As human beings we tend to worry about things. As time goes by and we get older, we worry about so much more. As kids our fears are usually simple, the fear of the dark or the fear of the boogey man. There are rational and irrational fears. But for someone with an irrational fear, that fear is real for them. Fear has allowed us to avoid danger and survive but fear can also paralyze us. FOMO or fear of missing out was trending a while back and for me, I have had to remind myself that what is truly for me will not pass me by. With everything happening in the world these past few years, you see more people suffering from anxiety.
I love flying so when I meet someone with a flying phobia, I have to take a step back and understand what they are going through. It’s not that I have not thought about what could go wrong, but in this scenario, I feel like the benefits outweigh the negative. I use the time to read or watch a movie or catch up on some work. For others, it is a horrifying time. On the other hand, I have arachnophobia (fear of spiders). Logically I know the possibility of a spider jumping on me and biting me is low but my heart starts beating out of my chest when I see one. Had I been on that season of America’s Next Top Model, I would have quit the moment they brought those spiders out.
Our phobias are easy to discuss. But the fears that really hold us back are whispered in therapy sessions. I have been hearing people mention the fear of failure more often. Failure is so subjective and determined by our own expectations. Has someone failed because they did something different to how it has always been done? Has someone failed because they did not complete a 4 year degree in 4 years? What really is failure? I may have a goal of owning a mansion, whereas someone else may want a condo. We all have private battles to fight and for some, just getting out of bed may be an accomplishment.
We can be so afraid of failure, that we do not even try. Have you ever seen a vacancy ad and talked yourself out of applying? Or you turned down an opportunity because you were not ready or was just unsure? We are so full of potential but sometimes the fear of disapproval from our family and friends stops us. It’s normal for fear to stop us in our tracks, but it is also OK for us to challenge it. Everything begins with a thought and that’s amazing. We can control our thoughts. It takes a lot of effort and discipline but we can. The next time you feel anxious, ask yourself what is causing you to feel that way. Ask yourself if the thought has any truth to it. Ask yourself what’s the worst case scenario? (Spoiler alert, the answer ultimately is death but you will die some day any way)
Use your fears to challenge yourself. Push yourself to your limits and see how far you can go. Put in the effort that is needed and then add a bit more. Chances are you will excel. If you do something and you are not perfect at it the first time, then try again. Trial and error can result in success if you do not give up. We were not meant to be worry warts. We were given a spirit of power, love and discipline. Sometimes we forget our power and fear creeps in like fog. Reminding ourselves of the truth and focusing on the good, helps us to dispel the fog of fear. Start with the seemingly small things to build your confidence.
If we allow fear to stop us from even trying then we are robbing ourselves of our lives and dreams. Some things are meant to be done while scared. Trust yourself, trust that inner voice and keep your eye on the prize. Once we reach the end goal, we may look back and realize it wasn’t as scary as we thought it would be. If you don’t go for it, you will never get it.