3 Extra Fears that Hold Us Back (365 Days of Spirited Living – DAY 260)
“Each of us must confront our own fears, must come face to face with them. How we handle our fears will determine where we go with the rest of our lives. To experience adventure or to be limited by the fear of it.”
— Judy Blume
Overcoming any type of fear can be challenging. Fear is not visible but it exists in our minds and is made evident through our actions. We give fear human characteristics and even a personality without giving any thought to the effect it can have on us. We don’t have to give fear life. Sometimes there is something wrong and all we can do is deal with it. Most times, there is nothing really wrong, and we act out of anger, disappointment, or stress anyway. You have the power to create a life where fear does not play a role. When you conquer your fears, you liberate your life.
Here are 3 fears that often hold us back and why we shouldn’t let them:
1. The Fear of Losing Freedom
This is not a very big fear in the sense that we could lose our privileges or our rights to live, speak, think, worship, or express ourselves. Nonetheless, it is a fear that some people allow to hold them back from experiences they could have and opportunities they could engage in. For example, many people enjoy the luxury of being a single person. They can go where they want when they want to. They can spend extra time with friends. And they can take advantage of new situations without having to consider someone else. In this way, they love their freedom and don’t want to give it up.
The result of this fear of losing freedom is that one can avoid promising relationships because they think they won’t be able to deal with the loss of the freedom they have enjoyed. In reality, it isn’t really a loss of freedom. If it is a good, beneficial relationship, it is an upgrade to one’s freedom. So the fear is no fear at all. Some minor loss of freedom may occur only because a new relationship requires new obligations. But you can overcome that fear by learning to balance independence with interdependence. Your freedom still exists.
2. The Fear of People’s Opinions
People will have their opinions. After all, they are entitled to think what they want about who they want and base their opinions off of any assumption they hear from others or make themselves. People who worry excessively about how they will be judged or the negative thoughts or words from others often hold themselves back from engaging in social opportunities or taking chances that could improve their career or advance their life.
Much of other people’s perception of us hinges upon our own perception of ourselves. If we think we’re not qualified enough then that is how we will think other people are going to view us. If you believe you’re not good enough, or smart enough, or experienced enough then you will go into the job interview expecting not to get the job because of a preconceived false idea that you believe someone else may or may not have of you. If you believe in your abilities and have a healthy view of yourself, then you will cultivate the strength to tolerate being judged, criticized, and misunderstood.
3. The Fear of Being Hurt
Life will help us to cultivate a healthy immunity to pain, hurt, and suffering. Unless you’re one of those who is a sucker for pain, nobody enjoys being hurt. But yet, it is a real part of our everyday life. If we didn’t fear pain, we wouldn’t keep our hands away from fire, we wouldn’t look both ways before we cross the street, and we wouldn’t need discernment, intuition, or wisdom. Yet we need all of these things because we often do get hurt.
The fear of being hurt becomes a huge problem when we allow it to keep us back from situations and people. Most of your life will be made up of situations and people and you must learn to handle both. During the course of being engaged with different situations and people, there will be times when you will be hurt — mentally and emotionally. It is the internal hurt on our hearts and minds that can bring the most pain. But it is up to you not to allow that hurt to have an impact on your life. You don’t have to avoid co-workers, keep family at a distance, miss out on friendships, or skip out on dates because you feel every relationship will be a failed attempt at avoiding pain.
“Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. The fearful are caught as often as the bold.”
— Helen Keller