Use your fear to reinvent yourself

All of us have our fears. Our fears make us by motivating, scaring and helping us look over our shoulders. My biggest fear is losing my memory - so many unwritten thoughts and I am a hairy man (can’t even write all pending ones on the body like Ghajini).

Fear is as omnipresent as the god.

My early experience with fear started with ber the fruit and ended with dark. I used to love ber; easily available without permissions and sweet. Magnanimousness of my sweet tooth can be gauged from the fact that I used to have my pant pockets full of sugar and puffed rice; all the time except when I was not wearing the pants. Along with ber, once I swallowed the seed and everyone told me, there will be a plant in my stomach and branches would come out of my ears, mouth and maybe the nose. Initially, I was a disbeliever because I never saw anyone with branches oozing out of their body parts. Then chuhiya (pet name of Upendra, God will punish you, *with death by bull bula*, wherever you are) showed me the long strands of hair staring out of his father’s ears and I was really scared. Long story short - fear was useless. Thinking about it, It would have been cool to grow a plant inside the stomach (especially because I am a vegetarian and like salads. Eureka!!!)but alas - it was not meant to be.

Explaining ‘death by bull bula’
Upendra was my friend who was mischievous, funny and had a mind beyond his age. I lost touch with him in high school; he had command over human anatomy knowledge. He told a very funny story of a group of hunters who got caught by cannibals in a forest and ‘death by bull bula’ comes from there.

Now ‘ended with dark’
I was born and brought up partly in an industrial town called Japla. The town used to have its own round the clock electricity supply. After its illustrious years, the cement factory was wound up and we went back to government electricity supply which was sporadic at best. Suddenly, we started seeing dark patches, alleys in absence of light and dhibris (kerosene filled bottle with a spiraled cloth inserted from the top and lit on fire, a light-producing Indian apparatus in the 1990s) produced very different types of light and shadows. We got introduced to a different version of the dark and got introduced to ghosts and supernatural theories. Before this event, wherever my grandmother told me stories of a ghost, it never had any desired impact as we were not scared even a bit. Suddenly grandmothers were happy, they could chat for hours in obscurity.

I learned a new thing, darkness is the mother of fear. Write your fears down in comments and I will reply with my take on it.

In the last 3–4 decades, I have had my share of fears, I stand here undefeated and ready to face new ones. Some of the current fears are related to accumulated things over the years — be it the feelings, family or funds.

I have a personal coach, who is a fine human being who I can bare my soul with. I started talking to Rahul Vitekar when I was bouncing back from a setback. Before meeting Rahul, I had lost all hopes on name Rahul(because of G). As part of weekly introspection, I had listed all my fears and was talking to him about it. He helped me to relate happiness and fear.

My finding was that happiness and fear are brothers with a curse to stay together and bicker continuously.

Dharni(wife) gave me another mantra “dar ke aage jeet hai” aka “Win over your fears and Victory is certain”

Courage is not the absence of fear. Courage is to know there is a ghost in your house, despite that getting up from bed in dark and switching the lights so you can reassure yourself of its non-existence, going to the loo, observing the wind and listening to the smallest sound and drinking sip of water. And then switching off the light and without looking in the dark — lying on the bed with eyes closed. In other words, courage is to experience every other feeling despite the fear and getting the shit (required) done. Now, let's look at how do we use our fear to reinvent yourself:

A friend of mine had fear of losing his job and from his experience, he knows it is difficult to find another one pretty soon. But his fear was destroying him. He told me about it and that was the beginning. As a side note, whatever in me motivates people to bare their soul — I am thankful. The problem we figured together was that he had stopped enjoying day-to-day life including work. He is at a senior position in a bank and has found success at a young age. To act his position and seriousness desired for his position, he had forgotten to smile, live and cry.

Thinking aloud, we figured - we all have emotional and rational sides. The emotional side is taken lightly and is always suppressed to maintain a “mard ko dard nahi hota” aka “men have no pain”. It's a facade and can not serve the purpose forever.

सच्चाई छुप नहीं सकती, बनावट के उसूलों से
कि खुशबू आ नहीं सकती, कभी कागज़ के फूलों से ! — Anand Bakshi

What did my friend do to outsmart the fears?
what to do if your fear is eating you?
1. List down your fears.
2. Look back at your life - are you happy? Are you giving vent to your emotional side - laughing, crying, anger, etc, etc.
3. Find your method to balance the chi; emotional vs rational. Give it a vent, live in today.
4. Be present, leave multitasking — when you are brushing your teeth, be present and just do that. Move away from your phone a little - not now, after reading this.

The chaos of today will bring more stability in the long term. The fear of today and how you deal with it will redefine your future. — Reid Hoffman and Amit




CTO at building konfirmity

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Amit Prakash Gupta

Amit Prakash Gupta

CTO at building konfirmity

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