I completely agree that if you are terrified and in survival mode, that isn’t necessarily going to provide for any kind of real growth. The man who trained me as a coach used to say, “If you aren’t up to something in your life that makes you just a bit nervous, you need to play a bigger game.” That doesn’t mean to subject yourself to real fear, it simply means to not get complacent. It means that if you know all about how something is going to go, perhaps it’s time to stretch a bit and try something new that you don’t already know the outcome of.
Real outright fear is a signal from ourselves that we should pay attention to for our own safety. Sorry to hear that you went through that!