Fear, Anxiety & Courage

Deepak Motiramani

All is well, All is well, All is well!” We remember this mantra from the movie 3 Idiots wherein the situation of college and exams is portrayed. Taking inspiration from this dialogue I have seen many people in senior corporate or government position following this mantra in the situations which makes them anxious.

For school students even our Honourable Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has written a book named as “Exam Warriors”. The book primarily focuses on stress faced by students during the examinations. The bigger question is why at all we need to fight and become warriors rather than just be and enjoy the subject, study, school and college life?  Is the fear more for the result of the examination?

One of the main reasons of stress or anxiety during examination is peer pressure. In other words, its performance requirement and to be better than others. While stress can come as a positive stress or negative stress. By positive stress we mean an external or internal pressure which helps us perform better. While on other side negative stress makes us depressed or fearful to face the examination.

What is fear? Fear is an emotion which all of us go through. We need to understand the root cause behind the fear and understand what causes fear. During the journey of likes and dislikes many a times we also magnify fear and we must question if the fear is factually realistic. We try to control this fear by thinking more about it and by thinking more we manifest the same. While manifesting it, we react in a very different way for this feeling of fear.

Fear can make us mediocre rather than dare for more. Fear can be because of previous experiences of rejection, denial, resistance or failure. The effect of fear can freeze us and stop us from taking an action. Inaction can stop us from moving forward in life.

Just like a pendulum which if made to swing on one side, by its internal force swings on other side as well, emotion has two sides. For fear the other side is courage. For the emotion of fear, courage helps us in overcoming the fear. It is also true for the emotions not to be swinging too much on either side but to stay centred. An example is the behaviour of the birds during the storms. During the storm the birds try to take the shelter but the eagle flies above the stormy clouds and in calmer sky.

Our response to a fearful situation is a matter of choice. Courage is a choice we need to make and take the action forward. We must analyse as to what will it take to bring this courage to act. Courage is a basically a need which a situation demands to act upon.

Courage is not a theory; it is an action (In the face of fear). It is not known but unknown (action). Action can also be an attitude (a mental attitude) of victory.

Is there a way towards courage? Remember it is a choice to make. There are two things towards courage we must consider.

1.       Start small: Taking baby steps and making consistent efforts. Important thing is to move forward even by small steps. The quality to keep going is perseverance. Small random acts can make a lot of difference. We must celebrate small victories as well. To overcome fear of unknown we must trust life.

2.       Have some objective: A small exercise (What is the one fear that I have, that limits me?) Assume that someone is in this situation, what is the solution would you suggest or work out?

Anxiety is body’s response to stress. It is a kind of fear or apprehension about what is going to happen next. An interview, examination or a novel situation can make one fearful or nervous. Absence of information or lack of knowledge can also make one nervous or anxious.

In the era of technology instant gratification or excessive use of technology (mobile) makes us look for instant answers like two-minute Maggi noodles. Hence digital wellbeing is the need of the hour and one must embrace the slowness as well.



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