“Fear is a necessary component to thinking and behavior that all humans face.”
It helps keep us alive when there is imminent danger, and they very often keep us focused on our goals. For many people, however, fear is overwhelming and prevents them from moving forward.
The feelings of angst (fears or anxiety) not only interrupts waking life and causes behavioral changes, but they can interfere with sleep and cause nightmares.
We all have that voice of fear, though. What differentiates people is what message they take away from this fear and how they use it to their advantage… or disadvantage. That little voice that is something like an “internal predator,” takes a backstage pass to everyday thoughts.
Things like hesitation, doubt, guilt, distrust, and worry are constantly weaving themselves into our daily lives. It’s not just the voice, either.
We humans are imaginative creatures. We can visualize several worst-case scenarios in a series of minutes, which can then prevent us from acting and facing our fears.
Some things that internal predatory voice of fear will say are:
- You sure you want to speak in public and risk looking like a fool?
- What if your boss doesn’t like the work you just turned in?
- Are you sure he/she likes you? Can you handle another disappointment?
- Do you really want to wear that outfit in public?
- You sure you want to go to the store right now? It’s awfully busy in there. What if someone is carrying the Ebola virus?
These internal fear-based questions usually lead you to give them more attention than they are worth. Sometimes, they even create physical changes like rapid breathing, increased heart rate, sweating, and even panic attacks. Most of us judge fears as being negative or bad and therefore want to get rid of them completely.
But that may not always be healthy. Some fear is good for you. Messages they bring help you to better understand your psychological make-up, your personality, your character, your passions, and things you need to work on to succeed.
Fear is the one that puts Love into perspective so that we are not too naïve or vulnerable, which can be just as dangerous and damaging. Fear and Love are not opposites, but neighbors that must learn to work together to create an overall balanced human being.
There are plenty of things your fears can show you, but let’s look at just 8 of them.
1. Fears show you how deeply you care about something or someone. This can either fuel your fire and push you to go after what you want, or it can paralyze you and make you run for the hills.
2. When you are afraid of looking stupid in front of your bosses and co-workers, it’s because you value intelligence and want to show you are able to perform with high attention to detail. You are a perfectionist, and because of that, this fear lets you know that you are the right person for any job.
3. Fear of abandonment, especially in relationships, is probably one of the most common fears in Western culture. There are many things this can tell you, including the fact that you want a loving and genuine relationship. It can tell you which relationship needs repairing… who abandoned you first? You can let this fear make you run from possibilities, or trudge through the mucky waters of building a relationship and see if you make it through.
4. When you care about what people think about you, it’s because you want to be respected and this drives you to behave in a way that you would respect in other people. There is a delicate balance many don’t understand here. You don’t want others’ opinions to have too much of an impact on your thoughts and behaviors, but being indifferent to their reactions forces you to relinquish your ability to empathize.
5. Fear of failure is another big one. This can cripple a lot of people into not acting at all, which will undermine their success. However, this fear shows you how badly you want to succeed, and it takes acceptance to understand that success is not a straight line from point A to point B, but it curves dangerously and is lined with predatory fears.
6. Fear of animals, insects, reptiles, natural disasters, and anything to do with nature. Whether you are afraid of all of them, or just a select few, it denotes a lack of understanding about nature. This fear tells you that you are disconnected from natural life and don’t fully understand the function of every living thing on Earth. So, if you fear spiders, perhaps read a book about what they do for our environment and which ones are potentially harmful to humans.
7. Fear of flying and fear of heights should really be renamed “fear of crashing” and “fear of jumping.” This means that you highly value your life. Fear of heights can mean that you fear your own balance. This could be physical balance or even spiritual.
8. A fear of darkness says that you have a fear of the unknown. What you cannot see, you cannot defend against. However, this kind of fear means that you should look closer at your other senses, including your intuition.
Every fear, whether an internal or external, will tell you about what you need, what you want, and who you are trying to become as a person. They should fuel you to become that person rather than paralyze you into inaction and listlessness.
How do you deal with your fears? Do you run? Do you try and fight back? Or do you see fear as action signals, and change your approach? Share your comments below.
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