When I first learned to ride a bike without the training wheels, my dad would guide me by holding onto the back seat as I peddled away. It was a 1987 summer day in California and I was riding along our cul-de-sac. The comfort of my dad’s voice behind me made me feel safe. His voice quickly began to fade. He let go. I was in fear. I crashed!
Two years before my crash, in a 1985 record, Sade vividly painted a picture of panic, doubt and worry. Her song begins melancholy, but quickly transitions into what sounds like an unreachable climax. The song is appropriately titled “Fear.”
Fear is an emotion of anxiety generated by the potential of something happening. When our senses, controlled by the mind, perceive impending danger, the brain sends data to the thalamus, then forwards that information to the amygdala and tells the hypothalamus to either run or risk it.
In the natural world, fear is like colored contacts, fake! It is a make-believe preventative measure in the mind that paralyzes us from progress. The definition is in the acronym of the word: False Expressions Appearing Real. Nothing has happened and yet we’re in fear of it. Fear controls us. We see a spider and fear kicks in because of what it can do. The spider hasn’t done anything to us, but we react as if it has. The same goes for love. Some of us fear love because of what someone has done to us in the past. Love didn’t cause your fear, the perpetrator did.
Ladies, this is for you: Forget fear. Sometimes you fear the past becoming the future and strive for the next without appreciating the now. Give your current love situation a chance. Don’t let fear stop you from that innocent date, giving that nice guy your number or even forgiving him from wrongdoing. If he’s Bereolaesque and you like him and he likes you, risk the fear and give love a try.
Gentlemen, this is for you: Forget fear. Biologically, women are attracted to the opposite of it–they are drawn to men who can protect them. But this doesn’t mean throw a rag on and gangbang to show your bravery. In fact, engage in a lifestyle that won’t allow you to live your life in fear. If you’re standing in the “trap” you constantly have to watch your back and if you’re involved in thug life, you probably don’t love life. Life is to be lived in love, not lived in fear.
This is for all of us: Forget fear. When the muscles tense, veins constrict, pupils dilate, and heart rate increases, use that energy to overcome the anxiety generated by perceived danger. If you knew how deeply God loves you, fear would cease to exist. Take calculated risks in business, life and love. I have a collective of friends with post graduate degrees who quit their corporate jobs to pursue their passions and they are all doing amazing things. Overcoming fear almost always leads to success. Anyone that knows what success smells like, knows what fear tastes like. But they don’t allow the bitter taste to deter them from chewing up the challenge and spitting it out. Where would we be if Harriet Tubman, Martin Luther King and Barack Obama were afraid?
Forget fear! Success is predetermined, failure is inevitable, sexy is optional but persistence is key–you just have to believe. Let your soul plunge.
– Enitan Bereola, II
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Bereola is the go-to style and etiquette impresario, public speaker and entrepreneur. He is also the author of the critically acclaimed BEREOLAESQUE: The Contemporary Gentleman & Etiquette book for the Urban Sophisticate. He is working on his follow-up, Guide to Ladies’ Etiquette from a Gentleman’s Perspective. Find him at www.twitter.com/Bereolaesque and at www.facebook.com/Bereolaesque