By David Joel Miller.
Ways your fears keep you from living.
Anxiety and his friends “The Pack of Fears” are sneaky. They try to tell you that they are protecting you from bad things happening. Anxiety and Fear are like an abusive controlling lover wanting all your attention. Anxiety’s constant insistence that you pay him all your attention prevents you from turning your gaze to positive, happy things.
When you listen to Anxiety a lot, he begins to think he can tell you anything. Remember that sometimes your fears are telling you lies. The key is to become a discriminating listener and discover when your fears are warning you of real danger and when they are just trying to keep you from doing something new.
If you have been listening to Anxiety and the chorus of Fear a lot, here are some of the ways they have been holding you back from having the happy, positive life you deserve.
There are no good surprises.
When you expect the worst and avoid unexpected things that might make you anxious you make unexpected pleasant possibilities impossible. In the negative zone people expect anything out of the ordinary to be bad and harmful. The result of this thinking is to never be in the places where pleasant surprises occur.
People who live in the positive zone allow new and unique things to occur in their lives and they are able to see the positive when unexpected things happen. Some of the happiest moments in life are the result of serendipitous pleasant occurrences, but you have to go where those happy moments are to experience them.
Your comfort zone limits who you become.
Since Anxiety wants you to stay close to home, the wall of fear grows high. You can’t experience things outside that wall and your world, over time, shrinks. The pleasures you might have discovered just beyond that wall of fears won’t become a part of your life as long as you stay behind the fear wall.
Flowers don’t grow well in the dark shade of negativity. The longer you stay inside your comfort zone prison the harder it becomes to escape. Over time the wall of fears grows higher and you can be crushed by the weight of those fears pressing in on you.
That fear wall can keep out all the things that might have made you smile and laugh. Fears keep you from getting in on things that could have made your life a joyful place.
Your dreams all become nightmares. You can only imagine bad things happening.
Since Anxiety tells you to expect the worst and prepare for the worst, you see only two things happening, the worst and the almost worst. If you can’t imagine wonderful, joyful things happening you can’t have big dreams for yourself.
With no dreams to pursue, life in that walled prison of fears becomes a life time sentence to suffer.
They protect you from the uncomfortable part of growth.
Developing your personal strengths and growth as a person require emotional exercise. You need to stretch your abilities to develop as a person. Exercise can leave you with sore muscles sometimes. Fear will tell you not to participate in life because you might get hurt. Eventually your muscles, physical, mental and emotional ones, will become soft and underdeveloped.
People who exercise their bodies become healthier. Those who don’t grow flabby and weak. Same in the emotional realm. If you avoid learning the hard lessons in life by not trying, you will be ill prepared for the inevitable bumps on the road of life.
Fear of bad experiences prevents the good ones.
The price you pay for trying to avoid confronting Anxiety and his gang of fears is that they keep you captive and away from living a happy productive life. Your own doubts become one of life’s worst bullies.
If you have allowed Anxiety and Fear to hold you hostage and your life has become a prison walled off from happiness, isn’t it time you began to confront those fears and see just what bullies they are?
How are you going to stand up to Anxiety and banish the voices of fear?
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For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse and Co-occurring disorders see the about the author page. For information about my other writing work beyond this blog check out my Google+ page or the Facebook author’s page, up under David Joel Miller. Posts to the “books, trainings and classes” category will tell you about those activities. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books