Are you one of the millions who live with fear as a constant companion? Don’t deny it too quickly. You may miss an opportunity to significantly improve the quality of your life. If you have been living with fear as a constant companion for a long time you may be one who denies its existence, or, you have probably accepted it as the only reality possible in your life. If you are one of these people, my message to you is that you have the power to change yourself and remove fear and its limiting and destructive influence from your life.
Take a few moments to consider your answers to the following questions:
- Do you avoid saying what you really think and feel to most or all people?
- Are you afraid of what others think about you?
- Do you avoid exposing yourself to any activity that might cause you to be afraid?
- Are you afraid to try new things; especially those that would bring pleasure to you?
- Do you fear making decisions and being wrong?
- Are you afraid to ask your boss for a raise?
- Do you avoid confronting your spouse’s poor treatment of you?
- Do you avoid your own feelings because they are generally bad and disturbing?
Did you find yourself? Did you feel fear while you were answering questions? Did you try to deny that any of them are about you? Did you read the words, but not feel anything while you are reading? Maybe you should read them again. This time connect with your real self and listen to your feelings.
If one or more of the questions describes you then being afraid is probably a significant if not a primary motivator in your life. This means that fear determines everything you do and everything you do not do.
Living in fear is caused by a lifetime of believing negatively about you. You have a self-concept that is negative. Having a negative self-concept is not a rare phenomenon. Feeling and believing badly about one’s self, damages or destroys the lives of millions every year. A negative self-concept takes on a variety of forms and is prevalent in all societies. In fact, more than half of all people hold predominantly negative beliefs about themselves.
Too often, the mistaken solution to a negative self-concept is to deny its existence and to find an escape in destructive behaviors that only complicates the problem. To escape from trouble negative beliefs about themselves people turn to: alcohol, medications, emotional and physical isolation, overeating, overworking, being excessively critical of others, or other addictive and destructive behaviors. Denying a negative self-concept and denying your fear does not work. Denial, when successful, leaves the individual cut off from his real self and cut off from genuine and healthful relationships with others. Isolation, emotional and physical, becomes a way of life.
Over time the quality of life diminishes. Sooner or later denial is impossible. Such mistaken solutions only make life increasingly worse for the individual and for those who relate with him. If self-defeating thoughts and behaviors progress too far, they cannot be reversed. The individual is destined for eventual self-destruction.
Being excessively afraid is a sign, in fact, a billboard, telling you that your development as a person has not been completed. You are not an adult because you are still a child psychologically. Being excessively afraid means that you are still controlled by an immature primitive-self that focuses only on day to day survival and hiding your negative self from you and all others.
The rest of your life does not have to be ruled by a fearful negative primitive self. You can learn how to stop fear from controlling and limiting your life. You can learn to be motivated by positive constructive thoughts and feelings. You can learn how to challenge your primitive self’s dominating and destructive influence by developing an adult healthy self. You can learn to like who you are.
So, do you know what the opposite of fear is?
If you have trouble coming up with the answer to this question, there is a high probability that fear is your primary motivator in life. The opposite of fear is courage. Psychologically healthy people (and those who want to be), are motivated by courage; the courage to know the truth about their real selves and challenge anything they discover that impedes their help and fulfillment as human beings. To them, fears are to be identified, challenged, and overcome. They have courage as a primary motivator because they have faith in themselves and in their ability to solve any problem. They have courage because they trust their own minds to know truth and guide them accordingly. They have the courage to attempt anything that will make their lives richer and more rewarding. They consistently challenge themselves personally and grow as human beings from their experience. They experience lives of valuing and respecting themselves. They have the ability to give and receive emotional nourishment. They have the ability to experience life as meaningful and fulfilling. They have the ability to live a life of psychological quality.