Fear is a funny thing isn’t it? I was watching a crime thriller with my husband the other night, the type where only a cushion can protect you and it was only afterwards when I hesitated and made sure that the back door was properly locked that I was reminded just how much fear we create for ourselves. Of course there was no axe murder in my garden, in fact, the murderer wasn’t even real – he was an actor on the tv, but for that split second I just wanted to make sure that I was safe, as if the fear that I was feeling was in fact real.
That’s what I find interesting about fear, quite often we stop ourselves from pursuing our dreams, our goals or just maybe just doing something differently, because we are afraid. Maybe we are afraid of failure, of what others may think, of criticism, maybe it’s fear simply of the unknown, but it is this fear that holds us back, that keeps us stuck where we are.
So what is it? What is this powerful force that stops us, that quite literally scares the pants of us? Where does it come from? Well, as human beings we learn by experience, so if for example we take failure, we learn from a very early age about failure, from spelling tests to SATs tests, there is a very strong message about whether we have passed, failed or just not done as well as we could have done and then we connect to that how the adults around us react, so we very quickly pick up on success equals happy people, failure means cross and disappointed people. We clearly want to avoid the disappointment, so we learn that failure is something to be afraid of, we don’t want to get into trouble, so if we don’t try something new how can we fail? Bingo! Sounds like a good plan.
The difficulty is of course is whilst it all makes perfect sense, there is no pass or fail in life, there’s no mark or grade, it’s not as clear cut as it was in school – plus the obvious point that we can’t see into the future with any degree of certainty, we simply don’t know! Quite simply, that fearful thinking can’t tell us anything about how well we are going to do, it’s just our thinking in that moment. The same approach can be taken about fear of criticism or what others think – we can’t actually read other people’s mind, we don’t know what they will think or how they will react, we only think we do.
That’s what I love about fear, it is often one of life’s illusions, like a mirage, when you try to get up close to examine it, it simply disappears, because it’s only what our minds create – in essence our thoughts are like the script of our own crime thriller only with us as the leading role.
Andrea Morrison is a Transformational Life Coach, Clinical Hypnotherapist & Speaker (andreamorrison.co.uk) and is author of The Feel Good Factor in 30 days, her facebook page is www.facebook.com/andreamorrisoncoaching Discover the Real You, together, today!