Noun: An unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is
dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat
Verb: Be afraid of (someone or something) as likely to be dangerous, painful,
So my friends, what is your greatest fear? Flying? Heights? Failure? Does that huge scary spider under the sink haunt your every waking hour? My fears? Big dogs, motorbikes and making an eejit of myself.
There are those who believe that fear is “only an illusion. It is the illusion that creates the feeling of separateness – the false sense of isolation that exists only in your imagination.” (Jeraldine Saunders). How do we start to separate that fear and that sense of isolation, the sense of “no one understands what it is like to feel this way”. Fact is millions probably do feel that way but are just too frightened to admit it. But how often does that illusion of fear send us screaming back under the duvet, with a bar of chocolate and a double gin? What will it take to get you to come out from your place of safety and hit the treadmill running? Support perhaps?
When I walked through the door of The Western Tennis Club Gym back in January, I faced a massive fear. My fear of stepping out of my comfort zone and admitting to the fact that I needed help and support to start the hard slog of a trek towards a fitter me. I am normally a very independent sort, I like to figure things out by myself and deal with them in my own way but, now and again we have to allow others to help or advise us. Looking back on it, there is no way I would ever have been able to figure out what kind of exercise was best for me, I would probably have stumbled on, pulled many muscles and given up after a month. Hello Mr Duvet!
For me, overcoming fears takes as much belief that whatever might cause me embarrassment can be counteracted with the belief that when the red face goes away I can stand there and I say I have done it. I am no longer frightened that I can’t push the treadmill up a speed, I am no longer worried that I will look an eejit in gym gear and I am never going to allow the sense of “no one understands my fears” to stop me again. Yes, there are real fears and scary things that take a hell of a lot of work to face. That is when bravery really steps in, and we stare our past in the face and say you can no longer affect me, I am moving on.
Focus on what you could be missing out on if you don’t come out from under the duvet and face life full on. I promise you, the view is much much better!
After all, who on earth would ever have been frightened of this handsome lad?