1. Fear Holds Us Back and Limits Us
Fear limits us from being what we could be. Our fears become self-imposed shackles that hold us back and keep us from living a fun and fulfilling life. We settle for the safe path rather than the one that truly calls our soul and connects with our heart – the one that aligns with our true passion and purpose in life. If we live our lives primarily out of fear, we end up stifling ourselves with regrets because we settle for the easy and accepted route instead of breaking through, bucking the establishment, going for it, and building an exciting, fun, and fulfilling life that reflects our passions and shares our gifts with the world.
“Why do you stay inside when the door is wide open?”
Rumi, Sufi Poet
“Most adults have the capability to live much better and much larger lives than we currently live. Often we allow others to dictate to us what we should do based on their own dysfunctions and fears. We allow society or religions to tell us what profession to enter instead of following the calling in our hearts… We allow the past to haunt our present by giving it too much weight and hanging on to it for dear life rather than letting go. We let irrational and non-existent fears to make our decisions for us. Any of these things can keep us from living our best lives… we each need to do what it takes to overcome our own learned and self-perpetuated inadequacies, our own fears, and our own judgments in order to live the amazing lives Spirit would love for us to live. We have everything inside of us or at our disposal to live loving, beauty-filled, glorious, full lives. The only thing really standing in our way is ourselves. Our own preconceived ideas and fears limit us. Many of us fall into the trap of thinking ‘small,’ of not believing that we have the capacity to live the full lives that our hearts crave. Instead we settle for a life on autopilot, one that is much less fulfilling than our hearts long for us to live. Our ideas of what life should be like, how this should work out, how people should be – these all limit us and keep us from living our lives to the fullest.” Nancy Rynes
2. Fear Creates Fake Masks and Personas
Not only do fears limit us, they also are the root cause of us creating fake masks and false personas – inauthentic outer versions of ourselves because inwardly we fear being our real self is not enough; we fear we are not lovable enough, smart enough, attractive enough, etc. We hide our “perfectly imperfect” real self to others because we are afraid they won’t like us or want to be seen with us.
“I was a people pleaser and feared disapproval, regardless of the source. I bent over backward to avoid people thinking ill of me; and over the years, I lost myself in the process. I was completely disconnected from who I was or what I wanted, because everything I did was designed to win approval – everyone’s except my own.” Anita Moorjani
“We spend a lot of time creating a persona so someone will either like us or leave us alone. Fear is one of the motivators to create this cloak, or persona.” David Bennett
3. Fear Makes Us Sick
The dis-ease caused by fear also causes disease. When we are under continual stress and anxiety our mind and body cannot rest and relax. With our mind on continual high alert and in stress mode, our body releases cortisol and other stress-related chemicals that create a tremendous wear and tear on us. When we are under high and/or chronic stress, we are much more likely to develop a host of physical ailments like common colds and acne as well as much more serious diseases like ulcers, heart disease, and cancer.
“The most frequent question people ask me is why I think I got cancer. I can sum up the answer in one word: fear. What was I afraid of? Just about everything, including failing, being disliked, letting people down, and not being good enough. I also feared illness, cancer in particular, as well as the treatments for cancer. I was afraid of living, and I was terrified of dying.” Anita Moorjani
Of course fear doesn’t cause all cancers and Anita acknowledges that in her books and talks. However, excessive fear and stress do often contribute to and exacerbate illnesses and diseases. People under stress are also much more likely to overeat, drink alcohol, smoke, and engage in other unhealthy behaviors. It is a vicious cycle that creates a whole host of problems. Fear is a natural and normal human emotion – but one we don’t have to let rule our lives.