We all have fears - they may not be the "shriek and jump onto a chair when we see a spider/mouse/rat" type and they don't necessarily have to be the debilitating phobias that stop people living a normal life. Some fears are rational - that is, they have a perfectly valid root cause and may stop us from doing something ridiculous and dangerous to our person.
I have a fear of swimming in water in which I can't touch the bottom. As a toddler, I fell in the neighbour's (rather deep) ornamental goldfish pond and one of my earliest memories as a child was standing on the bottom of that pond looking upwards through the water to the light. The fear doesn't stop me getting into the water - I can still swim and have fun and muck around at the beach - but it stops me from putting myself at risk, especially at New Zealand's changeable surf beaches.
Flyboy refused to go on a ride at our local amusement park last year - Cowgirl and I were kind of amused because it's just one of those rise and drop tower rides. "But (Flyboy)" we asked, "how can you be in the Air Force and be scared of heights?". Flyboy replied that it wasn't heights that he was afraid of, it was falling - because if a machine that they are in starts falling out of the sky, someone's cocked up rather dramatically. Fair point, Flyboy, fair point.
What I really want to address today are irrational fears... those fears that really have no history or sense behind them and stop you from doing things that may bring you exceptional joy. The fear of no one speaking to you at a party stops you from attending alone and making friends with an exceptional bunch of new people. I mean, really, how likely is it that the people at this party you're thinking of attending are rude enough to completely neglect someone clearly as fantastic as you are?
I know that I struggle with irrational fears on a daily basis. Breaking them down, I can see how ridiculous they are.
♥ That no matter what I do, I'll always be fat. So what, I defy the laws of human biology now? The energy equation is simple - if energy out is more than energy in, weight will be lost. I just need to get off my plateau and up the ante.
♥ That having had two big loves so far in my life, I've used up my chances. Okay, can anyone drive a truck through the holes in my theory? I have an aunty who has been married three times, friends who are serial monogamists - the world is full of people who have been in love multiple times. There is zero proof that I won't find love again.
♥ That although teaching is my passion, that I will suck at it - not pass this year or gain my registration. I've done holiday programme with adolescents, I know how to cope with unruly kids and it's not like they expect perfection - this is one case where points are truly rewarded for effort.
The thing that all these irrational fears have in common is that if I choose to believe them, they restrict me. They stop me from fulfilling all the potential I have inside of me - to be a healthy body weight, to live out my dreams of being a contented wife and mother, to be that crazy fun teacher I know I can be. I just need to keep reality checking myself and optimistically looking forward to the future.
What irrational fears do you have? How do you keep yourself in line?