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18 Jan, 2012

Fear as a Friend: How it can lead to wisdom and liberation by Rasheed Ogunlaru

Posted by: The Coaching Academy In: Coach Plus Articles|Coach Spotlight|Coaching Articles|Life Coaching Articles|Personal Performance Coaching

Fear as a Friend: How it can lead to wisdom and liberation by Rasheed Ogunlaru

Without doubt, fear is perhaps the most misunderstood and paralysing ‘feeling’ that you may wrestle with in life.

Sometimes simply because of its name, we feel that we should be afraid of it. But this is not the case.

By understanding and being mindful of fear we can actually appreciate it, value it, learn from it and find deeper wisdom and liberation through it.

Fear is your friend:

Fear is not your enemy. It is a natural happening that is there to alert you, serve you, protect you, warn you and encourage you to find you.

Fear – like most things – only becomes problematic when we don’t understand it, deny it or fear it.

Fear as an alert:

Fear is there to alert you to a situation. A car or wild animal rushes toward us. You feel fear. The adrenalin in you makes you take drastic action to get out of the way. If you are hurt the fear-released chemicals in your body helps numb the pain.

Fear lets you know you need to act fast. In this way fear will save your life. Fear will stop you doing something that is life-threatening.

Fear as Fuel:

The nature of our world is change. Fear can help you stay awake and up to date. You are afraid that you’re not going to have enough money left at the end of the month so you start cut out all unnecessary spend. You learn that the company may be shut down, so you’re alert and this fuels you to update your CV and start looking for new positions.

Fear in this case is again about helping us to survive progress and move forward.

Fear and self-realisation:

I have a saying: “Sooner or later you will hear what your heart has always been telling you; stop being who you think you should be – become who you are”.

You see sometimes the fear you feel is because you are not listening to your ‘self’. Instead you‘re constantly trying to please everyone else. You feel these nagging doubts and fears but ignore them. You think it is a scary thing but actually this type of fear is inviting you to stop being overly caught up in your mind and to discover who you are at your heart.

Once you hear this calling it will lead you to a deep sense of understanding, joy and wisdom. Fear will always be there but you will know it is far more a friend than a foe.

by Rasheed Ogunlaru

4 Responses to "Fear as a Friend: How it can lead to wisdom and liberation by Rasheed Ogunlaru"

1 | John Hardwick

January 18th, 2012 at 6:23 pm


Hi Rasheed.
I have to disagree with your approach. You seem to be saying that fear is good because it causes you to act. The problem with this is that it generates reactivity, not proactivity.
As coaches, we need to encourage our clients to be on the proactive side of the fence, then face their fear of failure as they move forward and take relevant action towards achievement.
I think fear has 2 possible consequences; survival by taking immediate evasive action, or paralysis because the risks are too great.
I would rather be clear first about my intention and my action plans then tackle the fears as they come up, instead of waiting for something fearful to stimulate me.

2 | Annette Ecuyere

January 21st, 2012 at 12:03 pm


I found both the article and the response interesting and I am sure many others will agree that both sides have their merit.

We need to recognise our fears for what they are, but sometimes that is difficult because they have us in their grasp. It is possible we do not even know it is fear that is causing the demotivation and even stagnation.

Having someone to discuss these issues with in a safe evironment – which does not trigger even more fears, such as putting our job in jeopardy, can be very liberating in itself.

Having been in situations where fear, both of physical harm and the appearance of having no control in my life, I can assure you the manisfestations of fear do not always present themselves as such. I was, as many are, capable of putting all the pressure on myself: not being good enough, being stupid, unable to communicate etc. etc.

Having had the experience of finding a good friend and also some time with a coach has pushed me a long way forward and I understand a lot more now. These experiences and many years of study have led me to work with people in all areas of life who face these issues all the time – with often, no conscious idea of the source of their fears, with some real success. It is also what has led me to training to be a coach.

So yes, I can see both sides of this discussion and would say the points given by both are circular, but relevant.

3 | ginny

January 22nd, 2012 at 11:21 am


now i wonder ….what map of the world we need to be looking at as rashhed uses losts of examples maybe cross cultarally his experiences are diferent from other individuals…
i rather liked this poetic way of conveying fear…
congratulations ….

4 | Isaac Attram

January 23rd, 2012 at 8:01 pm


Well, there is a lot of truths in what you are sharing, (RASHEED) but everyone know that ‘fear’ is a negative emotion. Fear paralyses. It dis-ables you from doing or performing at your peak.
Actors will talk about ‘buttterflies in the stomach’ not ‘butter that stimulates’ them into action. Fear wants to take away your ability to act or say or do. So its important that you conquer fear with preparation. Its is only when you are prepared to face a situation that you are able to conquer the accompanying fear should that become the case.

Stress or Fear arises when there is a dissonance between what is expected and the reality. If there is a gap between what I expected to experience and what I am actually experincing it causes stress and fear.

Have you ever observed a person panic at a public meeting because they stall and dont know what to say and everybody is waiting … is the result of fear……

Therefore it is always preparation, a state mind of that says what ever comes I am prepared to face it that takes away fear and that antidote is called COURAGE.

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