Different Types of Fear

In this article I am going to explore different types of fear. The recent discussions with someone regarding my own fears and inability to overcome them, leads me to explore fear, where do they stem from? The category it falls under, they cause of it and its relation.

My purpose in doing so, is to identify why fears take root in our subconscious and unconscious minds. How to tackle those fears and/or manage or overcome them. Fear is a strong emotion, you can see in the image above how different emotions are ranked on the spectrum. Image was taken from an article I read on neuroscience.

So here’s a clip I found from Dr. Jordan Peterson’s YT channel explaining four different types of fear. Here is what he mentions 1) own inadequacy & malevolence 2) society 3) nature (environment) 4)unknown.

1- Own Inadequacy and malevolence he explains is often felt by soldiers when they find themselves doing things that they have never imagined. An example would be war crime- a soldier raping a civilian.

Personally I have felt this fear in sparring in martial arts and something that made me defensive. To get the aggression out again I had to explore this fear, the only way I was able to explore this fear was to face it, expose myself to it and then overcome it. Did I overcome it? I would not say I overcame it, but this particular fear is what I learnt to manage. I consider this fear a healthy friend, that keeps me calm. Let me give you an example, I get into a confrontation while at a party, entertain me here, do not ask me why I was there in the first place lol, I am just creating a hypothetical situation. A person barges into me, doesn’t apologize and instead gets aggressive, using foul language and tries to intimidate me. Being me or any normal response in this situation will be an adrenaline rush, Fight, Flight or Freeze response will try hijack me. Freezing in this situation will make it worse, fight- I won’t do it because I will have the fear that I might go overboard or use excessive strength because it’s not a sparring situation where I can go light or heavy according to the level of my opponent and rules. This fear, will make me subside the adrenaline rush, let the prefrontal cortex take control of the situation and quickly calculate an appropriate response. These things often happen in milliseconds to perhaps a few minutes. So, quick thinking and confidence to handle the situation becomes key. Ultimately exposure and confidence and situational awareness helps manages this type of fear for me. What really helps here is confidence in ability to diffuse the situation.

2) Society– living in the polarised world, with many different cultures, many different peoples. I think it’s fair to say, that those who don’t conform to the norm are judged by the society. While I won’t go into a lot of details here because then, I will have to explain the characteristics of today’s society. And people will form an opinion as to what views I hold, which side I lean towards.

You see what I done up☝️, that’s some form of fear perhaps of the society judging and forming an opinion on what I write. Withholding my views here can be considered as a result of fear. Oh well, it’s not like I am here to preach my sermon. I am simply trying to elaborate on what different types of fear are like when experienced in real life. Society can be harsh and judgemental as Dr. Peterson says. He also says, courage is what wins over fear. Humans don’t become less fearful, they become more brave. So, courage is what reduces our fears and overcome/manage them. Emotional awareness is a key component, our ability to recognise when these fears are triggered is the first step in overcoming these fears.

3) Nature (Environment) This I suppose is the healthy fear that has been built in us for our survival. Nature can be a relentless force, that can turn things around in an instant, swallow up land. Tsunamis, earthquakes, landslides and storms. It’s natural to fear the wrath of nature. Nature is also loving, the mercy and blessings far extends the wrath.

4) Unknown– Our minds constantly seek certainty. This search for certainty amidst uncertainty causes anxiety and brews up all sorts of other emotions; one of them being fear. Fear of missing out on opportunities. Fear of losing, fear of unknown. However, if can learn to embrace uncertainty, then we can take a step towards overcoming the fear of uncertainty. Uncertainty can be fearful, it can be exciting. Uncertainty can be potential, uncertainty can be possibilities. Uncertainty is sure risky but nothing in life comes free. It either has time cost or costs money. These last few lines of wisdom are shared from other great people I have learnt a lot from haha

What you seek is within you- Rumi

Hope is a powerful emotion to replace fear. Hope for a better future, hope for ease after difficulty, hope for achieving the goals. Hope… beyond the scope of this discussion. There is no fear and sorrow concerning those… in the world beyond.

Body, Soul and The Mind

Image: Samurai Art

I search the vastness,
The deep recesses of my mind.
I close my eyes, but it only turns me blind.
Staring in this void,
No answers I can find.
An epiphany occurs,
The pieces of puzzle I must bind,
Body, Soul and the mind.
So, I plunge in my heart, I heard that’s where the Soul resides.
The darkness rings a familiar hollow,
Like the one in my mind.
Still searching…
Maybe it’s the way I am spending my time,
I plan to change, but the body’s still left behind.
Through hindsight, I realise,
The stress response built along the course of my life.
Progress seems slow, but it will compound over time.
I try to configure my bearings,
So I set upon this journey, in the darkness of the night.
Astrolabe in my hand, I reach a turning point,
I must sail and ride the waves,
For I am the warrior of the light!
Light above, light below, light all around me!
Darkness is no more, so long as I hold the pieces of this puzzle, tight…

The Sun

What we see as light and warmth, is the result of nuclei fusing to form a single atom. The hydrogen atoms collide and form helium, releasing vast amount of energy that sustains life on earth.

Sun is a powerful natural source of energy. Similarly, there are some humans who possess traits, that we may refer to them as the Sun, in a metaphorical sense.

They are good listeners, they dispel away negativity. They shine their light and wisdom upon others. They spread love. The light they carry stems from their hearts, is reflected in their actions and intellect. They possess qualities and traits to redirect negative energy (talk, emotions and feelings) and influence a positive change for the receiver of that energy. This is how they conduct themselves when they listen.

Do you know someone who you can call Sun? A lot of psychoanalysts, counsellors and spiritual leaders fit this description. I wonder where can we find and encounter more Suns?

The sun cometh

A new day beckons, oh doers of good, arise

The Caller calleth, Wilt thou answer?

For every deed there is a special prize

Thy intention must be pure, free of malice

Thine wine served in chalice





Omega Sunrise
Image Credit & Copyright: Juan Antonio Sendra