If you're not at least slightly apprehensive your first time trying something, you didn't didn't think it through.
I wouldn't quite agree with that, but I don't completely disagree either. I went out and tried paintballing for the first time and didn't think twice about it. Same with BMXing and surfing. I know what my body is capable of, riding a bike, or a snowboard, so why would I be apprehensive about trying to do something similar along both lines? It didn't mean I was good at either, but I wasn't nervous or scared. I just went out and gave it my best shot.
Onward to the conversation at hand. Fear, I believe is something to be respected. Example: By trade I am a tree-trimmer (pre-apprentice Arborist if you really feel like getting technical), and I am terrified; correction, ABSOLUTELY TERRIFIED of heights. Like, deathly afraid don't-you-dare-make-me-go-up-there-or-I'll-crap-my-pants terrified, I and I used to work in heights, up to and in excess of 150-200 feet in the air.
"How is that even remotely possible?" You may ask. Well, when you begin to work in tree's, we have a saying: "Low and Slow" which is what a lot of Traceurs would probably tell you, too. It more or less means "Know what the hell you're doing, when you're doing it, and if it's something new, practice it until you can do it upside down, backwards, behind your back, blindfolded." We NEVER practiced ANYTHING new above 15 feet off the ground. Ever. The highest I ever went before I started actually climbing up into a tree was 40 feet, straight up, and straight back down, until I got comfortable with my gear, and began to trust it. I KNEW my gear wasn't going to fail. It's inanimate. It does nothing more, or less, other than what I tell it to.
After I came to grips with the fact that this rope and harness that I'm wearing is rated for (no shit) 10,000 lbs. of force acted on it all at once? I was pretty okay with clambering on up. But still, to this day, if I get more than say, 30 feet off the ground and standing on a ledge, you'll probably see me holding onto someone/thing for dear life, crying like a little girl. Because I'm still afraid.
Knowing your fears and being able to face them is something that requires respect, both for the person, and the fear. I will probably never completely conquer my fear of heights, without my gear. But, I also know that, and respect it. And when I do have my gear? It gives me a new perspective on my fear, and helps me overcome it, even for that short amount of time.