Beyond Fear

Ayushi Saxena

There are moments when we don’t exactly know what we are supposed to do. I feel this is because we are not prepared to proceed with the only way ahead of us, when life makes us face the most haunting and dreadful reality of our life; our fears!

I always wonder, how this feeling finds a way inside me? Is it truly me? Who allowed this feeling to be so powerful and impactful that it governs all the decisions of my life? We fear getting low grades, some have stage fright, professionals fear losing their job, some of us are afraid of showing our true self but why? 

The more I think about it, the more I feel suffocated by its grip that holds me tight, not letting me escape into this world, not letting me truly enjoy this life. How come something that is not mine can stop me from exploring this beautiful life? Is this really fear or is it just our mental conditioning holding us back?

Strategies for Life & Career (SLC), a 10 day course in the Himalayas, gave me the opportunity to experience my hidden emotions, but the most prominent one was FEAR. I felt it multiple times during the initial days of the course, when I was asked to share my reflections, or to share my painting with the entire group, or my opinions on the case study, even to attend the morning Yoga session. This feeling was amplified like a thousand times, when someone from the group informed me that I have to jump into a river. I was scared, I didn’t know exactly what I was afraid of but I was standing there still, gazing at the river when I heard a voice.

“Sometimes you need to surrender and have faith in the process. Mother Nature will save you. Do you want to be this scared in your corporate life too? I wonder how your employees will treat a threatened HR Manager.”

That was a turning point in 25 years of my life on this planet. I did not even turn back to see who said it, I took a deep breath, held my body loose and just jumped into the river with an ardour faith in Mother Nature. Faith can make you do wonderful things and even the worst things possible, but faith is a beautiful feeling to behold and I kept mine delicately.  As I dived in, all the fears that shackled me, held me captive, were splashed out of my body by the cold river water. It sanctified my soul. I never felt so close to the Nature. When I reached the shore, I ran towards the cliff again but this time fearless. 

After this incident I realized, I was scared of the unknown variable of the equation. The problem was not in my capabilities, this fear was of not being able to please others. I am all good and ready to explore everything when I’m all alone in my head or I must say when I am not thinking about others. But, when I add ‘others’ in the equation, everything changes. This fear arises because we are constantly looking at others; be it for comparison or for our self-image. We fear that our image in other’s eyes might get depleted, because we have deduced our self worth by seeking their validation. We are afraid of their opinions about us- what will my coworkers or my boss think about me? Should I do something that might not please my boss? But is it okay to do that at your own cost?

All we need to do is to understand this difference between “what is my authentic self and what is not” in order to live a fearless life. That was the day when I decided, I will do whatever I wish to, without thinking of anything else. I don’t know whether there is victory beyond fear or not, but I can guarantee you one thing There is Life Beyond Fear, for sure. One must pluck the day, and make the best pie of it. One must experience a fearless life being in the state of complete mindfulness, where all our senses cease and are only focused on the very moment we are in i.e., NOW. SLC was a dive into nothingness and I came up completely transformed. 

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