Fear May Be SECRETLY Destroying Your Life and Relationships. See How and Conquer It!

Fear May Be SECRETLY Destroying Your Life and Relationships.

Fear is nasty. It doesn’t play fair with you and it is out to kill you. I don’t think I could have made that lighter. It uses every method available within itself to cripple you and make you miserable. It wants to make your relationships and your life suck and snuff the life out of you…..and that’s not even the scariest part….The scariest part is that as terrifying fear is, it’s not easy seen. Its like a scary alien movie…you know…the one where “the aliens have been living among us pretending to be humans all along” until project apocalypse begins”.

Yea…fear is sneaky. Can I take it up one more notch?

Fear is so scary because It can also pretend its YOU. Yes….and make decisions for you that affect  your life and future…and you wouldn’t even know it.

So…

HOW DOES FEAR SHOW UP IN OUR LIVES AND RELATIONSHIPS?

How does fear play pretend? how does it “move in” without us even realizing? One phrase I think sums it up in the context of what we are talking about:

UTTER AND COMPLETE RISK AVOIDANCE.

Fear will cause you to drastically reduce or eliminate ALL risk in your life and relationships

Is Risk avoidance a bad thing? Of course not. It’s just that fear can easily hide there and pretend its doing you a favor.

Fear will cause you to drastically reduce or eliminate ALL risk in your life and relationships. THAT MEANS:

1) Not taking initiative: This is about the fear of failure…specifically the fear of looking bad to others if you fail. Fear will cause you to exist in a group but never offer to solve problems you see in your sphere of influence. This will make others see you as a taker only not a giver. Fear is a relationship destroyer. You will never initiate change for the better and you will be terrified to ask for what you want.

You’ll pray about it from noon to midnight but you wont be able to open your mouth to say a word to the people around you who could cause change only if they knew it mattered to you. Not only that, your ideas tend to die.

The fear of looking like a fool muffles you. It suffocates and kills the great ideas you have.

Fear is not here to play with you.

2) Not being vulnerable and real in relationships: This is HUGE. When this takes hold of people, they will find it both hard to say “Im sorry” and hard to admit they were hurt by someone else. They will typically only RESPOND to affection but not INITIATE it. They will walk around like stuff doesn’t bother them but burn up inside. This is about the fear of looking weak.

For people in this hole, relationships eventually end up crumbling right to the foundation because their partners become so emotionally exhausted that they simply cant take anymore of their partner’s slipperiness, passive-aggressiveness, indirectness, impenetrability and emotional unpredictability.

3) MAJOR trust issues: Do you have major trust issues? The problem may not be “trust” in of itself. The problem may be fear…masquerading as “trust issues”. Fear of being alone….fear of looking weak…fear of losing power and many others can manifest as trust issues. It is impossible to have a healthy relationship without trust.

The person who doesn’t trust will never be vulnerable and therefore be miserable; and the person not trusted will always be overcompensating (and failing) to satisfy the trust of the distrusting partner…and also end up miserable.

If there are legitimate trust issues, identify them, identify the behaviors that cause them an d fix them. Fear…fear…is another dimension entirely.

4) Becoming selfish and manipulative: Fear is so good at being bad. It first convinces you that it is just a sense of healthy self-pride. The problem is that a sense of pride that is based on fear will make you prioritize yourself every moment of everyday with everyone. 

Fear is so good at being bad.

Furthermore, (pay close attention here) this self-preservation becomes so ingrained and addictive that you set situations up in advance in order to ensure the outcome you want (even at the expense of others), and in order to do that, you start to think for people. You start to get really good at making assumptions about what people will think, say and how they will react. Then when you find opportunities to control the situation in your favor, you step into their heads (most popular tool for that is gossiping) and pre-plant reactions before the situation even comes for that person. There is a word for that: MANIPULATION

5) Inability to take personal responsibility and take action:

Fear turns you into a pig

Fear will paralyze you and prevent you from taking the massive action that is typically needed to change your life for the better. This is why so many people end up settling for so much less in life and love.

But wait!!!…hold on. Shouldn’t fear motivate people into action? Like if your relationship is in the figurative toilet on the way to separation, shouldn’t that freak you out into becoming the best spouse ever and checking yourself in for marriage counseling? OR if your unhealthy eating habits have caused you to balloon beyond recognition, shouldn’t that freak you out to start working out?

It SHOULD ..but NO… it doesn’t. I wish it did. You know what happens instead? Fear gives you whatever version of itself that will prevent you from taking action. So…instead of running in for marriage counseling, you become more afraid of the immediate stigma of being “that couple in counseling” while the worse version of  “that couple that is separated” lurks in the near future. OR you become more afraid that people will make fun of you in the gym…when the harder part of “grave health complications” lurk nearby.

Fear makes you so afraid of the journey of transformation, that you can’t even concentrate on the destination.
Tobi Atte
(CLICK TO TWEET THAT)

Find fear? KILL IT!

6) You become a master procrastinator: This is one of the shadiest, slimiest, vomit-inducing-not-playing-fair tactics of fear. How does it work?

Once it can’t convince you that you are ok in your own bum banana, once it realizes that you are determined to change, it changes strategy from “REMOVING” the desire to change, to “CHANGING” the desire to change. Here’s how.

