Friday, November 30, 2012

Hi five to policeman!

My niece who is 4 year old is intimidated by policemen and I guess the feeling is universal for most of the kids are scared of policemen. Do you ever stop and consider why? Because policemen represent sheer power and exude an undisputed authority over commoners. Hence the free innocent minds fear them. My sister wrote to me how my niece overcame her fear. My bhaava (brother-in-law) found a very friendly policeman to give his daughter an energetic hi-five. And you guessed it right. By this vis-à-vis with fear, my niece doesn't get uncomfortable facing the cops anymore.

On reading this anecdote, I got to thinking. All of us have our own fear of policemen per se and how often do we reach out to give a hi five to those fears? Those fears always in the background of our thoughts cripple us from growing. We feel trapped in our own amplified fears and get overwhelmed by boundary less glorification of fears. When we face the perceived danger our body gives in to

  • Precipitation
  • High adrenaline rush and the tendency to flee the scene
  • Hallucinations
  • Increased heart rate
The physical ramifications of fear are so acute that we actually believe our fears can cause us harm. But how do we tackle the emotional fear? The task is as simple as giving hi five to the scary policeman but the one which requires a dash of patience and a lot of strength to endure. Three simple ways to overcome our policeman fears are:
  • Flooding 
    In case of people suffering from grave phobias the best treatment is believed to be the flooding or exposure technique. In this form of treatment, a patient is exposed to her object of phobia for an extended period of time under aid and supervision. The same can be implemented for our petty fears. That is to face them as often as possible. 
  • Never take it personal
    The fear of an adult is more complicated than a child's as it involves the complex psychological and social factors. Adults tend to glorify their fears and take the social reaction to them a tad too personal. As the 
    cliché goes, the world doesn't give a shit to what you do; you do because you enjoy doing it. Do not think how you face a fear and what others think about you.
  • Don't miss a chance to give hi five
    The fear lingers in our hearts because most of the times we do not get the opportunity to face it. Whenever the luck favors us, we should brave the fear and face it head on to give a hi five. Failing is only the second worst thing that can happen to you and needless to say, the first worst thing is never trying. 
Is it guaranteed that we will overcome fear once we sincerely start following the above three mantras? Definitely no. I have been into oratory activities such as debates and extempore talks all through my life and feel comfortable on stage. But I am plagued and trolled by singing on stage in spite of being a trained singer for 10 years!! I do try the flooding technique often and face public humiliation which I also happen to take very personally. I often chicken out at the last moment of singing and miss an opportunity to give hi five. But, every time I successfully or unsuccessfully finish the process of giving hi five, I come out better. This time if I blank out on lyrics, the next time I won't. Once I sang a complete note without going off the shruti and yet another time I sang for an audience of 80-100 people. It is the spirit of trying that boosts my confidence and makes me tough. Hence I recommend this mantra of 3 practices to overcome fears. 

I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear. 

-Nelson Mandela


  1. When will you meet me, I want to give u a hi 5 for this blog of urs... ;-)

    1. :) Aaww.. So happi bro that you find my blog so engaging

  2. Yes , flooding works maximum of the times.. Happened with me too ..

    1. I know right... u remember the exam anxiety i used to be tormented by?? I overcame it through this 3 technique mantra only :)

  3. You post makes an interesting reading. To add to it -

    Fear or perhaps any emotion is because of us living in the past or the future. Just examine why we would fear. It is either because of the memory of a failure of the past or of the humiliation of the failure we are likely to face in future.

    Being in the present is perhaps the overarching mantra to ward off fear!

    1. I couldn't agree with you more.

      AS much as we would like to be in present, no man is free from the clutches of past and daunting future. We just have to figure out a way around them.

    2. Perhaps being in the present is THE only way. And all other ways around it are also means towards the same end..