Fear: Are You in Control of What You are Afraid of?

Fear is something that I feel quite often. In fact, fear has been a perpetual part of my life since I can remember. Over the years I go back and forth from having control of my fear to my fear controlling me. I imagine that I am not the only one who has felt this before. Is being constantly afraid a good thing or not? And most importantly can we live without fear?

While it may seem that having no fear would be an ideal situation. We might need some fear in order for us to survive. Fear is within our bones; it is an instinct that lives in many animals throughout the world. It is an essential part of our lives. To live without fear would not be the best situation for any of us. Yet, our fear can get out of hand or control us.

Sometimes when we let our fear control our lives it creates an imbalance. We might find ourselves getting angry more often than not, guilty, depressed, or holding ourselves back from doing important activities or values in our lives. When fear runs our lives it can not help us become the best person that we can be. While fear is important having it run our lives only ruins us.

Learning when fear controls our lives can help challenge that perspective. Challenging the reasons why we are afraid will help us to deduce what we really are afraid of. A couple of questions to ask yourself if you find yourself surrounded by fear is:

            What am I really afraid of?

            What are the consequences of me being afraid?

            How will this effect me if I keep being afraid?

If you ever find yourself paralyzed and controlled by fear just remember that you are the boss of your fear and your fear is not the boss of you. While fear is important, letting it control you will only hold you back and not let you be the best person you can be. So get out there, and show your fear who is boss!

Written by: Jasper Gates, M.A., LPC Intern