The catastrophe you fear will happen has in fact, already happened. Donald Winnicott
Fear is a lot of things to a lot of people but one thing I guess we can agree on is that it is an unpleasant feeling. From worrying, to anxiety disorders to PTSD all the way to whatever phobia we decide to label it as, fear has always and will continue to exist.
As I sat in church and watched this little boy walk up to the drummer and try to join in playing with his hands, I began to ponder on how/why he was so confident. Perhaps he didn’t care what anyone thought of him, or he couldn’t be bothered being embarrassed because he probably didn’t even know that there was such a thing.
I started to think back to my own childhood and how much more confident I was then and how I managed to lose that.
For every action I took as a child I quickly learned the consequence, either directly through my actions or indirectly through my parents or the people around me.
I remember being curious about the colour of fire and I how didn’t heed all the warning I had received earlier till I decided to see how it felt or the time I couldn’t distinguish between hot and cold water, now the scar on my foot reminds me to do a quick check before I bath. I also remember loving dogs and how I was fascinated by how cold their nose always were. I was really on a mission to see if all dogs were like this and I got the chase of my life. I have never intentionally gone close to a dog ever since.
The older I got, the more afraid I became of the things I used to do. It was as if the quicker I knew the consequence of an action, the quicker I became anxious of trying it. My catalog of fear grew so much so that I didn’t even wait to have the experience for myself before I became afraid. All it took was the knowledge of the resulting negative consequence and boom! I disappear like a clean pair of socks.
KNOWLEDGE is the root cause of all my fear.
I bet that if I didn’t know that fire burned, I will still try and put my hand through it today. Even though the outcome of certain actions can be positive, I tend to dwell on all the possible negative outcome and in no time, I convince myself on why the odds of a possible positive outcome is unlikely abandoning whatever it was I was going to do.
I’m talking about this because it took me a long time to figure out that what I was afraid of was my past and and not necessarily my future. It would have probably taken me a shorter time if I asked more questions but fear wouldn’t let me. Better yet, I wouldn’t let me. I have also realised that because of my past, I will always be worried and skeptical about doing anything at all moving forward and that’s okay. Maybe fear isn’t as bad as I am painting it out to be. Maybe this is how humans and animals are wired genetically to survive. We unconsciously train ourselves to spot danger from a mile away and instantaneously make adjustments on the
However, defying that natural instinct often leads to memorable experiences and remarkable advancements in knowledge. Yes, that same knowledge. You see, it is by taking risk that we learn and ultimate grow. more often than not, the outcome will be negative and if we persist and learn from that, we can most likely change that outcome.
I am learning to stop myself from predicting the outcome of a situation before it happens and more importantly, knowing that a negative outcome today doesn’t guarantee a negative outcome tomorrow and vice versa. Life is dynamic and I should be too.
I will always be afraid, worried, anxious or whatever the word is but i refuse to let it overcome me. Fear should make me cautious of where I step but it should not stop me from moving.