Fear is an incredibly powerful elementary emotion. When we’re afraid of something or someone, it’s because we feel threatened and vulnerable. It’s a strong survival instinct, but sometimes it’s difficult to understand why it’s triggered in the first place.
The key to identifying fear is avoidance. If I’m avoiding something (person, place, phone call, task, etc.), I’m running away from something that I fear. Avoidance is the smoke of the fire of fear.
Recently, I realized that I was fearful of giving too much of myself in certain areas of my life because I was afraid of heading into another burnout. This burnout happened almost 9 years ago. After all this time, I felt the need to be calculative in how much I was doing for others and worried so much about over-exerting myself. Sadly, this took a toll on my energy and motivation levels, and in my ability to enjoy life. During these last 9 years, I’ve been faced with many challenges that threatened to demand too much of me, so the fear was sadly reinforced for a good number of those years.
To my surprise, I found myself having more drive and more energy after making the effort to give myself more generously. I realized that avoiding was far more exhausting than facing my fears. Of course, I’m in no way saying that we should disregard our fears. Some of these are healthy and necessary for our survival. Rather, whenever we notice ourselves avoiding something or someone that doesn’t threaten our well-being, we need to ask ourselves why we do so and what it says about us.
Hope this reflection helps you challenge your irrational fears.
Be a light to your world!