I believe in Fear

Carter - Canfield, Ohio
Entered on February 17, 2009
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: fear
  • Listen to This I Believe on RadioPublic

  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

I believe in fear. It is our most primal emotion and yet one of the most complicated. Fear is in all of us, the young, and the old. While other emotions people try to cover or hide, fear is visible. You can see fear in a teenager’s eyes before he or she get a test back. Or you can see fear in a young man or women who is about to be shipped overseas for the war.

Fear can take many shapes and sizes. Fear can be about something small like forgetting to lock your car. Or fear can overwhelm you with the sinking feeling. The feeling that you cannot overcome until the situation is settled.

I have experienced fear many times in my life, and I expect to face it many more times. Fear has been shown in my life when I am on the tee of a golf course, and I don’t know how my first shot will go. I can turn that fear into motivation to think more about the process of how to hit a solid shoot, or I can turn that fear in the wrong direction. By doing this fear is overrun in my body and I make a bad decision. Fear also runs through me when I take a test in school. As much as I prepare for any test, I am always nervous. I am not nervous before the test, just when I get the test. In my belief I have to get everything right or else it is a failure. So when overcome with fear, I can either remember or try my best on the test, or I can go in the opposite direction, and be afraid of the test, which throws me off for the rest of the test.

This emotion can turn people for good or for the worst. Mass amounts of fear can sometimes give people superhuman abilities. Not just strength but bravery. Take a look at the stories of a child being stuck under a car, and a mother lifting the car to save her child. Fear can also bring bravery and courage. The pilot who took a plane down on the Hudson River was filled with emotions, but never became overwhelmed. The passengers of flight 93 from September 11 knew they were going to die, and yet with fear running through them, they turned it into bravery and courage to save thousands of people who may have died that day. Fear can also be to powerful people, people who make the wrong decision because of it. Whether it is because someone is to afraid to go on a ride at an amusement park, or someone has a fear to stand up for what he or she believes in like religion, politics, or even standing up to bullies or your boss at work.

Fear cannot be explained, nor can it be controlled. It is primal and the most basic, and yet complicated of emotions. Overwhelmed people become heroes, and yet can also become cowardly. Fear is in all of us whether we can control it or not.