As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, Fear Defies Reasoning, the first thing we need to do in order to conquer fear is to uncover it. Fear is illusive. It disguises itself in many ways. Here are 5 ways that fear manifests:
- Stress. All stress is fear. When we feel stress, we are looking at what we have to do or experience and fearing that we may not live up to what is expected of us. Stress comes when we lack faith in ourselves, in others and/or in God.
- Hatred. Whenever we feel loathing, contempt or disgust for another person or group of people, there is a perceived threat involved. Hatred toward anyone affects our ability to love anyone else. Whether the hatred stems from real or perceived threat, it is important to see it for what it is: fear.
- Loneliness. Loneliness is a by-product of fear. It comes to us when we are afraid to get close to others, and perhaps counter intuitively, it comes to us when we are afraid to be alone.
- Stagnation. When we find that our personal growth or our relationships are stagnant, we are being blocked by fear. Fear of change is ubiquitous and must be faced to experience any changes we desire.
- Addiction. Whether we find ourselves attached to a bag of potato chips, a bottle of tequila, a video game, a cigarette or a heroine needle, the root of addiction is fear. Addiction takes us away from the real life we fear. And, it temporarily fills the emptiness we feel inside. When we feel empty inside, it is because we fear the love and faith that would eliminate emptiness.
Nearly all negative feelings are rooted in fear. If we take the time to ask ourselves, “What exactly am I afraid of?”, we put ourselves in a better position to face our fears and render them weak.