What Lies on the Other Side of Fear?
The onset and spread of the coronavirus have gripped millions in fear—fear of illness and/or death. We fear for ourselves, our relatives and our friends. If you aren’t in fear, watch a few news broadcasts.
The spread of fear with the spread of the coronavirus
We feel fear that it will continue spreading and that no treatment will become available. We fear what it will do to our economy. One of the headlines this week was “Coronavirus updates: Fear batters the economy as U.S. death toll rises to 26.” We fear a global economic collapse as factories, businesses, schools and more close down. We fear that we won’t be able to buy the necessities of life and watch grocery store shelves being depleted of toilet paper, disinfectants, soap and staples that may be in short supply. Hoarding is rampant so that those who may need the supplies the most, cannot get them. Fear. The fear of the coronavirus is real and widespread.
Other fears this time of year
The coronavirus is about endings—the ending of life or life as we know it. It is the dominating fear right now. But in every life, there are other fears that loom this time of year and these fears are about both beginnings and endings.
This is the time of year that has a plethora of beginnings and endings. Graduations and weddings will soon fill the calendar. Both endings and beginnings may create a degree of fear. So the question arises: What lies on the other side of fear?
Beginnings and endings
Those of you who are about to graduate are thinking about what happens now. One grade is almost over and you have moved on to the next. You may have completed one phase and are ready to start in higher grades or higher learning or to start a new life in the workforce or practicing your profession. Graduation represents a major life change.
June is the month of weddings. Sons and daughters leave home and join with someone they love to start a new life together. Life as they have always known it is over and a new life is about to begin—one with new responsibilities, new challenges, new joys. Marriage certainly represents a major life change.
With all the excitement that accompanies endings and new beginnings, there is another emotion that lurks just under the surface—fear. “What ifs” come bubbling to the top and some spill over. Some of these are “What if I:
- don’t make it?
- can’t find a job?
- get sick and can’t work?
- become homeless?
- find that my marriage doesn’t work out?
- she/he isn’t right for me after all?
- and on and on and on…
- And we add: what if I get the coronavirus?
These thoughts cause some people to stop. Quit. Go back to start. The same thoughts and fears propel others forward, marching them right through to the other side of fear. Fear is a normal part of major life change. We would like to know, without a doubt, that we will be o.k. and no one can give us that guarantee. We have to get to the other side.
So the question is, “What lies on the other side of fear?”
You and I both know I really can’t answer that question fully because I don’t know what your fear is/was about. But, in general, when we move beyond the fear we will experience:
- the accomplishment of the goal that was important enough to cause the fear. You have it. You did it. Celebrate.
- the satisfaction/joy of knowing you pushed past the fear and its terrors (the satisfaction is often in direct proportion to the intensity of the fear. The greater the fear the greater the satisfaction.)
- a boost in self-esteem, knowing you didn’t crumble under pressure or give in to the fear.
- a boost in courage. The next challenge can be bigger, more important, more challenging and you can move through the fear more quickly.
So what do you DO about the fear? It’s easy to say “Feel the fear and do it anyway.” For little fears, that may work. But what do you do when it’s so big it seems to keep you from taking even one step forward? Take a deep breath, let your body relax and take a good look at the fear. Begin by asking yourself some questions:
- Is this important for me?
- Am I truly prepared to do it?
- what happens if I get COVID 19?
- What happens if I fail?
- If I get there and find it isn’t right for me, then what?
- What’s the worst thing that can happen?
- Is there a “best thing” that can happen?
- What exactly is this fear about?
Forbes gives you 14 things to do that help you conquer your fear. This includes discovering everything you can about the fear, visualizing yourself being successful, getting help, and moving forward. I recommend you read it and take it to heart.
Make yourself a list. What are the things you believe you need to do to move forward? What is the first thing that needs to be done? Sometimes it amounts to “get up, suit up and show up.” Sometimes it means making a phone call.
You don’t have to take my word for it. On the other side of fear is something that you want. Go get it. Grit your teeth. Wipe off the sweat. Put your shaking hands in your pockets. Take a deep breath and go for it.
About the Author
Irene Conlan is the “owner/operator” of The Self Improvement Blog. She has a Master’s Degree in Nursing Education Administration and a Ph.D in Metaphysics. How’s that for an interesting combination?