The Fear Phenomenon
'Fear' can be defined as 'a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc., whether the threat is real or imagined'. Fear can be paralyzing for many. There are so many listed fears and phobias, but one of the main two that I run into among friends and clients is the fear of failure or the fear of rejection.
'Phenomenon' can be defined as 'something that is impressive or extraordinary' or 'a wonder'. Usually, a phenomenon is associated with something that's rare and/or shocking. Maybe even beyond our understanding.
So how can fear be impressive?!?! Stay with me...
Fear is both comfortable and uncomfortable, simultaneously. It is both immobilizing and motivating, simultaneously. It's even both miserable and blissful, simultaneously! How is this at all possible? How can it be both at the same time?! Don't we have to choose one or the other?
A mother and her toddler were in a waiting room. The receptionist noticed that the toddler was antsy and quite bored. So the kind receptionist provided the toddler with a couple of blank sheets of paper from her printer, along with a pencil. After the toddler covered almost every blank space on the papers with several pencil markings, he ran back to the receptionist for more paper. His mother interrupted him and redirected him back to the paper. Thinking there was nothing left to do, the toddler began to sulk and tears came to his eyes. The mother politely said something like "all you have to do is go to the other side"! She flipped the papers over to the blank sides and the toddler was elated.
~~end of story~~
THAT is the phenomenon of fear! It's comfortable because we stay where we are due to the fear of something not turning out the way we hoped or intended. But it's also uncomfortable because we don't want to stay where we are. 'Whether the threat is real or imagined.' Afraid of rejection? What if what/who rejected you was divine intervention shielding you from something undesirable down the road? Hmmmm...
Have you ever gotten in line for a roller coaster that you've never been on? Fear. You hear the screams of others while they're riding. Maybe an occasional person gets sick. Anxiety and anticipation build as you get closer. You're considering backing out. Fear. When you are at the front of the line, you see the previous riders breathing heavily and repeating "oh my God!" Then you climb aboard, making sure that you are securely fastened. Fear. And off it goes!! And it's so much fun!!! When you finish the ride and calm down, you're ready to go again! Where's that fear? You're on the other side of it.
The phenomenon is that, when it comes to fear, to get from one thought/emotion to another, just 'go to the other side'!