Fear is critical to our survival. It keeps us protected from legitimate threats and danger. If we only had life threatening fears, we’d be a very different society. Instead we have additional irrational fears based on traumas, bad experiences, or those all too often handed down fears from our ill-advised relatives.
Looking at your fears, take a quick inventory in your head of what you are afraid of. Heights is usually at the top of the list and a legitimate fear although some go to extremes but there is a danger element in falling. What else makes your list? Wild animals? Spiders? Rejection? Pain? Flying? Swimming? Public Speaking? Relationships? People? The color blue?
Fears are thoughts that we create based on experiences either that we have had or others have had and have imprinted onto our minds. These fears are created, perpetuated and held in our minds. Sometimes even becoming too intense and then we develop anxieties and find our fears crippling our progress.
By giving in and accepting our fears, we cannot move forward. We cannot grow. We are stopped in our tracks. For example, fear of failure is common in varying degrees. It keeps people from progressing in their careers, relationships, commitments. People who exhibit this fear tend to stay in dead end jobs, stay in bad marriages, take the hand that’s dealt to them. Accepting life as is and not daring to risk failing so why bother, why try? How about fear of rejection? I’m not good enough anyway… I can’t do that job, I don’t have the credentials or experience and they won’t like me anyway…
So frustrating, right? We all know someone like this. Maybe it’s us? Maybe we need a little push, a little self confidence, a realization that the fear we carry with us is made up, make believe, we can change our thinking and let go of whatever trauma we hold on to that makes the fear so real – so tangible – so part of our lives that we accepted long ago that it just is.
Sometimes we need help from others to work through our fears. Sometimes we need a trusting mentor to show us the way, to gently guide us on our journey and break free of these fear chains we have grown to “love” so much.