It’s okay to be afraid. Just don’t let fear make decisions for you.
Fear is in our nervous system, our brains, our bones. Fear can be our guardian angel, who alerts us to danger and helps us avoid injury or worse. It’s fine to feel afraid sometimes.
But sometimes fear takes over. We might call it anxiety, but that’s just fear’s cousin in another village. Like mafia, it can take over our little town, robbing us of tranquility, fruits of our labors, and joy. Like the mob, appeasing fear can become our main life objective. Let me just avoid everything that would create that awful feeling.
And once we’ve started paying blackmail to anxiety, our lives become smaller and smaller.
First things first. You can thank your anxiety for its service trying to protect you, but you got this. There are no lions, tigers, or bears here, so in this exact moment, you are perfectly safe. Probably the things you're anxious about won’t happen. And if they do, don’t you think you’ll rise to the occasion eventually?
Second, fear is all hot air. And when you stand up to bullies, they start to leave you alone. Anxiety is uncomfortable, but it will pass and you are okay. So what if your heart races. It’ll slow down again when it gets good and ready. Fear of fear doesn’t get to make life decisions for you. Fear is not your enemy, it just needs to keep in its place for when there’s a true crisis.
Easier said than done, I grant you. Therapy can help you keep fear in its right place and help you to choose your own life in your own way. Stop paying blackmail to fear.