The question, “How do you handle fear,” is answered differently by everyone. In order to try and answer it, you must first acknowledge what your fear is. Fear is an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous and likely to cause pain. If your fear is too great, it can then be called a phobia. People of different ages or backgrounds usually give different answers as to what their fears are. Ahmad Hariri, a professor of psychology and neuroscience at Duke University, explains, “Change has occurred so rapidly for our species that now we are equipped with brains that are super sensitive to threat but also super capable of planning, thinking, forecasting and looking ahead.”
For example, when asked what her biggest fear was, Katherine, a 5th grader at Marvin Elementary School, explained, “My biggest fear is clowns. I don’t like clowns because they are really scary and bad like in that movie that came out.” She said she first knew of that fear because when she goes out on Halloween, she sees people dressed in clown costumes and scaring people. She handles it by trying to avoid clowns during halloween and not seeing any of the movies. “So we essentially drive ourselves nuts worrying about things because we have too much time and don’t have many real threats on our survival, so fear gets expressed in these really strange, maladaptive ways” Hariri explains.
Another example is Mr. Wrinn, a teacher at Brien McMahon High School and adviser to PrideTime. “My fear is of not reaching my potential. I was given things that helped me to be where I am today and being a teacher, you always see students not having that and they have to work harder so I feel like I need to be better” Mr. Wrinn remarked. “I found out that I had this fear when I started teaching and getting outside of the life I had really known. Once I got out of the perspective I already had, I saw the kids and I really understood it.” People can also benefit from having fears, as Mr. Wrinn explains, “It goes both ways because I know that I can do better but I am keenly aware that I am not where I could be. I want to balance where I want to be, and where I’m at.” He handles this fear by using it as a motivation to be better.
Another person interviewed was a senior citizen and grandmother living in Mexico. She answered, “My fear is not being able to see all of my kids again and seeing them separated. I want to be able to see all 12 of my kids and their children. I also am scared that they will have problems within each other and that I won’t be able to do anything about it ” She realized that she had this fear when all of her kids left to live on their own and went in their own directions. She said, “Although some of them stayed together, some of them have internal problems and I wish that they solved them.” She handles this fear by hoping and trusting that they do the right thing. She is also hopeful that everyone will get together one day.
Everyone handles their fear in their own way and this is because everyone has different fears. Some are fears of physical things or objects and others can be aspects in your mind.