We all have fears. Fear of the dark, fear of failure, fear of snakes, fear of dying, fear of spiders, fear of being alone, essentially there are all kinds of fears out there and we all have them at varying levels. You might be afraid of actual objects, situations, or your fears might be more abstract.
We know our worst fears and most of the time we know the likelihood of their becoming a reality but sometimes our brain takes over and we lose the ability to rationalize our fears. In some ways knowing our fears allows us to know the steps we take to overcome our fear or the path we choose to make sure our fears do not become reality.
I have fears of certain situations but in recent years I’ve forced myself to take on things I’m afraid of in the hopes that I’ll eventually conquer my fear.
I had a bad experience once so I hate driving on the freeway but I make myself drive on the freeway at every opportunity.
I hate going out alone but I take myself out for a meal or movie every so often if I don’t have anyone to go with and really want to go out (I’m slowly starting to enjoy this).
I hate confrontation but I make myself confront situations, this was especially true at work I was always volunteering to take on the difficult phone call or customer.
Some fears you can simply take them on but some of the larger abstract fears can be a bit more challenging to admit to and confront, so here is my biggest fear.
My biggest fear is giving up on everything, just allowing myself to give into the darkness I sometimes feel and quit. I have a fear I will quit moving, keep eating junk, end up weighing 600lbs, and find myself on a reality show or being cut out of my house, or both. It’s not just giving up on my health but settling in my professional life, since I’m unemployed I worry about being too paralyzed by fear to try for the things I really want to do in life.
I’m afraid I will just stop and won’t be able to or won’t want to get moving again.
This fear is part of the reason I can be so hard on myself because I worry if I allow myself to slack off in one aspect of my life it’s the first step in a slippery slope of quitting everything. I let myself settle for so long. Now that I have forward momentum I’m afraid I won’t keep it up so if I skip a workout, binge eat, or don’t apply for jobs one week I get a bit harsh with myself.
To balance my fear of quitting I refer to the reasons that remind me why this fear will not become reality.
My amazing support system: I know I call them out often but I can’t imagine going through all of this without all the amazing people in my life and that includes the many I’ve met on here who have given words of encouragement or simply liked my posts. I have friends and family members that would be here staging interventions and dragging me out of here in a heartbeat if I ever decided to just quit. My family and the handful of close friends who all support me, encourage me, and help me keep my sanity (even when I’m turning grapes into animated characters).
My competitive nature: I think my tendency for competition was dormant for a while but my situation has reawakened my competitive nature. I’m competing with other people for jobs. I’m competing with myself to improve my workouts. Life can be competitive and while I might not always come in first I’m going to give it my all.
Choices: I’m lucky to have options available to me so I know if one door closes, another one will open or I can just go find a window or another door or a cave, basically I have tons of options I just need to pick the one I want which right now is applying for jobs I really want and waiting.
The future: I’m looking forward to my future. I know this is a rough time but I’m confident good things are waiting on the other side plus I also know I’ve gone through tougher times than this and survived.
I think recognizing your fears whether they seem rational or irrational is necessary. For me recognizing my fears is one of the things that drives me to conquer them, except spiders……okay maybe I can conquer even that one. I really hate spiders but rationally I know I’m bigger than the spider and if there’s no one else around to slay the beast I will take care of it (after a few minutes of squealing).