The fear

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

 

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11 comments

  1. I too worry about the unknown and when hard ‘life’ things are happening and I have no power to fix it. I just get super frustrated. I’m also a type A personality (aka worry wart) so, I’m going to debunk some of your fears for you to help give you peace of mind:
    failing: we all learn from our mistakes, the fact that you are trying means you are not a failure.
    looking stupid: I participate in a puppet show in costume and talk to the puppets once a year for our lab’s open house. I wore blue hair extensions both days. I got over it because the kids loved it (even though I stood out and felt silly).
    hurting myself: when in doubt, call a specialist. see one of my posts from yesterday…
    breaking a bone: I’ve had hairline fractures in 4 fingers and an arm. Bones heal better than strained ligaments. I’d worry more about ligaments/tendons 😉
    dying: well I’m kind of worried about that too, so I avoid thinking about it and try to enjoy every day.
    losing a loved one: my grandfather AND uncle on my mom’s side passed away within 3 weeks of eachother recently. I’m going home for both memorial services in a few days. Having love and support from others makes a difference when you are feeling sad and overwhelmed. It is still hard, but with time you can get through it.
    fire: part of life, natural fires burn everything to let out competed species a chance again.
    drowning: take swimming lessons 😉
    bugs: icky, always have bug spray
    burglars: see above. and/or invest in pepper spray (I have a cute pink one!)
    stray dogs: usually afraid of you and will not approach. If they do approach, usually they are hungry. Never had any ‘bite me out of the blue’. They tend to be skittish.

    1. Finally: cancer and losing a limb. My dog had cancer and needed an amputation to cure her (not common cancer procedure for humans mind you). She’s been cancer free 2 years. while we have other ‘adventures’, the big scary cancer is gone and she doesn’t give a rats ass that she only has 3 legs. She is my hero, she is an inspiration, and I’m so glad I have her in my life. I decided having a healthy 3 legged dog trumped a terminally ill 4 legged dog. You can check out her story on my other blog
      http://nbobco.tripawds.com/about/ (this is the story about dealing with cancer)

  2. What fun would life be if you knew the outcome? All your fears are legitimate but sometimes you just have to let go and enjoy the ride. It isn’t easy but if you can get there it is totally worth the ride.

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