I have written a lot about fear in my previous posts, but I haven't really addressed it directly. We often let fear control our decisions and sometimes don't even realize it. It takes thought and reflection to understand the fear we feel. Many of us are not comfortable examining the roots of our fear or trying to figure out which fear is the real fear controlling us. For me, when faced with a decision, I always wonder which fear is driving what I want to do. Am I looking to leave a job because I don't think I am good enough or smart enough to do it and I want to get away before other people realize this? Or, am I looking to leave because I know the job I am doing is not the one I want to do?
It can be very difficult to figure out which fear is actually the motivator. We have to delve in to the fear, fight with it and figure out which is real and which is not. There may be aspects of both or many in any decision we make, but most of us are hesitant to do this introspection as we aren't sure what we are going to find when we start. We spend so much time being afraid that we don't really make many choices. We look for ways to keep busy or indifferent, be it watching too much TV, going out all the time or as it was in my case, drinking.
We hide from fear. We aren't ever sure when it is going to pop up and we don't want to spend our time examining it or figuring out what it is keeping us from doing. Instead, we try to ignore it and by doing so, we are inactive. We don't make meaningful choices; we don't figure out what to do next; we don't do anything of consequence. We have to learn how to examine our fear and then use it to our advantage. This isn't something we are ever taught in school and can be very difficult to learn. Most of us will continue to struggle with this for the rest of our lives, but as long as we are aware of the fear, we will work to make choices because of what we want and not due to the fear.
This isn't going to be easy and we are going to learn a lot about who we are (and some of it may not be great). Acknowledging and examining the fear will help to make our lives better because we will start making decisions that matter. We will start to figure out what we want to do. We will know what the fear has been keeping us from doing and we won't let it hold us back. We will still feel the fear, but it will no longer have a strong hold over who we are. We will be in control and we will be able to accomplish more than we ever have.