Fear has been a useful tool in our efforts as a people to grow and evolve. As children we have an inbuilt fear of strangers, something that has worked throughout the ages and still does. It stops us straying to far from our mothers side and into the hands of predators. Unhelpful if the predator is someone trusted but that's something else entirely.
As we grow, learn our surrounding, learn to protect ourself and make educated judgements that fear fades but doesn't disappear completely. Very few people honestly have an "Every stranger is a friend you haven't met yet!" attitude. A small measure of fear in our lives is healthy, it stops us from acting in a way that puts ourselves and our loved ones in danger, stops us taking unnecessary risks. Some of it is learned, things our parents instilled in us, some of it seems to be something passes through the genes, inexplicable. Passes maybe from generations and generation of learning, much like some animals know, when put in a new area and without interaction with natives, what foods or animals are threats to them even though they've never before encountered them.
When fear is left as a ruling factor in your life and is left to breed and control, no matter what lever you are capable of functioning at, all of you decisions are made through fear. This is a problem when fear effects the way you interact with people, the risks you wont take that most people don't even see as a risk. When fear leads it can lead you to miss out on some of lifes most precious moments.
Some people have claimed that it is fear that pushes them to achieve the things that they do. Fear of failing pushes them to win, fear if being forgotten pushes them to do the unforgettable. But not everyone is able to harness their fear and control it and use it to grow in a healthy way. Most people are controlled by their fear, they don't control it and that fear can bury them.
Fear for me makes it almost impossible to make eyecontact. It makes meeting new people a practically painful experience. It has stopped me from opening up, making the first move, taking leaps that now I know could have been great for me. Would have been if I hadn't let my fear blind me and stop me doing it.
My fear of heights mean I'll never go bungee jumping. It also means that I'm not very likely to stand at the edge of a very high mountain lest I fall off. It means you wont ever find me standing on the top of a building threatening to jump off, no matter how bad it all gets.
I'm trying not to let my fear guide me. I want to control it, learn it, grow from it, understand it.
I worry for the people that cant, or wont, get past their fear. Because their lives are darkened by it.