On Fear and Fearing

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Hello readers and friends!  Life is still moving forward, which is great.  I have come to realize something about myself that has absolutely made a marked difference in my perspective of situations and I believe it’s a big part of why my life is moving forward now after standing still for so many years, so I’m going to share it with you.

So, I have a certain…fascination, if you will, with psychology.  It was my minor in college and ever since then, there are two things that I have found myself looking for when I study people, either by people watching or watching my real crime shows, or studying character development.   The first  is pretty broad, which is what motivates them to make the decisions they make.  The second is way more specific and also, a little morbid.  I have also sought to find someone, anyone, that wasn’t still ravaged by grief after the loss of a loved one.  Just to let you know, I never have.  But what would motivate me to want to find an example of someone who doesn’t hurt anymore after losing a loved one before it ever even happened to me?  Well, the answer (not so obviously) is fear.

My revelation is that up to this point, I have been motivated by fear, even paralyzed by it at times.  Ever since I realized that my mom could die as a child, my biggest fear was that she would.  I think I wanted to find someone who is seemingly “fine” after losing someone close to them so I could know that it was possible for me before that day came.  Of course having been through it I now know that no one ever gets over it, they just get better at coping.

This same pattern of fear is present in many aspects of my life.  I fear failure, I fear the unknown, I fear more things than I could even list on the page.  However, now that I’ve had this revelation that fear is my driving force in life (which, let me be clear, I wish it was not), I can actually recognize it for what it is and face it.  For example, something as simple as changing where I work out is enough to shake up my nerves.  A new class at a new place?  What if I can’t keep up?  What if I’m terrible?  What if the people are rude?  Normally, I would talk myself out of going all together and just go to my old class where I’m comfortable.  And honestly, I can talk myself out of going to that sometimes too out of fear of embarrassment, which is completely unreasonable.

So, it’s obvious that I get really uncomfortable when I don’t know what to expect.  Normally, that feeling would lead me to think, why branch out if I’m comfortable where I am?  Even though I am great at adapting to situations, why adapt when I don’t have to?  Can you see the danger in this thinking pattern?  The most dangerous fact being that it encourages complacency.  I can’t be the person I am, which is a person who is always striving for more, and be complacent.  I can’t just lie down and let my fears get the best of me.  Hell, I’ve already lived my biggest fear and survived it.  Based on that alone, I should be able to approach  challenges both big and small with at least a little more confidence.

That little bit of confidence is what is keeping me moving forward.  Now that I have learned to recognize fear for what it is in my everyday life,  I can face it head on knowing that no matter what the outcome, I have already survived something worse.  Admittedly, it sounds a little pessimistic, but it’s actually the most motivating realization that I’ve had in quite some time.  What motivates you?

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