Fear is the cornerstone of what it means to be human. When we make a decision in life it can be argued that that decision was made out of fear. We can deduce every single decision we make down to the barebones needed to survive. We have four main fears we can experience
Four Main Fears:
- Fear of the Unknown
- Fear of being judged
- Fear of taking the first step
- Fear of losing control
What we have to do is analyze which fear is being used to rationalize our decisions.
Fear of the unknown would look like this: "I don't want to go out tonight, because I don't want to get in trouble."
This is caused by a fear of the unknown where the unknown is your behavior for the night, and not knowing if you will end up getting in perhaps a fight, or drama starts, or if you'll get arrested or lose your money somehow. All of these possibilities are not actually a reality, but it can be rationalized that they could be and our survival for millennia has been founded on the idea of not putting ourselves in potentially bad situations so we can survive.
Fear of being judged would look like this: "I don't want to go Thanksgiving this year with the family because they're always rude to me and my significant other for us being gay."
This is caused by a judgment by a more bigoted group of people, but those people are their family and our evolutionary upbringing tells us to avoid being outcasted by our tribe for fear of being forced out of the group which increases our likelihood of death.
Fear of taking the first step would look like this: "I don't want to go ask that girl out because it might go badly, even if she's extremely pretty."
This is actually a mix of three fears: fear of taking the first step, fear of being judged, and fear of the unknown. When we are rejected by the other sex, psychologically we are being told that we are not worthy of our genes being passed down to the next generation. It is a full and entire rejection of our being, and that hurts a lot. This pain is generally avoided by avoiding the first step altogether. This can help us in the short term with avoiding rejection, but the fear of judgment is minuscule compared to the feeling of regret later in life. Regret is the fear of the unknown in retrospect. What could have been might've been better, and you never want to look back on life and think about what could've been? Thoughts like that can destroy a person.
Fear of losing control is an especially interesting fear. This might look like this: "A heterosexual female might go after less attractive male partners in an attempt to place an attractive dominance over her partner so that he might feel less inclined to seek a relationship with another woman, thus trapping him and gaining control."
This is a very powerful fear that can turn otherwise good people, into manipulative sycophants. This fear can turn dictators into mass murderers and jealous types into abusers. Losing control feels like we are slipping and sliding further into the unknown of viewing rather than playing. When we set the rules of engagement, we can be more certain of the outcome, but without control, we humans have an inclination to start acting out as soon as this certainty is being challenged.
Life is full of fears and it is very relevant in our lives. By psychologically analyzing where we might be experiencing fear in our decisions, we can take the emotion out of the experience and start deciding based more logically than reactionary. Although humans survived by being fear reactive creatures, we aren't hunters and gatherers anymore, and we have a responsibility to our community to hold ourselves accountable for our fears and not put the blame on others. Continue to think differently.