I am a very fearful person. I am not proud of this. I try to seem brave and spontaneous and adventurous but really I’m just scared…of basically everything. To give you an idea I will name a few as they pop into my head:
failing; looking stupid; hurting myself; breaking a bone; dying; losing a loved one; fire; drowning; roaches; spiders; stray dogs; burglars; forgetting something; gaining weight; being poor forever; infertility; genetic diseases; cancer; confrontation; the apocalypse; car accidents; falling; being lost in the wilderness; finding a dead body; choking; deer; horses; large animals in general; losing a limb; losing the ability to exercise…I won’t keep going
When I think about it, most of my fears come down to two things: Failure and The Unknown
When I was taking my undergraduate psychology classes I remember learning about a technique that therapists sometimes use with people who suffer from anxiety. It’s called visualization therapy. It involves helping the client mentally visualize what it is they are most anxious or afraid of. They visualize how they would overcome the obstacle.
I know my subconscious does this frequently through dreams. I always dream about what’s happening in my life and what I am currently scared of. The night before a big event I ALWAYS dream that I am late/don’t make it/don’t do it right/forget something/not dressed right/etc. I also have nightmares about being chased, burglars or someone in my family dying.
I have been thinking about using meditation as a way to relax and work through my fears. Being somewhat of a type “A” I never can sit still long enough. But I think yoga might be a good place to start.
For some reason, I am really afraid of this marathon. I am afraid of getting injured or not being able to mentally handle the long runs. I am going to start visualizing myself finishing a 12, 15, or 20 mile run and crossing that finish line. I realize that my fear is what has kept me safe and has been a driving force behind many of my successes. However, it holds me back in many ways.
Something my dad told me all the time while I was growing up “There is nothing to fear but fear itself.” -Franklin D Roosevelt