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Fear: Is it justified? The good bad and ugly sides of fear

Fears, anxiety, and phobias can be both justified and unjustified, depending on the situation and the individual’s perception of it. In some cases, fears can be helpful as they can protect us from harm by alerting us to potentially dangerous situations. However, excessive fear or anxiety can interfere with daily life and cause distress, leading to negative consequences.

Here are some potential pros and cons of fear, anxiety, and phobias:


– Fear can alert us to potential danger and help us avoid harm.

– Anxiety can motivate us to take action to solve problems or avoid potential negative outcomes.

– Phobias can help individuals avoid situations that they perceive as dangerous or uncomfortable.


– Excessive fear or anxiety can interfere with daily life and lead to avoidance behaviours that limit opportunities and experiences.

– Phobias can be irrational and prevent individuals from engaging in activities that are safe and enjoyable.

– Chronic anxiety can lead to physical symptoms such as headaches, muscle tension, and digestive problems.

Overall, it’s important to distinguish between healthy and unhealthy levels of fear, anxiety, and phobias. If you or someone you know is experiencing excessive fear or anxiety that is interfering with daily life, it may be helpful to seek support from a mental health professional.

Fear and Anxiety: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Fear and anxiety are two emotions that most of us try to avoid. They can be uncomfortable, debilitating, and downright scary. But what if I told you that fear, and anxiety can also be beneficial? That’s right, there are some upsides to these emotions that most people would consider negative. Of course, there are also downsides, so let’s explore both sides of the coin.

The Benefits of Fear and Anxiety

Believe it or not, fear and anxiety can actually be helpful in some situations. Here are a few examples:

Fear can keep us safe:

Imagine you’re hiking, and you come across a snake. Your fear response kicks in, and you k

now instinctively that you need to back away slowly. Your fear has just kept you safe from harm, or you are surfing, and you get bitten by a shark and automatically without thinking you fight it, you do anything and everything, punching and poking it until hopefully it retreats. Surfer Mick Fanning had this  happen to him and survived to tell the tale.

Mick Fanning has spoken about the fear he experienced during the shark attack. In interviews following the attack, he described feeling a sense of “pure terror” when he saw the shark’s fin approaching him. He also talked about feeling helpless and vulnerable in the water, and said that he was just trying to stay alive in the moment.

Fanning has been very open about the emotional toll that the attack took on him, and has spoken about seeking counselling to help him deal with the trauma. Despite the fear he experienced, Fanning has also expressed his love for surfing and his desire to continue competing, while also acknowledging the need to take precautions to minimise the risk of future shark encounters.

Anxiety can motivate us:

Let’s say you have a big exam coming up. Your anxiety about the test can motivate you to study harder and be better prepared. Without that anxiety, you might not put in as much effort.

Fear can be fun:

Ever been on a rollercoaster or watched a scary movie? That adrenaline rush you feel is fear, and some people enjoy it. So fear can actually be a source of entertainment!

The Downsides of Fear and Anxiety

Of course, fear and anxiety can also have negative consequences. Here are a few examples:

Anxiety can be debilitating:

If you suffer from anxiety disorders like social anxiety or panic attacks, you know how debilitating they can be. They can prevent you from doing things you enjoy or even leaving the house.

Fear can hold us back:

Let’s say you’re afraid of public speaking. That fear can prevent you from pursuing a job or opportunity that requires public speaking skills. It can limit your potential.

Fear can be irrational:

Phobias, like a fear of spiders or heights, can be irrational and prevent us from enjoying certain experiences. We may avoid going on a hike or visiting a friend’s house because of an irrational fear.

So, there you have it. The good, the bad, and the ugly of fear and anxiety. While these emotions can be uncomfortable, it’s important to recognise that they can also have some benefits. And if you’re struggling with excessive fear or anxiety, don’t be afraid to seek support from a mental health professional.

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About Genie Pepper

I support people to achieve their goals through hypnotherapy and counselling, incorporating science-backed positive psychology tools and behavioral therapy. I assist my clients to find the keys they need for wellbeing and to develop a positive flourishing life.