In varied settings this week I overheard several conversations that shared a common thread: fear is keeping people from moving forward into something they know they should be doing. “I need to….but….I don’t know how, am afraid of what people will think, may not have enough money, might get too tired, might upset someone….” etc.
I also (non-coincidentally) stumbled this week upon a long list of phobias—some I could somewhat relate to, such as Syngenesophobia, the fear of relatives. Ah! I didn’t know there was a term for that. I found interesting Ideophobia, ‘the morbid fear of new or different ideas, the fear of thinking”. There is even a Phobophobia, “the fear of developing a phobia”. A phobia is ‘an intense fear of something that poses no actual danger.” (Check out this interesting phobia list).
Seems the list of phobias expands every year. Fear gains a tighter, restricting grip around people’s destinies as time marches on. I know people who are too afraid to leave their house, too afraid to drive, too afraid to eat. What’s the deal?
I know that there are physical causes, painful wounds, and other valid explanations for people’s fears. I don’t want to make light of such pain or cast judgment on anyone. I’ve been terrified of many things in my own life, permitting myself to become temporarily paralyzed with apprehensiveness, mostly of the Unknowns that never happen.
What bothers me the most is seeing how increasingly often and easily people allow the ‘what ifs’ to keep them from stepping out into something new—perhaps sidelining their whole purpose in life in the process.
How much do we allow our fears to control us? How much fear is healthy? How do we choose to overcome anxiety? What will we miss out on if we decline to really live—just to avoid feeling panic, dread, or discomfort?
A good challenge for all of us could be to acknowledge our fears—to our higher power, the Spirit of Truth. Ask to be given courage to take action as we place our insecurities firmly in his hands, deciding to trust. And then, just do whatever is necessary. Do it anyway. Do it SCARED!
What do we have to gain? Another fear flushed down the drain. An increased level of faith in our Creator and in ourselves. Victory that we wouldn’t have known if we had not taken the risk. It’s ok to be scared. It won’t be ok in the long run to let the fear control our choices.