I've been thinking a lot about fear today. And how it's kind of been running my life for a while now. I woke up today early because I was worried (aka plagued with fear) about a whole bunch of things in my life. I'm going to just throw out a few things that I have a serious amount of fear about. I say few because I also have a fear of divulging too much info about myself out in this internet sphere and it coming back to haunt me in some way.
1. Sharing too much about myself (giving you all too much info about my real, true, messy life)
2. The dark
3. My kids getting hurt
4. Close family dying
5. Never having enough money
6. You seeing how messy my garage is
7. Unknowingly hurting someone's feelings
8. Making an idiot of myself and people making fun of me
9. Being a failure and not reaching my full potential
10. My kids not reaching their full potential because I didn't give them enough/the right opportunities
I'm just going to stop there before I put myself into full blown situational depression today. UGH. It's just too much to deal with when I start putting it in writing.
Fear can be so debilitating. It really only has a very limited use. A commonplace example is, fear of the water can keep your kids from drowning. But on the flip side, it can also keep them from learning to swim. Not being afraid, and learning to swim is so much better than just nurturing your fear of water and consoling yourself that fear is good because it's keeping you safe. I haven't taken a formal poll but I feel safe in saying that 99% of swim teachers can teach an unafraid person to swim so much faster than a deathly afraid one.
I feel I am allowing fear to be a veil over my entire life (and I cannot be the only one). I mean if I start really analyzing my fear driven decisions it's sort of crazy. One comical, yet true example is I'm afraid to check out too many books/videos at the library. (you're laughing I know) It's really so stupid when I say it out loud. But it's true. So I only check out a few things each time. Don't worry. I'm training my kids in this fear-driven mindset too. I hear them saying things all the time like, "no, we can't, it might be too much." One of the coping mechanisms I'm using to try and combat this is- play-out-the-worse-case-scenario game. What would happen if I did try and check out too many things? The computer might shock you. The library alarm could go off with flashing lights pointing right at you. The library attendant might slam you to the ground, hand cuff you, while screaming, "You're over your limit, you can only check out 7 books!"
None of those things are really going to happen. But I'm limiting myself because I'm afraid of getting in trouble. In reality, the worst that's going to happen is the computer screen or librarian tells me, that's over your limit. Cue apocalypse. Why was I so afraid of accidentally trying to check out too many movies? I didn't want to get beeped at? It's just ridiculous that I let my fear of getting in trouble (by mean librarians) or anyone for that matter keep me from trying new things.
The other day while I was at the library a librarian walked by and I did something absolutely crazy. I slammed her down, hand cuffed her and asked her, "How many books/videos can I check out at one time?" "Ten" She said. Ok, I maybe didn't actually slam her down or handcuff her but I did ask. And now I can walk through the library checking out in pure fearless glory.
I'm just going to add one more fear to my list.
What are you afraid of? What fears are holding you back? I'm tackling my little fears one at a time so I can move on to some of the more daunting ones.