strive to control my fears, to utilize them to better myself.
I am a high ropes course instructor. So I am no stranger to fear, both my own and that of others. There is nothing quite like being thirty-five feet in the air standing on only a quarter inch of steel cable. In those moments you come face to face with your own mortality. I know that sounds dramatic, but that is the reality of what adrenaline and fear can do to you. It’s simply not natural. And despite proven knowledge that the equipment I use and the people I work with are both sufficient to keep me safe it does not persuade the animal in me.
Fear throws out the rational. Therefore logic can not diffuse it. So what are we to do about it? As staff at a challenge course, we do not encourage the elimination nor the ignorance of fear. The reason for this is that we know fear comes from real danger, it is the human animal trying to keep the body alive. Our responsibility as reasonable beings is twofold, first, do not let our mind blow fear out of proportion (it can easily dictate our actions), and secondly, do not let our ego brush off the caution that fear inspires. When we encounter fear our body creates adrenaline, and through practice we can learn to marry the rush of adrenaline with the caution of fear. These together with our will allow us to safely accomplish tasks that we never thought possible.
Peace, Love, and Happiness…