In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Fear Factor.”
Imagine a place where you could go each day and write your fears and then, after examining them for a while, wipe away the ones which are not real fears at all. I found this picture on the internet a few weeks ago and thought it would be wonderful if I could create a web site sight or app where people could go each day and write their fears and then have them wiped away.
“Fear not” may be easy words for an angel but for me, and likely for you, fear is a normal part of living. Unfortunately, sometimes it gets in the way of true living. Often in fact.
There are times when fear is a good thing. It keeps us from doing things that are beyond us and from taking needless chances. For example if we didn’t have any fear of traffic we might cross the road when a car is coming. If we didn’t have some healthy fear about sharp tools, many more of us would be missing fingers. Even fear about life’s big decisions is a good sort of fear. That tension that fear adds can be healthy when it comes to figuring out whether to take a job or marry someone.
Then there are the unhealthy fears. The fears that go beyond truth. Healthy fear makes us examine things. Unhealthy fear makes us imagine issues which are not realistic. Standing on the side of the road waiting for traffic to pass is the result of healthy fear. Standing on the side of the road, being afraid to cross, when there is no traffic is the unhealthy variety. When fear crosses into parnaoia then it become one of those fears which inhibits us rather than driving us.
When you are going to decide about which college to attend or which job to take that good fear will provoke good questions about your decision. When it becomes a bad fear is when it is debilitating. When you ultimately don’t go at all or chose a college for wrong reasons.
In short, Healthy Fear says, “You can do it! There are some things to watch for but you can do it.” Unhealthy Fear says, “There are so many obstacles. Not much chance of you being able to do it.”
I think of myself as rather courageous in many respects. I have taken on things without even having to think twice about all the things that could go wrong. I’ve moved far from home, taken strange jobs, tackled “the machine” when there were things happening around me which I could not tolerate. Justice has always trumped fear for me, at least when it comes to other people’s rights and freedoms.
When I’m trying to take a stand for myself or trying to move toward something I want for my life those nasty fears often take over. The fears that say, “You can’t do that”, “Who do you think you are to want that?”, “You are too old”, “You don’t have what it takes”.
Healthy fears, fear true danger. They fear for our health and well being. Unhealthy fears, fear imagined danger. They fear failure, humiliation and judgement of others.
I don’t have a magic, on line, blackboard where we can write our fears and then have them erased but I have a white board in my office where I can write my own each day. Then erase them. You might want to try it with one of those cheap little blackboards you can pick up. It might even be a very good point for family discussion if everyone uses it. An opportunity to support one another through the tough stuff.
If it’s hard to identify the fear ask yourself this, “What is holding me back from reaching my goals today?” Write it down. Examine if it is realistic or manufactured fear. If it is real then look at what you can do to overcome the fear. If it is imagined wipe it off the board.
Have a wonderful fearless sort of week.