How Much Does Fear Rule Your Life?

I never thought that looking up information about fear could prove to be so difficult.  I wanted to do a little research for this post.  I started at my school library.  I wanted scholarly articles.  I know there are many well known psychologists out there that discuss fear.   I was looking for articles about self limiting doubts or self limiting fears.  Here is the second title in the list that came up, “Selflimiting behavior in women.”  Someone is going to need to explain to me why this would be the second article on the list, and secondly, why the list predominantly singles out women.  Now that I am totally perplexed, I am moving on…..I will start with Merriam-Webster dictionary definition of fear:

  • : to be afraid of (something or someone)
  • : to expect or worry about (something bad or unpleasant)
  • : to be afraid and worried

Now take a minute as you read over this definition.  What in your life have you been afraid of?  Has it been an object?  Has it been an animal?  How about a person?  What in your life have you feared or are fearing right now.  Ok, now, lets changes directions a little and think about this in terms of how fear rules your life.  What I mean by this is, what haven’t you done in your life because you were too afraid?  Was there a job you knew you would be awesome at, but maybe your self confidence was low or you played the “what if” game with yourself.  How many times in your life has fear stopped you from doing the one thing you know would make you the happiest?  Was the path to change or fulfillment so rocky that you said, “ahhh….this is going to be too hard, or, I can’t, because of (fill in the blank), or, well, what would my husband say?”

As a person dealing with MS, raising a kindergartner, and trying to be a wife and keep house, I go through this day in and day out.  For me though, fear isn’t what keeps me from living my life.  Fear is not what keeps me from going down that rocky road.  Fear for me, I want to say propels me in the opposite directions.  Fear propels me to make that change, to take that rocky path, to concur whatever is in my way (a post on this for later).

Today what is in my way are my physical abilities.  Yes, I am still functional.  Not 100%, but grateful for about 90%.  I can still drive and take care of the house.  I can still do many things.  Some things take me longer than others these days.  Walking…..well, I might be a little funny looking to the younger kids out there, but none of that matters to me.  What matters to me is my daughter.  What matters to me is the fact that I can get up by myself in the morning and actually move with little help.

Please don’t get me wrong, when I have a bad it, it’s a really bad day.  I do go down that road of self doubt.  I am not very good at the self pity, but every once in a while, self doubt sneaks in.  For me the difference is that I don’t feel guilty for feeling that way sometimes.  I allow myself a day every once in a while to feel sad and doubtful.  But, the next day, I see my daughters beautiful smile and those spit fire eyes and I light up and I remember who I am doing this all for!

MS is great for working on someones issues with fear.  It’s unpredictable nature and the pain and fatigue that goes along with all those other lovely symptoms.  Take a deep breath, allow yourself to wallow a little.  Just make sure not to drown!  Remind yourself, you are important!  You are worthy!  You are a fighter!  Have your one day, just don’t let it rule your life!

Jennifer