Being Afraid – Good or Bad?

Are you afraid?

Are you afraid?
Are you afraid?

It is not bad to be.  Many people are – Almost all people are.. In different situations, in different contexts. An entrepreneur is afraid of his idea being stolen by someone else before he comes to market. CEO is afraid of losing market share. A lawyer is afraid of losing a case. A doctor is afraid of failing in an operation. A child is afraid of fire. Teenager is afraid of rumors. A software developer is afraid of as well. People are afraid of each other! And in such a situation, we are all afraid of something or the other.

Whatever be the case, it is mostly “failure” or “uncertainty” which people are mostly afraid of. Failure in thoughts, Failure in business, Failure at work, Failure in relationships, Failure of faith. In a world where probability divides the chances of success and failure in exactly 50 percent each, why are we so much obsessed with failure?

Same is the case with uncertainty. We as human beings are plagued by our observations. We observe something for a long time and feel that is certain and that is how things are supposed to be. One fine day, something irregular happens contrary to our age-old observations – we plunge into the world of uncertainty. We look up to the clouds and say ‘How on earth did it happen?’. Such is the vanity of our assumptions. Since we cant explain uncertainty, that is when we start being afraid.

This brings the question up again – Why are we so much obsessed in being afraid? Just because we could not predict it or just because we could not predict it failing? However, the easier it is said, the difficult it is to change human behaviour.

What can be done?

Observe more and Learn. There is only one way to avoid being afraid is to observe more, learn more and experiment. Fearless spirit, Ruthless aggression to learn more is all that is needed. One life time of observation is not enough, you have to learn from other people’s experiences in their lifetimes to enrich yourself. While re-discovering one wheel is okay when you are learning from your own life’s experience, learning from peers, learning from colleagues, learning from customers, learning from whichever source you can get your hands on will reduce that fear in your minds. This will definitely make you feel less afraid.

As software engineers, which most of my visitors are, the only way to stop being afraid is to learn more about the technology area in which you work in and in which you do not work in. If you don’t have the chance to invent something, learn more about what is being invented. If you are not able to innovate something, learn more about what is being innovated and how that innovation can be applied to your technology, to your business domain. Sometimes you would find it in Google sometimes you would actually be ready to contribute to Google so that someone else can learn. If you stay focussed on learning, you will be less afraid.

At Mindfire, we are not afraid of experimenting. We are not afraid of failing. We try. We fail. We try again and keep trying till we bounce back. Each of our software consultants takes pride in learning cross platforms and being active in various technology forums. Each of us share our learning and feel passionate about it. And Mindfire promotes this environment of learning. It does not come as a surprise to us when our people represent us in International Technology Forums and Seminars and Symposiums. Yet, we feel silently happy when our esteemed clients marvel at our expertise not just in the technology but also in their own business domains. We keep learning and keep away from being afraid!

This is team Mindfire. Loads of curiosity. Bundles of enthusiasm. Years of experience.

If you would like to work with us, join us or simply want to know more about us, please feel free to reach me at Sam@mindfiresolutions.com

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7 thoughts on “Being Afraid – Good or Bad?

  1. Something like this could only come up from someone who has years of experience. It is really inspiring and now I definitely know how to get over my fears..
    Thank you Sir, for sharing it with me. Looking forward to more of them…

  2. An excellent post with a very true message …. I am experiencing the facts being part of Mindfire ….I love the culture, and the wonderful people around me here …Thanx 🙂

  3. Nice post.
    Coincidentally,I have been toying with the idea of writing on something similar,so here we go 🙂
    Is fear of failure a good trait or a harmful one ?
    I guess, the answer depends on the context at hand. From Stoic point of view, failure is defined by the fear preceding it. If there is no fear,if you are in the state of epicurean ataraxia, you cant fail because, failure (or victory) doesn’t affect you anymore.

    In specific instance, fear is necessary to motivate learning and more importantly,for learning from your failures. But when fear of failure overrides your freedom to try, that is when it stifles individual and collective growth. This fear to fail is not an innate trait,except in a few cases,mostly it develops as a counter mechanism to the response by society/community in general.

    Corporates in general have a very low tolerance towards individual failures. If failure is rewarded with penalty and self-preservation and survival, primeval instincts,fear of failure may actually be the fear of punishment rather than failure. Punishment can be in various forms ranging from finding oneself unemployed to loss of social capital and even existential issues.

    So IMHO, in most cases the fear of failure is rooted in our socio-economic insecurities.

    Having been associated with Mindfire Solutions for nearly half a decade, I cannot but agree with your words on Mindfire Solutions.It is perhaps the knowledge cultivation and sharing culture and the fact that the leader of the organization not only espouses it but also leads by example,that Minfireans love to innovate and experiment even if they don’t succeed the first time.

  4. If I will put myself in to a big hole and watching that there is no way to come out for secure then only I can feel fear and will try how to prevent. But now I got the magic stick to prevent from all the puzzles. “Observe and learn…” great mantra… Thanx

  5. Really good and intuitive article and i completely agree with your view point,the fear of failure is a cause of concern for a lot of people, But if i look only in Indian context i think we know what is the root cause behind this. The fear of failure is deep rooted mainly in us Indians right from the childhood. I would rather say that its not a “fear of failure” but a fear of performance”. Right from Std 1(or even earlier) toddlers are pushed for excellence. I wouldn’t say its bad to push for excellence but one should also realize that if there is a failure or even a drop in performance, the kid shouldn’t be reprimanded but should be encouraged. The punishment that the kid receives for his performance which is not at par with his peers generates that fear and it is this fear over a period of time becomes the phobia.

    Our is a generation which is extremely competitive and in this competitive environment some one has to lose or if i may say come second. Its only upto us to take this as a challenge and not as a setback and try harder. IMHO only failures wont do any good, its the way one perceives ones failures and how one improves on it. Don’t get bogged down by failures, consider them as stones thrown at you by the circumstances and use those stones as steps to grow in life/profession.

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