Legitimate Fears & Phobophobia

Fear. There’s a topic for you. I know a bit about it myself. Most of us will at some point. Life is a dangerous undertaking, if you’ll excuse the pun in advance. You can tell by the fact that none of us get out alive. Ha.

People say there’s nothing to fear but fear itself, but I’ve always thought the fear of fear was a perfectly legitimate fear. Apparently other people think so too, because it has its own phobia – phobophobia.

There are all kinds of ‘legitimate’ fears – the fear of violence, the fear of bunjee jumping….the fear of clowns…..but sometimes a person can be anxious about some incredibly irregular shit too. Like catching buses, phoning strangers, and Dutch people. Ok I made that last one up. But I’ve had my fair share of being scared, both legitimately and illogically. It never stopped me. I rode long-haul buses, and my first job was cold-calling complete strangers for market research. It was the worst job ever. I must have lasted a month. Though I stopped short of bunjee jumping, I have done abseiling, and caving, and abseiling while in a cave. I once volunteered to help fundraise for a national well-child charity, which involved calling and asking for donations from organisations. I don’t think I did the charity any favours; I was epically crap at it. But I did it to push through the jolly jitters… It didn’t work. So much for exposure therapy.

I’m not scared any more. I think eventually my adrenal system just went, meh, whatever. Or maybe it’s because I got pissed off with being scared. Doesn’t matter, the net effect is, I’m no longer easily scared, and that’s a powerful position to be in – more so I think than if I’d never been afraid, because I know what fear is and can stare the bastard down.





8 thoughts on “Legitimate Fears & Phobophobia

  1. I like that the fears you faced down are the everyday sort. . I think it as a legitimate fear to do cold calling. My every day sort of rear, to be distinguished from existential fear, is going down on escalators after I had a minor mishap on one when I was five years old. I did alright with escalators during my middle years. Now it has returned. I’ve learned where the elevators are logically located in most places. When I can’t avoid an escalator, I watch for a yellow stripe and make myself step on it. I don’t expect to overcome my fear, but I can deal with it, most days.


  2. You express yourself so well and rather cleverly! Oops sorry, adverb and superfluous words 🙂
    When I was a kid I wasn’t scared of anything, probably to the point of being ridiculous. Even when I seemed to get hurt a lot. I’ve now learned to be a bit more careful fortunately. Thanks for your great post. I loved it!


  3. Funny, we were talking about this just last night. The worst kind of fear, they say, is fear of an emotion, because that could happen at any time. Fear of feeling rejected, or abandoned, fear of missing out…
    And then you end up contorting your life to avoid the possibility of feeling the feeling, instead of letting yourself feel it and going ‘yech that was unpleasant but hey, I survived’.
    But that’s only irrational fears. Rational fears are a whole different kettle of poisonous spiders….


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