The Identified Problem
Fear is part of the human experience and unanimously felt. However, our fears are also deeply personal and rooted in lived experiences. We believe there is a threat to be feared. We believe this whether the threat is physical, such as fear of physical pain or death, or emotional, such as fear of the pain of humiliation or abandonment. No matter how realistic or unrealistic the perceived threat is, the results are typically the same and equally damaging. Second-guessing, self-doubt, and paralyzation.
Perhaps you are frozen and powerless whether you encounter a bear in the wild or a man who resembles your father in your personal space. Whether you’re sweating and your heart is pounding from the real threat of being left alone in a dangerous place, or from the imagined threat of being discovered to be “not good enough” and abandoned by a partner, the threat is real to you and your body.
Second-guessing is constant self-doubt, unsure of our choices and next moves. Unable to commit to the responsibility of our lives. Paralyzation is not only physical stillness, but not moving forward in life or emotionally connecting to it.
The fears that are more suppressed, less apparent, are often the kind that come up in therapy and block change.
Here are some ways to uncover them: envision yourself “giving up” your brokenness, your self-destruction, your self-doubt, your addictions, your feeling of being in control, your current comfort. What do you fear you will experience? For most, it has to do with loss – loss of control, loss of relationship or connection, loss of identity, loss of life itself.
Before you can envision what you will gain by “healing” and “transforming,” you need to first acknowledge and process what you will be losing. You will be uncomfortable and feel vulnerable and out of control. How will you manage that? How will you be supported in that? Can you do it?
The alternative is to stay the same.
Now let that play out. Staying the same. Eventually going back to what you know best.
Solution/Resolution – Our Favorite Part
The antidote to fear is truth. Truth about who am I and what my life is. What is my purpose in this life? What are my values? Am I the person I want to be? What do I bring to relationships? What do I offer this world? Is it my strength? My kindness? My intelligence? Is it my ability to make others feel nurtured? My ability to create something of beauty? We must walk through fear with our strengths. If you are entirely unsure, that is part of your work at Barn Life – discovering and committing to yourself.
This week, contemplate any potential losses or discomfort that you envision occurring due to change.
Here are some questions to think about:
What are your conscious fears (“I’m afraid I’ll never even be able to get better”) and your unconscious fears (“I’m afraid that when people get to know the real me they will leave me”) that you have been numbing?
If you continued to live in fear, what would paralyzation/shrugging into sameness look like to you? What is comfortable about this?
Are there any fears you have settled into and made your “truths” you live by? (E.g., My “truth” is that I am always rejected. No matter what I do or who I pretend to be, so I sabotage relationships and choose people I feel are less than me so I can reject them first).
What will you gain by challenging a specific fear in your life (e.g., fear of rejection, fear of losing control, fear of the unknown, fear of failure, fear of death)?
How can we at Barn Life help you begin to challenge and take action steps toward facing and challenging these fears?