What are you scared of?
Is it a physical object or trying something new?
We might not even realise that we are scared, but we take ourselves out of situations unconsciously that could evoke the feeling of being scared.
What are the reasons for being fearful?
In order to understand why we feel the way we do we must look underneath the presenting issue (in this case, fear), then get to the root-cause of what this issue means for you individually.
The levels below signify the chain reaction of thoughts and feelings that go along with every decision we make.
Take the example of speaking to a celebrity.
- Level 1. Scared – I am afraid of talking to them
- Level 2. Embarrassed – They might perceive me as ‘stupid?’
- Level 3. Incapable – People in the room or the celebrity may laugh at me
- Level 4. Rejected – I will feel inadequate and a fool and no one will want to talk to me.
- Level 5 Alone – If everyone rejects me I won’t have any friends.
Next Step Think back to feeling rejected in the past, is this feeling the same or similar.
In this example, the reason you didn’t try was that you are trying to eliminate the chance of feeling rejected.
Can you see how this one instance can have all this danger attached to it. It is a danger that lives in the unconscious and dictates how you think, act and feel in your day to day life without you even realising it.
This way of relating to the world is made from many past experiences in order to help understand the world. To some, it may seem dangerous but to others, it may be exciting to try.
Try and relate this to your life, maybe not with a celebrity, but a situation you want to try but don’t feel able to. Think about the opportunities you didn’t try for, speaking to someone you are romantically interested in, a job you did not apply for or a meeting you did not voice your opinion in, only for someone else to look like the hero and say what you wanted to say.
There is no cognitive reason, you are gripped by the emotion associated with that event but emotionally you are bound.
Stop Being Confined
What I find useful in my sessions is to use a thought record to help quantify what is going on.
Maybe write down a situation and the thoughts and feelings associated with that situation, to get a better understanding of why you think and feel the way you do.
This fear grips us all so rather than listen to it and let it limit you, let’s look our fears in the eye and work out ways to conquer them, using that energy to our advantage.
We all have things we are scared of. Rather than running let’s face them so they don’t have power over us any longer.
Find out who you are!