Facing Our Fears
I offered some suggestions about how we can start overcoming some of our fears, and I am here now to show you one of my personal fears and to walk through my personal thoughts and reactions in how I am working to overcome it.
(This is so that you can visually see how I am working through it, I encourage you to work through your fears in this same way in your personal journal, especially if you are a right-brained creative type!)
What am I afraid of?
I’m afraid of being successful.
(Don’t jump down my throat just yet – let me explain why I am afraid of being successful).
Here is what Scott’s post What Your Fears Really Mean say’s about the fear of success:
It’s not the fear of success.
It’s the fear of the changes success will bring.
I’m scared that I won’t be able to hang-on to anything when I have success; it feels like I will be in a rollercoaster without a harness, the kind that go up-side-down at a million miles per hour. Don’t get me wrong, I love real-life roller-coasters, but this metaphorical roller-coaster feels more akin to my experiences with bipolar disorder, at one extreme I am on top of the world, nothing can touch my progress and I go overboard and end up making stupid decisions because I literally can’t think correctly about life, and on the other extreme I am so far into depression that I can’t see the light of day and neither can I think correctly in this state.
So where can I find that happy medium? I don’t know yet, but I’m striving every day to figure it out, to learn how to be a success for myself, so that I can understand the feeling of success.
I think it’s more to the effect of, I’m afraid I wont know how to handle success and the changes it may bring, and if any of those changes will negatively affect my mental or physical health and well-being.
I’m going to take a step back, and go over my own advice from the last post and see what I can manifest in my thinking:
What if we took each fear, identified it (with the help of Scotts list) and put it in a temporary metaphorical “cage” to examine it in a contained, controlled environment?
- What do you think would happen?
- Could you learn something about your fear?
- Could you name specific reasons for having your fear?
- Perhaps overcome your fear?
For starters, I have identified my fear “the fear of success”, I put it in its place with the help of Scotts list: my real fear is the changes success will bring.
Next I went over my thoughts about what would happen if I attained success, I visualized the very real fears and how they may affect me.
What have I learned about my fear? So far I have learned that I think success may treat my life like a roller-coaster, and that this roller-coaster might be like my experiences with bipolar disorder.
What specific reasons do I have related to my fear of success? I would say that my only reason is that I am relating it to my experiences with bipolar disorder, however, just now, I realized that it’s because I don’t honestly know what will happen if I am successful. I am afraid of the unknown.
If being afraid of the unknown is the root of my fear, then I would be afraid of everything in my life, because every step forward is an unknown. I don’t operate like that, I keep moving forward, trying new things, overcoming challenges and facing other fears, so can I overcome this fear too?
Yes. I believe I am able to overcome this fear, and be successful.
Name your fear.