How Fear Can Help Decision Making


To think is to introspect.

To introspect is to seek.

To seek is to be aware.

Being aware is when the journey begins.fear the fear

Face your fears!

Fear is like a shadow.

It clings to you, as long as there is light or darkness.

You must understand fear, the basis of what you fear. Otherwise, the “fright monster” will follow you and sometimes even mislead you.

Humanity’s oldest and strongest emotion is fear, and the oldest and strongest type of fear is the fear of the unknown. -HP Lovecraft (1920s)

Most of us try to “run away” or get confused when we are afraid of something.

When you fear something, do you feel like you can’t think of what to do or even can’t think?

Do you feel like you can’t do anything?

Do you feel out of control?

Are you worried or panicked?

Fear affects us in many ways.

Our genetic coding of fear

Fear can be a positive sign – that your body, sensing fear, is preparing you for an emergency, so it gets your blood flowing to the muscles, raises blood sugar and gives you the mental ability to focus on what your body is perceiving as a threat.

Our ancestors – the first humans – needed the quick responses that fear provokes because they often found themselves in situations of physical danger.

But in the modern era, we don’t have such physical dangers like our ancestors. Yet, due to generic coding, our minds and bodies still function the same way as our ancestors did, and we have the same reactions to modern worries.

Instead of alerting you to danger and preparing to react to it, your fear or anxiety may manifest in any perceived threat, which might even be imaginary or minor.

Can fear be constructive?

Fear, in particular, can be constructive, making us more effective decision makers in the face of risk.

Fear of failure, fear of success, fear of looking stupid and fear of the unknown. And much more.

Do you have any of these?

For many of us, revised job descriptions, raises and promotions, hiring freezes and budget cuts can generate fear and anxiety. Is this for you?

Will I be valued for what I do?

Will I have a say in the decisions?

Do I have to start from the base, prove my worth, or will I be respected?

Fear and anxiety can last for a short time and then pass, but they can also last much longer and you can get stuck with them. In some cases, they can take over your life, affecting your ability to eat, sleep, concentrate, travel, enjoy life, or even leave home or go to work or school. It can prevent you from doing the things you want or need to do, and it also affects your health.

The point is, you don’t have to suffer. Just accept and face the fears.

Are you worried about setting goals? Face it and start by setting goals.

Fear of failure keeps far too many people from even trying to achieve their goals. Remember this: many paths to success are littered with mistakes and failures; it goes with the territory.

Research indicates that fear can aid in decision making. Surprising?

Fear is one of the most powerful emotions. It has a very strong effect on your mind and body.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Find mentors and resources to help fill your blind spots.

Solicit feedback from others every step of the way. But do not wait for their approval to embark on each of your steps.

And above all, don’t let fear lead you to constantly question yourself. Trust yourself and trust your instincts.

Fearing fear is scary indeed.

The author, Srinath Sridharan is a business consultant and independent market commentator. For other articles in the Coach Soch series, click here.


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