One of my favorite questions to ask someone is “what is your greatest fear?”
I love this question for a few reasons and one of them is because of the range of responses I typically get.
Another reason is that I think how a person responds to this can say a lot about them. People typically respond on one of two sides of the spectrum: a somewhat funny fear that they laugh about having or an incredibly deep and intense fear of isolation or loss.
For example, sometimes people tell me they’re afraid of clowns or mismatched socks.
Other times, people say they’re afraid of the dark, heights or getting stuck in elevators.
And then there’s always those who say they’re afraid of things they’ve never lived through before, like death.
I’ve learned/been told that the best way to get rid of fear is through desensitization.
“You gotta feel it to heal it” essentially.
In other words, if you’re scared of flying on planes, start by at least going to the airport.
Then, the next time, maybe walk inside of the airport.
After that, try watching the planes out of the window inside of the airport.
Subsequently after these steps, begin moving closer and closer to actually going inside of a plane and eventually, after you’ve successfully conquered all of these steps, you might be able to fly on a plane and feel okay about it.
This has always made sense to me until I realized that you can’t exactly desensitize yourself to the grander fears such as loss, failure or death.
This realization fascinated me because if the best way to get over a fear is to continually expose yourself to that fear, how can you overcome a fear where continual exposure is not necessarily an option?
I don’t have an answer for this but I thought that maybe writing about it would help form some thoughts or understanding on the subject.
Fear is somewhat inevitable, necessary and healthy to a degree. Fear is an unpleasant emotion that keeps us alive and in tune with what in our environment could be a dancer or a threat.
However, when fear becomes the guiding voice in our head instead of a fight or flight instinctual response in certain situations, we become prisoners to that fear.
One of my favorite questions to ask myself about fear is “do I positively know that this fear is true and that I have reason to be fearful of it?”
Usually, the answer is “no” because most of these fears are fleeting. They’re fleeting because they never happen.
At the end of the day, I find that fear is nothing more than an obstacle. An obstacle that we put in front of ourselves.
This is good news though because that means we have the power and control to remove that obstacle since we are the ones who put it there in the first place.
Don’t let the fear of what could happen, make nothing happen.