I remember when I was a kid how excited I’d get about Halloween. But the truth is I was a BIG scaredy cat! I remember one time our parents took us to a haunted house. It scared me so badly that I was screaming and crying. Another time, we had a big neighborhood Halloween party with a huge bonfire. Someone dressed up as a ghost and was chasing us kids down the road. I went screaming and running to my mom and she actually had to slap me to get me to calm down.
Halloween is just a few days away, so I thought this might be a great time to bring up the topic of fear, AGAIN. I just looked back at my posts and realized I’ve talked about fear a lot this year. However, there’s an aspect of fear that I haven’t talked about. When we think about fear, what comes to mind for many people are things like fear of snakes, fear of heights, or fear of speaking in public.
Much like little kids (and big kids too) who wear masks at Halloween, fear also wears many disguises. When I began developing my program called DISCOVER, one of the biggest DISCOVERies I made was that I had been living much of my life in fear. I didn’t realize it until then because my perspective about fear was very limited. Now I understand that fear affects our emotions and our behavior.
For example, the emotion of worry is a form of fear. We worry because we are afraid of what might happen. We feel insecure because we fear that we aren’t as good as the next person (or smart as, or pretty as, etc.) Rejection is another form of fear, it feeds insecurity. Then there is the feeling of being insignificant which is closely related to rejection and insecurity.
Feelings of worthlessness and inferiority are also forms of fear, fear that you don’t belong or that you aren’t good enough. Anxiety and overwhelm can occur when you are experiencing so much fear that you struggle to deal with it all.
These emotions often lead to behaviors that are rooted in fear. For example, perfectionism, procrastination and avoidance are all behaviors we engage in as a result of insecurity, fear of rejection or sense of worthlessness. Excessive control or indecisiveness can stem from fear of uncertainty or fear of being responsible. Self-criticism is a way that we respond to fear of judgement from others.
Understanding how fear shows up in your life is key to overcoming it. If you aren’t aware of the subtle and not so subtle ways that fear is controlling your life, it will continue to have power over you. In the second course of DISCOVER, I teach clients how to recognize and overcome fear in their lives. How is fear disguised in your life? Do you recognize any of the types of fear I described?
Understanding how fear was affecting me and my relationship with others has helped me become a happier person. If you’re ready to take off the mask, let me know!
With Love & Gratitude,