The Fear That Came To Guide Me

Jaguar Paw was out hunting with his father and a group of young men when they saw some people from a neighboring village passing through the jungle.

Jaguar Paw was gripped with fear and felt something wasn’t right.  He wanted to ask them questions; he wanted to know if something had happened to them, but his father silenced him and told him not to be infected by fear. “I did not raise you to see you with fear. Strike it from your heart do not bring it into our village.” He said to him. Jaguar Paw dismissed the fear and they went back to their village.

They laughed, ate, and went to bed with their families, but they woke up to the sound of marauders entering their village. They were the same marauders that had attacked the people they met in the jungle. They burnt their houses, raped their women, and took all the strong men as captives, and just before they slit his father’s throat, Jaguar Paw and his father looked at each other intently, they both knew they shouldn’t have dismissed that fear.

I know that feeling of regret so well too. Some years ago I opened up my life to some people, their friendliness should have made me feel comfortable around them but it didn’t. I feared their love-bombing wasn’t genuine, I feared they would hurt me, I feared so many things.

But like Jaguar Paw’s Father, someone told me to strike fear out of my heart and embrace my new friendship. So I did.

Today I know better. That friendship caused me so much pain, it has been many years since I walked away from that friendship and I am not even sure I have fully healed.

We have been told many times that fear should be dismissed as quickly as it comes, that it is only there to steal our peace. But after watching the movie Apocalypto again, I keep wondering maybe that isn’t true all the time.

What if Jaguar Paw had allowed that fear to make him ask more questions? Maybe he would have been able to prepare his men to fight the marauders or had enough time to evacuate the villagers before the marauders came.

What if I had allowed that fear to guide me to take a closer look at that friendship? Maybe I would have protected myself better and wouldn’t have been caught by the trap of a narcissist.

Sometimes, fear like many other emotions can be an internal compass that directs us to an issue that we need to resolve.  For instance, if you fear that your car will break down on the road, don’t just dismiss it. Stop, take a look at your car and be sure everything is as it should. If you cannot find any cause for alarm, then you can dismiss the fear. If you find a problem then fix it.

Also, if you fear your business will fail, don’t just dismiss it and say you will conquer the fear by going on. Stop, take a look at the things that you fear about your business, do your best to find solutions to them, and then dismiss the fear.

Sometimes, we also disregard our intuition and gut feeling because we think it is fear and we have been told that fear must be crushed.

Fear isn’t always the problem; it is how we respond to it that can lead to a problem. It can destroy you and it can keep you safe, you can be paralyzed by it or let it point you to areas you need to investigate more closely so you can take the right action

Fear is an ever-present part of life. It should not make us hideaway, it should spur us to take appropriate action.


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Featured photo by Dom Aguiar on Unsplash

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Shola Okubote

My name is Shola Okubote, I am the Founder of You can reach me on Twitter – @sholaokubote, and Instagram – sholaokubote

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