In order to become emotionally healthy, we have to root out and face the things we’re afraid of. Many of the things we’re chronically afraid of are not obvious, so it’s our job to be honest with ourselves as we begin to uncover them.
The hidden fears that hurt our relationships with ourselves and our loved ones are often tied to goals and dreams we’d love to pursue. And when we don’t pursue what we love, it hurts our authenticity, consequently, our relationships.
Let’s take a look at 5 ways fear sabotages our emotional health–and how to overcome it.
1. FEAR LURES YOU INTO YOUR COMFORT ZONE.
Being chronically fearful lures us into our comfort zone, then traps us there. Fear convinces us to play it safe and trade our passions for perceived security. But the truth is, our passions are only found when we leave our comfort zone and take a leap of faith.
We can’t fulfill our dreams by playing it safe–no matter how intense our fears are. Achieving our goals means we have to take decisive action, even if it’s uncomfortable.
2. FEAR TEACHES LEARNED HELPLESSNESS.
When we’re fearfully locked into our comfort zone, learned helplessness is almost inevitable. We begin to believe that our goals are out of reach, and that we’re better off if we don’t try to pursue them at all.
Learned helplessness is a defeatist attitude disguised as realism. We might be able to fool ourselves into thinking the fear is the truth for a little while, but that won’t last forever. The only way to break out of it is to empower ourselves by facing your fears.
3. FEAR CRIPPLES AUTHENTICITY.
Fear cripples authenticity. When we are not our authentic selves, we’re unable to have truly healthy relationships. Being inauthentic means the people we love, especially our spouse, won’t ever really know us intimately.
Being honest about the things we’re afraid of, however, can help us live with authenticity. It also gives our loved ones a chance to support us in our endeavors–something we lack when we fail to open up.
4. FEAR SABOTAGES DREAMS.
Fear causes us to put our dreams on the backburner. It deceives us into believing that, sometime in the future, we won’t be so afraid to start pursuing our dreams. One day, we’ll be “ready”–just not right now. Right?
The thing is, putting off our goals until tomorrow results in repeated procrastination. If we let fear in the driver’s seat, we’ll kick the proverbial can down the road indefinitely.
5. FEAR KILLS PASSION.
Inadvertently, fear kills our passion for the things we love. In order to cultivate passion, we must first commit to our goals. The problem is, fear kills commitment, which in turn kills passion.
We like to say that passion is an inside job. It helps us face our fears and persist in spite of them. Ultimately, the only way to put fear to rest is to cultivate that passion, which then ignites action. When we commit to action, then we can truly achieve our dreams. And when we can pursue and achieve our dreams, that’s a massive step toward becoming whole, emotionally healthy individuals.
TAKE THE FIRST STEP.
In order to become emotionally healthy, we must face and overcome our fears. Overcoming fear involves taking calculated risks, so your first step is to evaluate your goals and what it’s going to take to achieve them.
The first step is the most difficult step to take, but none of us can afford to wait for our “lucky break”–we only have one life. Move forward with boldness–not carelessness or impulsivity–to build your momentum, day by day.