If fear could actually talk, it’ll look you square in the eye, in a condescending manner, almost rolling its eyes and say:

“Since you are determined to change, fine…just change tomorrow…because we already have a list of (inconsequential, mostly useless, simply routine) things we have to do tonight.”

 If you see fear anywhere near you, put one in the chest and one in the head.

7) You attract the very thing you are afraid of (Self Fulfilling Prophesy) which FURTHER affirms your FEARS: This one is wiilllddd. Here is the 30,000 feet main point: Fear wants to live and fear wants to cement its place in your life, and the only way to do that is to convince you that IT (fear) is as real as possible.

Huh? Yes. Let’s go deeper.

Fear makes you afraid of itself. Once you believe it is real, it then looks for a way to supply a reality that confirms its own existence in order to cement itself in your life.

Tobi Atte

I have seen this over and over and over again. Many of the things that happen to people happen not because they were meant to happen but because they were brought (more like forced) into existence by fear.

SHOULD THE FIRE FEAR ALARM GO OFF IN YOUR HEAD?

Well, not necessarily. But if any of these statements sound too familiar to you, you need to step back and quickly access your life….fear may be running things.

-Even though im around nice singles all the time, I haven’t pursued any relationship because i am just picky.
-I didn’t try harder because it (whatever love or life opportunity was in front of you) wasn’t going to work anyway
-I broke things off right away because someone told me………. about him/her
-I could have started but I didnt think …
-I cant start unless…
-I have to know exactly how things are going to turn out before I begin
-I need a guarantee that……in order to start

Now that’s not to say that any of these cant be legitimate statements. I mean …if you are opening a bank account, you need to have a guarantee that your money will be there when you need it. Thats not what I am talking about here.

What I am talking about is this systemic undertone of fear, hiding as risk management.

SO WHAT ARE THE MOST COMMON FEARS THAT CAN RUIN OUR LIVES AND RELATIONSHIPS?

-Fear of being alone        -Fear of not being good enough
-Fear of being used          -Fear of looking weak
-Fear of losing power       -Fear of failure
-Fear of success              -Fear of Rejection

WHY DO WE TYPICALLY HAVE THESE FEARS? (ESPECIALLY THE RELATIONAL FEARS)

Most of our fears come from a negative view of ourselves and low Self-Esteem

I KNOW this to be a fact. The lower your self-esteem is, the more susceptible you are to being gripped in a headlock by fear. I’m talking about self-esteem here…not self-confidence.

What’s the difference?

Confidence comes from the latin word “fidere” which means “to trust.”. So self confidence is trusting in your ability to do something. Knowing you CAN.

“Esteem” is derived from the Latin word “aestimare”, meaning “to appraise, estimate value, rate, or weigh”. So self-esteem is our overall assessment or appraisal of our own worth. Self-esteem is most times more powerful than self-confidence.

Self-confidence may for example answer the question: Do I have the ability to have it or do it?
Self-esteem may then answer the question(s): I am worthy of having it or doing it?

SO WHAT CAN YOU START DOING RIGHT NOW TO GRIP FEAR BY THE HORNS?

1) Practice identifying fear when it comes in your thoughts or your words and call it what it is: When the thoughts or emotions come, pin point in and call it out. “I haven’t applied for this job because I am afraid I may get rejected” or “I’m still single because I am terrified I am going to make a mistake.

2) Find the TRUE fear: This is really important. Fear is multi layered and multifaceted, Its like interconnected caves. One leads to the other. So you may have a fear of public speaking but it may really be a fear of rejection. You may have a fear of failure on the surface but it may actually be a fear of success.

So you may want to practice asking yourself: What am I REALLY afraid of?

3) Use your fear: Once you call it out, and you do your best to identify what you are really afraid of, it becomes significantly easier to tackle fear by using it.

What that means is that your fear now becomes a TOOL instead of your obstacle. It becomes your car’s side mirrors, and car gauges instead of being the herd of cattle on the road.

The idea is that you don’t want fear to paralyze you into inaction. So once you identify legitimate concerns, ask yourself: What ACTIONS can I take to reduce or eliminate this concern?

4) Replace small fears with better ones: That’s not a typo. What I mean is that since fear gives you a small fear and makes it bigger than the real concern so you DONT go into action, YOU should give yourself a bigger fear than the real fear in a way that will MOVE you into action. So for example,

Fear may say don’t go to the gym because people will laugh at you but you can say “Im more afraid of ending up with failed organs than a few side looks from people I don’t even know…so I AM going to the gym.”

Fear may say don’t start that business because it’ll mean less time to do the things you like to do but you can say “I  am more afraid of losing the opportunity to sacrifice and build something great now, so that I can own my time later in life…so I AM starting this thing.”

So learn to ask yourself: Which version of this fear will compel me into positive action? (Fear of people in the gym or fear of failed organs….see?)

So that’s it. Don’t give fear an inch of space.

Good luck, banish fear and live your best life now.

 

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  • Sherie

    This is very enlightening, thank you.
    I think you should do a whole post on #2 though. 🙂
    But, how does one strike a balance or shouldn’t there be? For instance, not wanting to make a mistake by rushing in to a relationship is not a bad thing but how does one balance between fear and being careful?

    • Yes….that seems explorable for sure…be on the lookout