Writings from Christine

What Are You Afraid of?

by on June 1, 2017

A popular acronym for fear is false evidence appearing real. However, for the person experiencing this emotion, the evidence seems very realistic and eminent. These fears can paralyze a person for moments or even a lifetime if left unattended. They are dominant and determinate factors in daily decisions, thoughts, actions, behaviors, and other emotional responses.

There are even categories of fear such as the deep-seeded, driving, often subconscious, emotional forces that Freud identified. Then there are also the more conscious fears born out of trauma that cause a person to intentionally avoid people and circumstances in desperate effort not to repeat the same mistake or relive the trauma. And there is there are the more obvious daily fears such as phobias of spiders, driving, flying, or small spaces.

Each type of fear has its’ own level of intensity. For instance, a deep-seeded fear of abandonment that is reinforced though the desertion of a parent and/or the rejection of a partner can grow substantiality. Left unattended, it absorbs additional fears and just like a snowball rolling down a mountainside, it takes over every aspect of a person’s life.

Identifying these fears is half of the battle. Use this list to ascertain which fears are dominant so they can be properly managed and even minimized. Place a number from 1-10 demonstrating the level of intensity experienced with 1 being very mild to 10 being all consuming. Fear of:

  • Abandonment by a close person.
  • Aging, getting older, or appearing to get older.
  • Being inadequate in a job, with person, or not being able to live up to a standard.
  • Not being good enough in appearance, perfectionism, superiority, work habits, accomplishments, talents, and/or intelligence.
  • Intimacy or having to be close to someone.
  • Isolation and/or being alone.
  • Losing control by showing emotions, losing power, or influence.
  • Being wrong in front of others or having doubts.
  • Failure at work or home.
  • Being ignored in a relationship or by someone close.
  • Disappointing a spouse, child, employer, and/or friend.
  • Happiness because that means something bad will happen next.
  • Being satisfied with a job well done because it might lead to lack of motivation.
  • Boredom and having nothing to do.
  • Feeling pain and/or anticipating it.
  • Rejection by others resulting in a lack of trust, not being accepted, and/or being misunderstood.
  • Success at work or home because it might lead to future failure.
  • Becoming or acting like a dysfunctional parent.
  • Never reaching potential at work or home.
  • Feeling guilty over mistakes.
  • Shame being exposed and then having to deal with it.
  • Loss of a job, money, relationships, and/or status.
  • Missing something and being left out.
  • Death and/or dying.
  • Living life to its potential because something bad will happen.
  • Being transparent, showing emotion or inner thoughts, and/or being vulnerable.
  • Disorder because things must be in balance to live.
  • Abuse due to past experiences as a victim.
  • Being taken advantage of by others.
  • Making the same mistake over again.
  • Getting sick from illness, cancer, tumors and/or other life threatening diseases.
  • Losing a battle or competition.
  • Losing a person such as a kid going away to college.
  • Growing up and having to take on adult responsibilities.
  • Being held accountable, taking on responsibility, or admitting they did wrong.
  • Being unloved and therefore they will never find someone to truly love them.
  • Being disrespected, not taken seriously, being made fun of, and laughed at.
  • Being discovered by someone who will figure them out and know their secrets.
  • Not having enough money, stuff, power, control, or influence.
  • Needing something and not having it.
  • Not making a good impression.
  • Fear of fear or anxiety.
  • Not being in charge of self and/or others.
  • Forgiving others and letting an issue go.
  • Forgetting the past mistakes of self and/or others.
  • Looking weak in front of others.
  • Admitting to a problem.
  • Other’s thoughts of them.
  • Being inaccurate or lying.
  • Hurting someone else.
  • Embarrassment and/or humiliation by another person.
  • Making too big of a deal out of a minor issue.
  • The future and how things might turn out.
  • Missing out on the fun.
  • Being blamed for something they did not do.
  • Being the victimized by others.
  • Physical violence from others.
  • Going crazy or losing it.
  • Being treated as inferior.
  • Getting confused and unclear.
  • Alienation from friends and family.
  • Expressing anger.
  • Being lied to by others.
  • Being cheated on by others.
  • Being selfish and therefore neglects self-care.
  • Being labeled by others.
  • Performing in pubic.
  • Being yelled at by others.
  • Being intimidated and unable to handle self.
  • Throwing things away and needing them in the future.
  • Acting on unwanted impulses resulting in harm to self and/or others.
  • Blurting out insulting remarks.
  • Looking foolish in front of others.
  • Saying something wrong to someone else.
  • Losing things and not being able to find it.

While this might seem like an exhausting list, identifying the fears can help in better assessing other conditions such as anxiety, depression, OCD, and personality disorders. An excessive amount of fears or levels of intensity should be discussed with a trained and licensed therapist.

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Posted under: Anxiety Personality Disorders Writings from Christine

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