We all have our fears. Whether it’s being rejected for who we truly are, failing to meet expectations, or being afraid that you will never be able to accomplish your dreams… we all have something we are afraid of. What are you afraid of?
Being willing to put yourself out there—to be fully known—is hard. When we open up and let someone see who you truly are we open give people the opportunity to accept or reject us. This means being real and not putting up walls. That’s hard. Really hard. It’s so much easier to preempt the possibility of rejection by not allowing people to see who you truly are or to place certain limits on the relationship to keep yourself safe. We tend to do this because of past experiences at times.
Maybe you have already experienced the harsh rejection and feelings of immense failure because of a past relationship or risk you had taken. Maybe you actually tried for that position but weren’t even considered. Maybe
that special someone broke your heart by telling you they didn’t really care about you and were just using you. You just can’t bare the thought of going through something that painful again.
Maybe you love your job so much that you’re afraid to take risks which might result in you losing your position.
Maybe you care too much about a relationship and are stifling the other person because you are anxious and afraid that you will lose them.
Maybe you are afraid that your values might change and you will lose something that was once important to you; what if you lose a part of who you are? Identity is something many of struggle with when we are afraid of losing something, because often we build ourselves (who we are) on our past accomplishments, who we hang out with, and what we do. When things change we might lose who we are, and that can be downright terrifying.
Sometimes if we feel that if things don’t work out that something is wrong with us. We don’t want to accept that so we don’t even bother taking a risk. When things get serious, we back down and step away from the challenge. When it comes to relationships people jump ship before it has started taking on water. It’s much easier to walk away knowing that we have not failed because we have not tried rather than to accept the idea of trying.
Life is unpredictable certainty is something that is hard to come by. When something or someone begins to encroach on our plans it can feel suffocating and make us feel like we don’t have the space we need to be ourselves. We feel like we’re losing control and we don’t have the power to do what we want. This feeling can leave us crushed feeling like we cannot meet our needs and accomplish our goals.
What do all these fears have in common? Self-fulfilling prophesy, “If you believe it is happening/going to happen, you will react in a way that will cause it to happen…
Relationships are often cyclical in behavior:
When somebody pushes for more distance, the other person usually attempts to close the gap to reassure themselves of the relationship.
When you fear that your past will repeat itself you begin to treat the other person as if it already has happened.
When you are afraid of rejection, you will come off less confident and are more likely to be rejected.
If you are afraid of losing something, you probably wont take the necessary risks and it will be lost.
If you live by fear, you will find yourself in the passenger seat of life heading to a destination you don’t want to go—it doesn’t have to be that way.
There is hope.
In the same way Self-fulfilling prophecy can work against you; if you believe that something good will happen you will respond in a way that will encourage it to happen.
Live your life seeing possibility and hope there is no need for fear. Sure, everything won’t go according to plan, but things can be better when you believe that things will be different this time.
Trust people and let them get to know you for who you truly are and you will find people who accept you for your authenticity.
Give people the space they need and see that they will respect you and want to keep the relationship
Take those risks and you’ll be able to live life to the fullest.
Accept that sometimes you lose people and parts of who you are, and that’s okay.
Understand that your past is in the past and whatever you strive for is what you can have.
There will be times we all experience fear, just remind yourself the truth that fear is there to encourage you to reflect on the decision you are going to make. Just don’t let fear make the decision for you.
In all things and pray for wisdom and comfort.
God is big enough to handle all of this (and more.)