What is a fear of living? It's being preeminently afraid of dying. It is not doing what you came here to do, out of timidity and spinelessness. The antidote is to take full responsibility for yourself - for the time you take up and the space you occupy. If you don't know what you're here to do, then just do some good. - Maya Angelou
Most of us are filled with fear of one kind or another: fear of change, fear of success, fear of failure, fear of illness, or worse, fear of death itself. We fear making mistakes, being alone, ending relationships or starting new ones. Fear is also a big contributor to keeping us stuck in lives that aren’t serving us well. Because of fear we stay in unhealthy relationships, don’t leave jobs which aren’t satisfying, and we don’t venture out in life because we are fearful.
Most all of us feel some level of fear when entering into the unknown; it’s only natural. The main difference is that some people are able to use their fear to propel them forward in their lives, and others allow their fears to paralyze them. So the problem is not really fear itself, but how you view fear. If you view fear as a matter of choice, you can approach it from a place of power. If you can replace fear with courage, then you can take action in spite of your fear. If you view your fear from a place of pain or powerlessness, you will become paralyzed by it.
You must realize and trust that you really ARE capable of dealing with anything that life throws at you when it happens. The seemingly “impossible” was never accomplished by people who believed something to be impossible; impossible was never even an option in their mind.
Exercise: Facing Your Fears
Many of us feel anxious or experience troublesome thoughts on occasion. Most of the time there is a simple explanation to why we are thinking troubling thoughts. It could be something from childhood, recent events, or a combination of both.
It is helpful to write down what you believe the reason for your anxiety, and then form a positive statement about how you will react in a positive way to confront anxieties or fears.
If a fear or anxiety is holding you back from taking action, work through the questions below to analyze how realistic that fear is. Once you’ve answered the questions then you can decide how you want to take action to move past it.
1. Write your explanation in the first person such as “ I sometimes experience anxiety or worries that…I believe this is because…I am now learning to…
2. What is your fear or what are you having anxiety over?
3. What are your reasons for thinking or feeling that your fear will materialize in your life?
4. Are there any valid reasons for thinking the fear may NOT materialize, or that even if it does you will be able to manage it? List the reasons:
5. What is the fear or anxiety holding you back from doing or saying?
6. What would be the benefits of doing or saying the things you wrote down in the question above?
We hope this article helps you to see fear in a different light so you can live more fully and joyfully as you were meant to live.