Saturday, 13 December 2014


I believe sometimes in life you've got to take risks to reach to the top.We've got to jettison the baggage of fear behind to touch the pinnacles of glory and not let fear be an impediment in the way of progress.And if we don't fight our demons that manifest themselves in the form of 'fear' then we'll be enslaved in the shackles of it forever.

Going back in time,I recall as a child when I attended a spiritual meeting,the spiritual lecturer decoded the true meaning of 'Fear'.She said F.E.A.R was nothing but-'False' 'Evidence' 'Appearing' 'Real' and I've taken to that definition of fear ever since.All in all what she was actually trying to instill in both the adults and children present there was that fear was nothing but an illusion of the mind. 

Over the years,when I was pushed to the wall or had to prove myself in a given situation,I discovered the only way that I could quell the feeling of fear was when I didn't give it a damn in the first place! In fact,F.E.A.R was nothing more than a mere acronym which I'd oft repeat it in my thoughts and it read as-"False Evidence Appearing Real" or better still in a positive way was telling me - "Face Everything And Rise"

So as a child when my friends feared watching horror movies or would get scared to walk alone in dark alleys or quiet 'haunted' corners of the compound fearing that there were ghosts hiding in the bushes waiting to take naughty children away,I would fearlessly march forward without a care in the world and return back shrugging my shoulders and chin up as though trying to tell them,"Look, I'm back and I'm what's the fuss about?!" And the brownie point was getting befriended in school and wanted in their team/ group,thanks to my friends who would spread the word about my little bravery!

My next 'tryst' with fear was when I took up swimming as a young kid which not a pleasant one to begin with! My parents had enrolled me in swimming classes during my summer vacations as my dad who himself was very fond of swimming was keen that I take up this water sport which I was not always fond of (to start with) particularly when it came to swimming in deep waters!And back home when my mother would read about the mishaps of children drowning in swimming pools where instructors or official looked the other way...I would get even more scared! 

Thus my idea of swimming was just limited to the shallow waters where I would tie my float, paddle my foot up and down,flap my hands, play with friends,splash water around and take a long jump or two and that was just about it on what swimming meant to me.Now,I remember it was the last day of our swimming classes which was coincidentally the day of our test as well based on which our certification would be awarded to us.So,I vividly recall my Chinese instructor lifting me up (minus my floats) and throwing me in the deep waters of the swimming pool to watch my reaction(I guess he probably wanted to understand how much of swimming I had picked up during the classes).I remember how much I cried to start with but then I somehow just started paddling my feet to keep myself afloat and swam freestyle to the nearest place I could rest my arms on as my my parent watched with joy to see that I could actually swim! After that there was no looking back...I took to swimming just as a fish takes to the water as I went on to learn many strokes like the Butterfly stroke, Back stroke, Breast stroke,snorkeling and diving!I took this hobby a step further when I no longer confined myself to just the swimming pool.In fact on our summer vacations to Goa I would make it a point to swim in the seas which I do so even today! 

So that was back then!

So when I grew up,the situation kinda reversed. I was more of a self-conscious, shy and a reserved person petrified of public speaking fearing that people would laugh,poke fun or pass comments on me just in case I forgot my line.Now this was something quite the contrary expected of someone who aspired to make a career in the Mass Media! So there it was! So how did I overcome this challenge? Well it did take me sometime to realize that 
public speaking was just like it was talking to a friend, in this case it was a group of 'friends' (i.e. the crowd).It didn't come easy to me even then but that didn't deter me either from participating in activities like declamation, extempore, recitals etc. for  it gave me the self-confidence I was searching for all this while.That I was no longer fearful,the proof of this was when I gave a Public Relation presentation that scored me the top marks in my class.This was the sweet reward when I overcame fear which I cherish always!

Years later,I had this plan that I wanted to make a short film but I didn't know how to go about it?I was fearful of the responsibility on how I would manage it all by myself since I had no contacts or boast of a sound network.I had apprehensions on what if there were budget issues and if we overshot it,how would I handle the crisis in the eventuality of it. These 'ifs' and 'buts' made me keep putting off my plans of making a short film until one day it occurred to me about making a short film on 'zero-budget',pro-bono basis which I succeeded in doing so with the help of amateurs and volunteers in the field.And voila,it worked! Together with the help of my family and a few friends we put together a twelve member team comprising of artistes and crews as I went on to make my first independent short film. 


When only I could dispel the myth of fear in my childhood that I could believe there were no ghosts and could confidently walk in the path of darkness alone where my friends feared to tread!

When it came to swimming,it was important that I took the first plunge...more importantly,it was that push (by my instructor) that made all the difference!Otherwise how else would I have swam the seas?

When it came to public speaking,I had to let go off fear and not create a room for it in my mind,else how would I have known what I was capable of?

I believe that overcoming our fears is a step-by-step process and needn't necessarily start with something big...they can be small steps heading towards the larger goal (i.e. eliminating fear in itself).

On a closing note, I am quite inspired by two quotes from great people in their respective fields...

Ace American singer and songwriter,Jim Morrison once very well articulated fear when he said,"Expose yourself to your deepest fear,after that,fear has no power,and the fear of freedom shrinks and vanishes.You are free."

And the second was when...

American martial arts instructor and actor, Bruce Lee summed up the true essence of fear when he said,"I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once,but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times."

If you liked my article,do share your thoughts and instances of when you conquered your fears in the comments section of this post

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This post was written for the '#RiseAboveFear' contest at Indiblogger in association with Mountain Dew

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