Wednesday, August 12, 2009

How Does Fear Hold You Back?

Yanno, I like to consider myself a brave person. I've overcome a lot of issues in my life by trusting myself and doing what I felt was right for me and my family. But there are still things I feel an unusually intense fear about:

1--trusting others. I find myself creating a "contingency" plan that usually relies upon me being 100% self-reliant, just in case anything awful ever happens. Is it smart to be prepared? Absolutely. But there are good people in the world whom we can depend upon. I just have a hard time letting go of my fear of overdependence, so I swing to the other side of the pendulum and end up being overly independent. This is something I struggle to get over, but I still try, every day.

2--writing. I have a book contract, and I am SOOO thankful about it. But I still fear that I'm not good enough, that it was a fluke, that my editors will not like anything else I send them. It's irrational, I know. With every new story I write, I'm growing as a writer. I work hard at my craft. I'm not afraid to revise as needed. That voice in my head is awfully loud, and I can sometimes silence it by taking stock of how much I've accomplished. Even if I never sell another book again, I've still achieved my goal. Plus, writing has given me a sense of depth and resonance in my life that I never would have imagined--that can never be taken away.

3--death. I can't escape it. It's 100% guaranteed to happen to me, my family, my friends, and everyone I know. But that doesn't mean I feel comfort in that fact. I am petrified to die, especially in a way that's not just me passing quietly in my sleep when I'm super old. If I think about it for too long, I start freaking myself out. This is going to sound super goofy, but in my head, I believe I will live to be 100, so I still have another 67 years to go--and I find a little bit of comfort in that. haha

4--my perception. I have certain views and thoughts about myself, the world, the people around me, and I like to feel that my viewpoint is fairly accurate. But what if I'm wrong? What if my head's all messed up and I'm one of those super-crazy people who doesn't know she's a whacko nutbar? haha. Logically, I know that's probably not the case, and I'd like to think if something were really that messed up in my head, that someone would have intervened by now.

What are your most intense fears? Do you feel they are justified? What steps do you take to overcome those fears so it doesn't hold you back in your life?


  1. haha I am so irrationally ascared of death that I couldn't even read that part!

    I think that's a big part of writing though... it's good that we don't ever think we're good enough, because it makes us work harder and try to get better.

  2. I get the writing fears. I feel those too. As for death, I could die tomorrow and be fine. I have perfect peace about it.

  3. Wow. *me taking a deep breath* I'm so glad it's not me with all these same fears. I am always and forever trying to live with less fear. I try deep breathing and focusing on the present moment. Breath and enjoy. Breath and enjoy. Death will come later.... The perfect phrase will come... I am not a total nut job -- in fact I'm normal, it's the rest of the world that's crazy. Yeah, that's it. :) And, yeah, I can let go and trust someone else -- at least a little bit.

    Kristin Painter -- I envy your perfect peace. That is a wonderful place to be.

    I will continue my endeavor to fear less and be fearless. Thanks for sharing your fears!

  4. I've read that even the most successful people have that fear of "being found out they're a fake." So, *we* are not alone! :-)
    I'm more afraid of others dying, that I'd miss them so. But not so much about me dying. I mean...I'll be dead, so what'll I know? ha ha

  5. My writing fear is that it will not be as good as *I* think. It has kept me in constant revisionss. I'm getting better... I've subbed it and gotten good responses.

    No fear of death. I've beaten it so many times at this point I feel like we know one another. My real fear is becoming so ill I won't be able to DO anything. As long as I can keep plugging away at stuff that matters, I'm cool. BUT...

    Leaving Ahmed. Even leaving Max. Terrifies me. I've even demanded The Promise. I hate the very notion of leaving them.

    I'm also afraid the two littlest kids-- my youngest nephews-- will forget me. If I live long enough for them to know me through, say, junior high I think that will fade. But they're so young now...

  6. You know, I don't think I fear death as much as I do cancer. It just keeps popping up around me, and has me terrified.

    I'm also afraid of losing my husband, either by his choice or death. I make contingiency plans in my head. It's morbid and sick.

  7. Thank you all for sharing! I appreciate your honesty.

  8. Everything on your list matches mine...if you add clowns.

    I still wonder if my husband could really love me as much as he says he does. Maybe it's a giant ruse. I mean, he's all these wonderful things and I'm just me, you know?