stage 04 part 2 more about fear

c. Effects of fear

The Bible says that there is only one good fear and that is the fear of God. By this, it means having reverence or respect for God and the things He says we should be doing. It says that this provides us boundaries that benefit us because they prevent us from doing things that harm us and those around us. Therefore it expects us to have the same boundaries which for some of us means doing things that we fear and for others stopping doing things that we want to do.

Fear can be destructive. For example, we can spend so much time being afraid of being rejected that we build and maintain walls that protect us from rejected. This is the same mechanism as a self-fulfilling prophecy where what we say actually happens. If we struggle to reach out then others will find it hard to relate to us so we stay behind those barriers. People are afraid to trust. They are afraid to be honest and vulnerable. They are afraid people will judge and criticise them. They are afraid that their secrets will be shared with others. In those situations, facing fear is part of a long term learning process.

Fear can be positive. If you fear failure then you know that there is something that you need to learn more about. It could be that you need to learn more about how to take a calculated risk. It could be that you need to learn how to find out the knowledge that you need to make the right choice. Sometimes it is not possible to learn how to do something without failing a few times. In fact, sometimes in order to succeed quickly you need to be able to fail and get up again and again as fast as possible. The only time you truly fail is the last time when you do not pick yourself up and try again. If you look at the lives of successful people, you will find that often there will be times of failure and times of success. Often in the early stages of their career they will have had to learn from failures. Some millionaires know what it is like to be homeless or bankrupt or both.

d. Is it really fear?

One of the problems with fear is that it is not always easy to recognise. For example, if we say we want to do something because it gives us a sense of security it sounds as if we are being sensible. But what is security?  Is it a way of saying that we want to avoid fear?  People say that they want job security so that they do not have to be afraid of losing their income. One of the things that makes it hard for people to become self-employed is that they lose the security of working for one employer. They have to go out and look for work for themselves. It is also hard taking the next leap i.e. being paid according to what you achieve rather than on the basis of the number of hours that you spend on a task. There is a limit on the number hours that we can spend working and if we are paid by the hour what we earn is therefore limited. If we are paid according to the results we get we are taking a risk that we will not have very good results but if we do have good results then we can earn a lot more than we would if you were paid by the hour. Moving to being paid by results seems risky but it is only by taking risks like that can we can increase our income.

e. Other negative emotions

Fear is not the only negative emotion that we may have to face. There are others like shame. We can be so ashamed of what we have done or of what others have done to us that it becomes a limitation upon our lives. Like with fear we have the option of staying where we are or working our way through it.

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