The fear of fear

fear

[feer]

noun

1. A distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc.,whether the threat is real or imagined; the feeling or condition of being afraid.

Fear is something which we can all relate to in one form or another. This could be an obvious physical form such as the fear of heights or the fear of clowns. Or, in a lot of cases, the underlying fear is something less obvious, to the point that we can be unaware of it, such as the fear of loss.

No matter what it is, big or small, we are all afraid of something. I have spent a lot of time over the last couple of weeks thinking about fear, and reading a lot of material about how to live “fearlessly,” and overcome fear.

It all started the other day, when we went on a cinema trip with my Auntie and Cousin to watch the Second Best Marigold Hotel (If you haven’t yet seen it it’s a gooden!) A quote from the movie really caught my attention,

“Sometimes it seems that the difference between what we want and what we fear, is a width of an eyelash.”

This really got me thinking because I realised it is so true and relevant to my life at the moment. Want and fear are so close, that sometimes they are the exact same thing. I think for me, moving to the other side of the world really highlighted my fears. As some of you know, like my mum, I am a hoarder. I have a massive fear that if I throw something out, I will need it in the next week. I had to part with a lot of items when packing my suitcase, but embarrassingly all those soft toys, and cards are still boxed up at Mum and Dads.

Funnily enough, planning your wedding also highlights fears. It seems that I have a fear of spending money… and weddings are not cheap. I also have a fear of planning ahead… as things never seem to go as I plan them too. I’m so glad I am marrying a planner… so I’m not left alone planning… I’m sure I’d pull all my hair out!

There have been many occasions recently where I have realised what I want and what I fear strongly correlate. Luckily for me, I am learning* to recognise these fears as they occur, and thus unravelling them before they get out of control. (*learning is an ongoing process and I like to think I am getting better but I am still not an expert)
One of my biggest fears was that I wasn’t going to make any friends in my new town. I suppose this is the fear of rejection. I know I am blessed to have my family close, but I have really been missing my friends and social networks that I had in NZ. When Elliot arrived, we decided to go to a church to gain community here, as we really wanted to make new friends.

One massive problem though. I have somehow gained an irrational fear of meeting people. I’m sure I used to be that confident girl who would just waltz into a large group and pretend I’ve already met them. But over the last year or so, whilst struggling with different mental health issues, I’ve lost all that confidence.

Elliot had to do quite a bit of encouraging to get me along to a life group (a small group of young adults from church) but I am so glad he got me there. Minus a minor panic attack when there was 20 people who I hadn’t met previously in a small lounge, I managed to gain enough confidence to introduce us and share a bit of a story. And alas. We have made some wonderful, supportive new friends. On Saturday we went out to breakfast with them, and everyone has been so welcoming to us.

Another want/fear example from this week is my upcoming appointment with the Marfan Specialist. A couple of people have made comments that I shouldn’t be worried about going to hospital. I mean, I thought I would have got used to it by now. And I did move to the other side of the world so I could be seen under this specialty. But for some reason, once again, what I want and what I fear are so close together.

I think that fact that it is hard to control fear is the biggest issue. Fear, and the fear of fear, has a way of entrapping us. If we are not careful, it can stop us from growing and from being happy. If i had let my fear take over last week, I wouldn’t have walked into that room, and I wouldn’t have made some cool new friends.

Choosing to overcome fear is not easy, but an important step in living life fully. Sometimes we simply need to stand up to fear. To throw away that massive stash of sentimental cards from the last 20 years (cough, I need to take my own advice). To learn that instrument you’ve always wanted to learn. To start running if you want to run. To write that novel you’ve always wanted to write. To live life to the full.

Ah, I now fear that I am blabbering and losing track. FEAR AGAIN. Go figure.

Until next time,

Keira xo

Our awesome new friends at breakfast 🙂

PS: A friend and old-fellow colleague from Heart Kids NZ is a life coach. Little did she know, but on many occasions, simple chats with her really inspired me. She is someone who has been through many seasons of life, overcome massive challenges, and now devotes her life to helping other people become fearless and live their life to full potential. Her post on “don’t feed fears” is so relevant to this, thank you for your tips once again Tarryne! Check out her post and the rest of her witty and educational blog – http://changeonewoman.com/2012/02/09/the-f-word/
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