What are you afraid of?

Photo courtesy of c-h-l (paused) (Creative Commons)

Photo courtesy of c-h-l (paused) (Creative Commons)

Running in the fog is a surreal experience. The world is shrouded and those familiar landmarks you know are there either hide out of sight or become faint and blurred. Sounds are muffled and it’s easy to become disoriented.

Worries and fears can be like that fog surrounding you. There are the anxieties hiding in the fog just out of sight that you can barely put a name to – vague fears and uncertainties that you can hear buzzing and rustling, but can’t see clearly.

All of these things can end up being suffocating, partly because so many things are nameless.

As painful and difficult as it can be, it is important to name those fears. Identify those worries. Only then can you start to address them and make progress past them.

I think many times we are held back because we are afraid of something we haven’t identified. I have often said that I can’t fix a problem if I don’t know about it, and the same holds true for fears.

I can’t fight and overcome a fear I haven’t named. That nebulous anxiety that I feel will drag me back until I turn and look it in the face. Then and only then can I start fighting it and getting past it.

I have finally named one of my fears: I am afraid that I won’t make a difference – that I won’t positively impact people.

That was a huge realization – and it explains so much about my choices and my obstacles.

I have spent a lot of time feeling unsettled, and taking on more and more responsibilities that just seems to make me busier, but not more satisfied.

I realized I was agreeing to do all these things that are great things, but they weren’t “the” thing. Now that I have identified my fear, I can direct my efforts toward doing those things that will make a difference.

As I analyze all my commitments, I need to be honest and let go of those things that don’t positively impact people, and seek opportunities that allow me to do that. Also, I need to be wary of being overly committed because that takes away my potential impact.

When I am rushing from task to task, with hardly a moment to really focus on what I am doing, then I’m diluting my power of impact. And that in turn, feeds my fear of not making a difference.

It helps dissipate the fog to name my fears and to face them head-on. It doesn’t make them go away, but it sure makes it easier to fight them.

What fears do you have hiding in the fog? How would your life change if you named and faced them?

2 thoughts on “What are you afraid of?

  1. 4 years ago, my wife was hospitalized with an illness that rocked the foundation of my family. She is doing quite well now (THANK GOD!), but if I’m honest, I fear a relapse. The past few years, we have been able to get the help and healing necessary to move on, but there is still caution. The best way I have found to overcome the fear is to look into the face of the Creator.

    • Jon – I’m so glad your wife is doing better but I do understand your fear of relapse – sounds like you are facing that fear the best way you can with caution and faith.

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