Normally fear is an unpleasant experience and we avoid it as far as we can.
But we are in a reality, that we do not entirely control, so the reality could very easily take the form which triggers your fears, and you once again need to escape. Sometimes reality provides opportunities to escape, but sometimes it does not or makes escaping increasingly harder.
Life starts to become wretched when that happens.
So, then we could inquire into it:
Can we avoid it? – Maybe, maybe not, you are at the mercy of reality, an unseen unknown force.
Can we face fear? – Yes, we can. It would be very unpleasant. In my experience I have tried to face many of my fears head on (whichever ones I could manage). This approach is useful for the irrational fears. Like fear of flying insects, bees, bats and so on.
But what about the RATIONAL fears?
Like of REAL DESTRUCTIVE forces?
One possibility is to use various religious concepts – like whatever happens, even if very destructive, is ultimately for my good. This is some kind of trust in the ultimate good/perfection of everything. A belief in a higher power beyond your intelligence.
But again, its not possible to maintain/hold on to beliefs in the face of an ever changing unknown reality.
Today you believe ‘everything is for your ultimate good’.
What if tomorrow you believe that ‘everything is out to destroy you and that you need to protect yourself’. Again the fear will be back right?
I have spent years sifting my mind through 100,000s of beliefs, ways/eyes of seeing and none of them are true. I cannot hold on to any way.
So then the next step in addressing fear would be: to fully face it and be fully equanimous in the face of it. Watch it happen to you a several times, and fully see its impermanence once it passes away.
Even after this, I’ve noticed the experience of fear nevertheless still gets triggered. The milestone reached at this stage is – I have lost the fear of looking at fear. So fear of fear has been overcome.
But there is still the experience of fear when triggered.
But now, since you can look at fear, you can try to see where it is coming from.
It comes from identification – i.e. who you think/imagine is you.
What I think I am IS the entity that I am trying to protect.
FEAR is a protective response of this entity, that is trying to protect itself from the possibilities reality is throwing at it.
So addressing FEAR by itself does not address the cause of fear, which is identity/ego/attachment itself.
Now the identity is a verb – an ongoing investment (desires) for certain potentials in reality – and that creates the shadow side i.e. everything that threatens your desires (fears).
Investigate first who you are.
A better and faster way in fact, would be to investigate who you are NOT.
The dis-identification with ego would also dissolute all fears.