Have no fear! Jump into life full bore knowing that the best possible outcome will emerge from every situation. Fear is the element that crushes dreams, smothers hope, and steals joy! It is the one element that is toxic and spreads like wildfire!
How You Keep Score
When you do not allow fear to control you, you keep score differently. You look to the positive more easily. You also are more resilient. Fear is like a rock in a backpack. The only purpose it has is to slow you down and wear you out. When you are carrying this toxic weight you don’t think clearly. Your judgment is impaired and you have a hard time accomplishing anything.
A Story About Fear
Facing Your Fear from csycom.net
My patient *Doreen suffered one of the worst traumas imaginable—her twin sister committed suicide. Fourteen months later another tragedy occurred: *Beth, a cousin to whom Doreen had once been extremely close, jumped off a bridge to her death. Doreen dreaded—and feared—the mourning process. She was afraid of losing herself to overwhelming grief. Instead of dealing with her emotions, she found what felt like the perfect coping mechanism: non-stop solo travel to the far corners of the globe. During her rare periods at home, she felt lonely but found numerous reasons to not attempt forging friendships.
After one particularly adventurous trip, she slumped into my office. “Sherry, I hiked in the Amazon and had a session with a shaman and yet it felt so hollow. I wanted to share the experience with someone…with Beth.”
Doreen’s distress convinced her that it was time to stay home for a few months (her bank account would thank her!) and devote herself to what she feared most: facing herself.
I suggested she might make new connections through a social networking website called meetup. A few times she registered for an activity, but at the last minute experienced anxiety symptoms so intolerable that she stayed home.
During one session, I asked, “Why does letting someone become close scare you so much?”
She closed her eyes and after a few minutes’ of contemplation said, “If I let myself be vulnerable, it will kill me when the person leaves.”
“Why do you assume the person will leave?”
“My sister and Beth left—everyone does.”
“And yet here you are still standing. You survived the worst that could happen. How could attending a pottery painting event be harder?”
The next day she registered for a group hiking event. At our next session she confessed the morning of the hike she experienced such severe anxiety symptoms —sweating palms, shaking lips, heart palpitations—so uncomfortable, she almost didn’t go. “I told myself, ‘Sherry says fear is a momentary emotion. If I run from it I’ll feel worse later.’”
She had such a fabulous time on the hike she impulsively volunteered to arrange the group’s next outing. Doreen recalled, “As soon as I got home I got so anxious that I reached for the phone to rescind my offer but I made myself breathe and continued to go about my day.”
Soon Doreen had an active social life for the first time in years. Yes, she still experienced anxiety, but now she had coping mechanisms that allowed her to find relief and overcome the anxiety. “I’m still really afraid of losing people, but I’m more afraid of ultimately never finding what I really crave—community.”
Here Is The Podcast
For help overcoming fear – Toby@TobyChristensen.com