A thought struck me the other day that will change how I will live my life.
How much of your life, Andi, has been or is motivated by fear?
Then, how much of your fear is imagined?
I had to be very clear with myself with the first question and honestly answer that much of my life is motivated by fear. Before having heard that question, I had assumed it was normal to feel the fear I had. It was my way of life. Always on the defensive, always protecting myself at all costs. This tied to what I was feeling at the time which was the fear of being fired. I couldn’t help it. At a previous job, each day of the first few months I had this fear of being fired! Whenever my supervisors were together I had the fear that they were discussing reasons why I am doing a bad job. Since leaving, I presume I had very little to do with the meetings they had and they were really focusing on program and business development instead of drawing up a Venn Diagram with my worst qualities and my weaknesses.
That’s the thing with fear. It quickens your heart, makes you more timid than you have to be and just demoralizes you! You know what I’m talking about too. When you are doing nothing wrong but you see a cop behind you while you’re driving you subconsciously breathe deeper and faster and you brace yourself for the worst. You automatically think, “Why? What? That is so unfair, I had a feeling today was going to be a bad day. What am I going to say? It’s slowing down, I knew it. Do I have anything illegal in here?” The dialogue continues until you see the cop car briskly exit out of sight as you keep driving and exhale. That fear was not legitimate, but you let your thoughts run with it for a little. The moment passes and you forget that you let fear boss you around.
No more. The solution is simple. It’s awareness. Are you right to be freaking out right now? And if so, can you be absolutely sure you are right in your fear? You have to call fear out because it’s a sneaky bastard. It will do everything in its will to make you feel like the fear is legitimate and that it is real when it is in fact not. Knowing that there is such a thing as imagined fear should set you free in those instances when imaginary fear is pretending to be real just to knock off a few years of your life.
A healthy amount of fear is very, very good. If you are in a real-life, dangerous situation fear will save your life. In your everyday, normal situations is imagined fear healthy? Or is it hindering your performance at work, in relationships, and with your emotional well-being? When your life isn’t really at stake but your mind is so bored it chooses to scare you with really terrifying imaginary situations….are you going to choose to follow that winding path? Or are you going to choose to live a more fear-controlled life thats aware of the difference between real fear and imagined fear.