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Fear is one of the most primal emotions of man. Over the ages, like for all other living creatures, it has helped mankind survive and grow. However, as mankind evolved at a faster pace than other creatures, he learnt to start controlling his fear. He learnt that rather than react instinctively to fear, if he rationalised and took decisions, there were more benefits in it. He observed that things are not always as they seem, and fear at times can be misleading. While in a primitive state, fear may be all about survival, in the case of modern man, fear has taken the form of our insecurities, self doubts, apprehensions, suspicion. Fear is saying ‘yes’, when I want to say ‘no’, because I cannot risk losing a relationship or the benefits that I derive from it. Fear is also when I want to do something new, but a voice within me tells me that I’m not good enough for it, or people will laugh when I fail, which makes me give up my dream and stick to the conventional. Fear is when I cannot trust, those around me, and even myself. It is amazing to observe, how much fear dominates our decision making process. As an experiment, for one day, pause before every small or big decision you make, and ask yourself, ‘Am I making this decision because I believe in it, or is it because I fear something?’ Watch your decisions change, as you shift from a decision of fear, to a decision of choice. All fear is fear of the unknown. Fear dominates because we don’t like dealing with uncertainity. Our risk taking ability is diminished, and we dislike the tag of failure. We want predictability, and so we stick to the tried and tested. This is fine as long as we are satisfied with the present, and do not have too many expectations from the future. But if you are looking to grow and become more than what you are at present, you will need to conquer your fears. You will need to experiment with new behaviours which will change the reaction of those around you. You will need to accept the fact that you will be wrong many times before you stumble upon the right way of doing things, which will take you to the next level. The only way to conquer fear, is to do what you fear the most. Once you do it, the fear is gone, and what you are left with is choice. You can choose to do it again, or not do it. But the fear is gone! As we start, one step at a time, conquering our smaller fears first, and then moving to the bigger ones, we grow in self confidence and conviction. We realise that most of our fears are exagerated imaginations. Even when we went wrong, the consequences were not as bad, and when we did hit the right behaviour, the dividends were tremendous. Thus, slowly, though fears still and will always exist, there is an equally strong growth of self confidence and belief system that helps us grow and explore new possibilities. Fear then becomes a useful tool, that prevents us from being rash and brashful, and we use it to prepare things that may go wrong. But they no longer stop us from experimenting, innovating, and following our dreams. Fear always operates out of a vacuum, and that vacuum can be filled with our convictions and beliefs. When we believe in a value or a principle, we act on it regardless of the consequences. Fear then becomes irrelevant, and is conquered. Mankind has evolved and progressed, guided by the light shown by the few who dreamt, believed and showed us the way ahead. They too struggled and fought their fears. As it is said, the biggest battles are fought, not on battlefieds, but in the hearts and minds of men. I wish you, victory!

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