Fear is one of the most primal instincts that has served us since the beginning of time – it is what helped us escape danger, e.g., a grizzly bear, a wolf pack or a shark, and survive. Today, since we no longer have to fear for our lives and being chased by wild animals in nature, fear has taken on another meaning in a world where most professionals are tied to a desk, a chair and a desktop. I have focused personally and professionally for years on wellness, for my personal journey see my Instagram and my professional work see my website.  Below, I will share with you five surprising facts about fear and how it can actually help us –

  1. Break Routine

Getting out of your comfort zone is one of the hallmarks for success – new discoveries have been made time and time again because the inventors decided to explore and experiment. For an individual to go out on a journey of exploration and discovery, fear about the unknown kicks in. This tells you that you are breaking your everyday routine and getting out of the comfort zone – and that’s a great thing and only the beginning! 

Getting this close to wild monkeys while traveling was both extremely nerve wracking and gratifying.
  1. Identify Opportunities

In the process of worrying about having left out some details, e.g., from your research project or a client proposal, you may identify new opportunities for research or missing marketing channels the client may have never thought about. Thus, this process of trying to mitigate fear by going over and over again in your head whether or not any details were missing can help you come through with solutions and breakthroughs in your science project or a client proposal. 

  1. Motivation to Learn

The fear of being inadequate in our skills, knowledge or capabilities, serves as a driving force to help us learn whether by reading more books or talking to more experts. Therefore, our skills are sharpened and our knowledge is broadened. A basketball player will go out and perfect his or her shots and a physician will ask for a second opinion from a highly esteemed doctor.

  1. Focus and Concentration

Fear of missing out or missing a detail that can make or break your career helps us focus and concentrate on every detail of our endeavour. We focus to go through every detail of our thesis paper, to cross every t and dot every i. Therefore, that concentration can help us discover the missing gaps in our arguments and go back and do more research and receive the highest honors in class. 

  1. Heightened Awareness

The most primitive part of our brain, the amygdala, has been hardwired to respond with fight or flight. The fight or flight mode has been what has kept us alive as a species. Thus, fear heightens our sense of awareness and will help us see what others may overlook. We may notice the missing link and make a breakthrough in science or the missing piece of the code and make the software breakthrough in technology. 

As you can see from breaking routine to heightened awareness fear is not something to shy away from but rather appreciate and use to make us better ourselves and take action. Understand how you can take fear and benefit from it by turning the tables and taking advantage of what fear does to achieve success in your field. For years I have thought about fear and how it has inhibited me from making some of my dreams come true rather than using it to take action and help me achieve my goals.