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Anatomy of Fear - Bank Exam Preparation
Why is this article relevant for IBPS / SBI Bank PO, RRB and Other Bank Exam Aspirants?
Almost all exams including IBPS PO, IBPS RRB, SBI PO evaluate students on their knowledge of Banking General Knowledge and Current Affairs. This section is not only high scoring but also has high cut-offs. To ensure that you do well in this section, you need to ensure that you are regularly in touch with the latest news in the banking world and the economy.
Consider this maxim: “Resistance is experienced as fear; the degree of fear equates the strength of Resistance. Therefore, the more fear we feel about a specific enterprise, the more certain we can be that that enterprise is important to us and to the growth of our soul.”
–Steven Pressfield, The War of Art
Living in fear paralyses the thought process. Fear shuts off the rational part of the brain that regulates the Emotional Intelligence of a person.
According to Justin Feinstein, the lead author of a study on the epicenter of fear in the human brain, the brain is organized in such a way that a specific brain region — the amygdala — is specialized for processing a specific emotion — fear.
Hence, Fear is the compass. Fear is the direction that one should traverse to unlock one’s potential. Don't let fear dissipate the energy by worrying about something bad that might not happen. Instead, focus on what one fears the most. Address the situation, not the result.
When one fears to go to school for the first time, fear shows that it is important to go to school. When one fears to take tests and to write exams, fear shows that it is quite essential to clear the tests or pass in the exams. When one fears to speak before a large public, fear shows that speaking is to show one’s worth or one’s point.
Acknowledge Fear - Instead of hiding fear, and the subsequent pretension of not having it, look at it. The first question to address fear is "Why?" While answering the question, be truthful and work on authentic data as reality and pretension share blurred boundaries.
Determine the kind of fear - There are two kinds of fears, a hypothetical fear and a real fear.
What will happen if a lion greets you on your way? That is a hypothetical one. The answer will not be absolute as the hypothetical questions aren’t as easy as they seem to be. Hypothetical fear improves imagination. By imagining that a lion will greet you on your path, the next question will be how or why? The line of thought will shift to man-animal conflict and that is certainly a good topic to deliberate on.
The real fear requires serious thought and action as it deals with insecurities and self-doubts. So, if one is insecure about one’s life, then there is a shortcoming. Identify it. The loci of constant dissatisfaction or languidness are the answers to the questions posed. This process will open a new path that was there, but invisible.
A simple example to address a real fear: If one is consistently failing to clear the cut-offs in the Data Interpretation section, there sets a real fear. The impulsive response is to keep worrying about this section to the point of loathing it. This will exacerbate the situation as loathing results in a perfunctory action. Please contemplate if a perfunctory action can ever lead to a solution. Instead, identify the shortcoming that is the cause of the real fear. This is called as Problem Solving.
Acknowledge Fear as a positive trait - Don’t pretend to have no fear, as valuable lessons will not be learnt. A person becomes stronger and more assertive when fear is made as a companion. Fear shows the life's challenges and help in overcoming them and making us more fulfilled.
Relation between Fear and Failure
Nobody wants to fail. Failure is considered as an ignominy. To avoid failure, one comes up with reasons for why one shouldn’t do things that one wants to do. And, that is the genesis of Fear. The principle reason for this fear is the fact that the brain is hardwired for success.
But, it is important to take easy and be kind to oneself. One might feel foolish by being a failure, but there has been an effort. There is always time and there is always an opportunity to be amazing, but there is a need to initiate.
To quote from Batman Begins, “Why do we fall? So we can learn to pick ourselves up.”
All the opportunities lost due to resistance to fear will be taken up by someone else as there is always someone who is better. It is time to embrace fear and take the first step towards salvation from fear.
Having deliberated on the need to embrace fear in a rational way, there is also a danger in disregarding fear completely. Don't irrationally assume that as there are opportunities and time, there will be umpteen chances to fail.