Fears are something that is present in the life of every living person. However, the choice is ours to whether use them as a force that moves us forward, which keeps us awake or to surrender to them and become their sacrifice, allowing them to leave us paralyzed and allowing them to lead our lives like a nightmare, forever haunted by shadows.
Let’s not delve into gender differences in general, but it should be noted that the man is primarily a thinking being and the woman a feeling being. Even if we delve into the essence of the fears of both sexes we will find that one fear is based on logic and the other on emotions and feelings.
To clarify what I mean, I will give an example. Researchers and clinical psychologists from Colombia in late 1980 found that for both men and women, the biggest fear is the fear of death. But the research proved it in two main directions. In males this fear was affecting their own personality, or the fear of their own physical death, while with females it was the major fear of losing a relative — parent, child, or friend. If we assess these two types on an analytic level, we find that in the basis of fear of man’s instinct is self-preservation, while a woman’s is based on her sensitivity and she can become vulnerable and weak when facing physical loss of someone she loves.
But fear itself is an emotion that causes a change in the brain and leads to visible changes in human behavior — an individual can become paralyzed, behave inadequately, run and hide. And since in essence phobia works on a subconscious level, it is assumed that women are more fearful than men.
Psychologists, however, argue that in itself, fear is necessary for a person to protect him or herself from real danger, physical or emotional. But while the brain of a man registers certain factors from the surrounding reality as hazards, a woman reports, or rather intuitively feels others. Also very common fear is triggered in situations that have no rational explanation (such as fear of the whistling wind, for instance). Injuries and bad experiences can also cause a reaction in us. Yet to know their “demons” is necessary to determine which of our fears are illusions and which are real.
Let’s not discuss phobias of various objects, animals or events and let’s look at a few of the main fears that hinder us, that we grow as individuals and view them through the prism of both sexes. Such is the fear of the unknown, fear of commitment, fear of failure and fear of rejection. But let’s not forget that in the axis of all these fears is entrenched fear of death, be it physical or emotional.
Fear of the unknown is inherently being afraid of tomorrow, the future of the afterlife, what follows after the death of our physical body. Fear of the unknown can cause a person not to follow their dreams and ambitions. However, if one overcomes this internal resistance and uses fear with constructive purpose, one can expand the boundaries of their knowledge and achieve ingenious breakthroughs. Imagine how little we know about the world and the cosmos if all inventors and researchers had succumbed to fear of the unknown.
Refracted through the prism of the male brain that fear in its depth is logical. I’m afraid of what I do not know and should therefore know about it, gather data and facts about it, so I no longer feel that emotion. As the nature of a man is to explore the world around him, it is far easier for a man to overcome fear than for women.
On the other hand, the woman is attracted to the unknown. She does not need facts and figures about what scares her. Her brain on a subconscious level registers fear, but it is very difficult to explain what danger lies behind this emotion. In this case, the fear of the unknown danger is illusory, not real, as in fear of death, for example.
Nelson Mandela said: “I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”
Another common fear is the fear of commitment. This does not only refer to the relationship between man and woman, but all relationships in general. This fear is inherent in the vast majority of men, especially given the relationship man-woman. Research psychologists have identified several aspects of this fear. In two of them lies its essence. The first is the fear not to become vulnerable and not get hurt, that is inherent in women as sentient beings, and the second is the fear of falling into the “trap” or “prison” which is more familiar to males who are by nature more freely.
In this regard Paulo Coelho says: “Freedom is not lack of commitment, but the ability to choose — and commit myself to — what is best for me.” And to be able to bind to a strong relationship, an individual must have a strong relationship with him or herself and fears definitely prevents this.
Fear never comes in a pure form. Fear overflows from everywhere and mixes several kinds of fears. This is for example the fear of failure, which is often based and transformed into fear of rejection. Both types of fear are not sexually driven; men and women suffer from them as they emerge during childhood. Again a man bases his fear on facts and a woman on emotional feelings.
Fear of failure, as already mentioned, was born in our childhood. Adults constantly reprimand children for their mistakes instead of teaching them that success is achieved after a series of failures and that “failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently” (Henry Ford).
Fear stops many people to step forward into the unknown. And when we are afraid that we will fail, we often do quite unproductive things. The worst is that we surrender in advance. By expressing this fear of failure one is predetermining him or herself for his or her collapse.
The basis of the fear of rejection is also “laid” in infancy. This fear is triggered when kids go to kindergarten for the first time separated from their parents. Psychologists say that if this fear deepened it is likely that this person will be rejected, because his behavior has changed.
In an effort to please others, people cannot relax and be themselves, and they begin to behave timidly and uncertainly. Consequently it becomes a vicious circle — fear deepens, the behavior becomes even stranger and man really reaches the moment her or she is rejected. To combat this fear, one has to accept the way her or she is and stop trying to please everyone. Let’s not forget that people accept us the way in which we see ourselves.
Each person is a unique piece of the world. Every one of us carries fears in an invisible backpack. But the truth is that we have the choice to use fear as a driving force rather than a hindrance.
Everything is in our hands and everything can slip away from our hands because of fear.
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About The Author
Dr. Mila is an internationally known Business and Life Strategist, Decoder of Human Potential, and Change Catalyst. Her mission is simple: 1 million people around the world to Master The Blank Page™ and intentionally live a life of significance. I million people to create the greatest stories ever told, see the future in front of them, fill the pages ahead with matters of their heart, acts of kindness, and incredible stories of inspiration, and hope.