Face Your Fear

reflection of woman s eye on broken mirror
Photo by Ismael Sanchez on Pexels.com

Everything around us seems to be in chaos. We feel sad and we cry. We feel anger and we seethe. We think we are sad or angry. We tell people we are sad and angry.

What we are is full of fear.

Fear is quite often the driving force behind every other emotion we THINK we have. Fear is stronger than sadness, stronger than anger. It is the strongest, most motivating emotion we humans possess. It just hides out as other things because it is much easier to say we are sad or mad than we are afraid.

Ask yourself, what am I afraid of right now? What do I fear happening to me or others I care about? What am I so scared of that it makes me sad or mad?

At the core of our emotional states, we find fear.

We are so sad about how Covid has changed our lives. We cry about it. We are also mad about how it affects everything around us. What are we really feeling? Fear.

We fear getting it or others we love getting it. We fear dying and others dying. We fear feeling as if it will never end. We fear never being normal again. We fear not being able to work or losing our jobs. We fear not having supplies that we need.

We fear.

Civil rights, racial equality, police issues, political climate, protests, and all that surrounds can make some people think they are sad and some think they are angry. At the core, they all fear something.

We fear.

Recognizing disguised fear is important. It allows us to acknowledge the truth of what we are feeling and the truth of why. It is okay to be afraid. Emotions are part of us. But what will we do with that fear once we recognize it for what it is? How will we respond to it? How will we let it control what we do?

It is not our emotions that are the problem, it is what we do after the emotion both to ourselves and to others. Fear, unrecognized, can turn into great suffering.

What are you afraid of right now? Write it down, confront it, know it and then start to think how you can respond to it. Some fears we have no control over, but recognizing we have no control IS a response. We cannot control a virus or make it disappear. What can we do? How can we protect ourselves and others as best we can.

We cannot solve global racism. But we can do things in our own communities, our own hearts and minds, to affect change. What is our response to fear?

Fear can decide your life if you allow it. Fear can decide your emotions. Fear can decide your responses. Or you can know it for what it is and decide for yourself.

Until next time,
Deborah

How Fear Keeps You Stuck

fear

Every decision that people make is made because of fear. Read that again please.

Every decision, even NO decision, is made based on fear. The fear changes based on what you are trying to decide. But the fear questions we ask ourselves are pretty much the same regardless of the decision.

Changing jobs is a major fear decision for most people. They can be afraid of the change, afraid they do not know enough, afraid they may fail. Afraid that the job change will be the wrong choice.

Changing relationships is an even bigger fear for most people. They can be afraid of being alone, afraid of what the other person will do, afraid of letting go of their own codependence.

Changing one self is possibly the biggest fear of all. People can be afraid of who they will become if they change, what relationships they might lose, the unfamiliar of the unknown.

These fears can paralyze us into making no decision. They keep us stuck where we are unable to move, even if that move means something better for us. A better job, a better relationship, a better life. The fear keeps us bound to where we are like fear glue.

The decisions we make will change our lives. There will be a new normal to adjust to. A new way of living, of being. Each decision we make has a consequence, some are good and some are not. But one thing is certain, a decision will bring change if you stick with it.

Is there something in your life you want to change – a job, a relationship, your thoughts, your way of living? What is the fear that keeps you from making that decision? How will it affect your life if you do not make the decision? What will you continue to tolerate, endure, live with, ignore? Will you allow fear to keep you stuck?

There are two choices – make the decision or stay where you are. Sometimes we need someone to talk to about our fears and help us find the path to make a decision. Often, our past traumas can influence our fears if they remain unprocessed. This is where counseling can sometimes help to have an objective person to listen and provide the tools and skills for overcoming fear and making the decisions we need to make. But we first need to overcome our fear about going to counseling. One decision at a time.

Until next time,
Deborah

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Pros and Cons

Many times during therapy sessions I ask clients a question, “What do you want?” It seems simple, straightforward, but in fact it is quite the opposite. The answer is tangled up in emotions, the past, fear, low self esteem, and much more. It can be very difficult to come up with what you want, with what you want to happen or change, with what your goals are. But deep down everyone knows them, fear usually prevents acknowledging what they are and accepting what will have to happen in order to obtain them.

When I talk to clients about what they want, I ask if they have ever made a list of the pros and cons for each one. Usually the answer is no. The only way to weigh them out is to truly see them. Writing is one of the most therapeutic ways available to all of us to analyze different parts of ourselves and our stories. Write out the pros and cons of what you want, what you want to happen or change, and your goals.

For example, if you want to remove yourself from a toxic relationship, what are the pros of that and what are the cons. You may be thinking, how can there be cons when removing something toxic from our lives, but every choice has consequences. Some are good and some are not. Pros – You might be happier, safer, freer, gain more self esteem, find better relationships, not be abused by that person, start a new life, protect others, etc. Cons – You might be alone for some time, you may lose family or people that are important to you but toxic, you might feel badly for the other person’s emotions if you leave, other people may blame you for how the toxic person reacts, you might not be happier or feel safer being alone, you might fear the changes that come with ending a relationship, etc.

But what is your ultimate goal in wanting this change? And if you don’t change will you ever be able to reach that goal? Can you continue the same as you are now and have anything change in yourself, for yourself? Remember we cannot change anyone else. So it is only you in the decision to change.

Fear will be the greatest enemy when weighing the pros and cons. Fear is a reaction. Courage is a decision. “Everything you want is on the other side of fear.” ~ Jack Canfield Acknowledge what you fear and continue with the pros and cons. Acknowledge the cons, and proceed with the pros. Do not let fear keep you from what you truly want.

Until next time,
Deborah