There is a difference between fear and a phobia. Fear is to be afraid of something. Phobia is to be irrationally afraid of something. That’s pretty simple, right?
The number one fear in America is the fear of spiders. Almost 50 percent of women and 10 percent of men have a fear of spiders. I personally love spiders. I am awed by them and rescue them from squashation before my co-workers have a shot.
Fear holds us back from so much. Phobias hold us back as well, but they are irrational and so, only gross amounts of therapy can help us with that. And most times that doesn’t even work.
Fear of the unknown kills us. And in unknown, I don’t mean ghosts or extraterrestrials. I mean the future. I mean change. Change affects the future. We’re so busy trying to maintain the humdrum present; getting the same thing for breakfast everyday, driving the same way to our thankless job everyday and putting on the same after work clothes everyday. We don’t even recognize that we’re afraid of change until…
One day someone says, “You want to go get sushi for lunch?” And the mere thought of this is paralyzing. Sushi? But, I eat turkey on whole wheat with mustard every day. I hate mustard, but it’s fat-free. This thought is immediate and uncomfortable.
You say, “Thanks, but I brought my lunch. You know, turkey.” You feel like a dweeb as soon as the words start falling from your lips, but it’s too late. You can’t take them back.
Most of us are so comfortable inside the box as we gaze upon the wonders of “what if” that we do not dare disturb the monotony of our world with sushi.
Have you ever talked to someone who incessantly complained about their life? You offer ideas and feedback and all you get back is constant rebuttals of “why it simply will not work.”
I’m too old. It’s too hard. I don’t have enough money. I’ll fail. They’ll laugh at me. Someone already thought of it. I can’t.
All of these statements say one thing. I am afraid.
What are you afraid of?
Have you ever done something in spite of fear? Maybe you stood up to your boss. Maybe you told your spouse that your marriage wasn’t working out. Maybe you, like me, decided to say “screw it” and submit one final article to a site that turned you down three previous times. Doesn’t it feel good when you stand up to fear? How many times have we said, “that wasn’t so bad.”
Fear kills our spirit. It robs of us finding out whether or not we should truly be afraid in the first place.
Franklin D. Roosevelt said, “the only thing we have to fear, is fear itself”. I never really understood what in Hades ol’ FDR meant by that until I decided to leave my husband of seven years. And it hit me. Fear should be the only thing I fear. Fear held me back. Fear kept me isolated. Fear does these same things to you.
Fear kills us for as long as we let it.