Thursday, January 21, 2010
I've been reading a great book called, 'In a Pit With a Lion on a Snowy Day' by Mark Batterson. The interesting thing about this book is that I started it because I loved his writing style but thinking 'I don't really need this book'. The book is about fears. I've always been the fearless ring-leader type. I've never really thought of myself as someone who is afraid of anything.
I mean sure, there are things I'd rather not experience like drowning or being robbed. But I don't spend much time considering them so they're not real fears, just unpleasantries. So why read a book that tells me how to overcome my fears? Honestly, I really did just buy it because I loved Mark Batterson's other book 'Wild Goose Chase'. I'm a weird reader in that sense. I fall in love with writing styles more than authors or story lines. If I love the way in which you write, I'll read pretty much anything.
The funny thing about thinking you already know yourself is when reality smacks you in the face. I may not have known to acknowledge my fears but it turns out I do have some. I have three main fears that I have had for so long, I didn't realize they were fears. Let me preface what is coming next by saying that I determined these for myself and that I chose names for them...those didn't come from the book. I'm going to be bold here and tell you about them...
1. The Fear of Failure. I worry that I will fail at a job. That if I lost my job I'd lose my house. Or that I will try to go to grad school and fail at getting in, or graduating. I am afraid of failure. Not the small things like asking for a discount on my car insurance and not getting it...but the big things. The ones that stay with you for life. I'm afraid of those kind of failures and I can pinpoint times in my life where this has kept me from being able to really try at something.
2. The Fear of the Unknown. I have a somewhat irrational fear of 'what is to come'. I don't like surprises. When given the chance I would always rather know beyond a shadow of a doubt what it coming next in my life. I absolutely hate the idea of the unknown and in some ways I've allowed that to become a fear. If you boil it down it is certainly the cause of my OCD and control freakish tendencies.
3. Fear of Disappointing my Parents. I am truly afraid of disappointing my parents. I know that sounds childish and that by 24 I should probably be over this or at least able to manage it. But after reading this book I realize that I make decisions keeping in mind how my parents will think of me afterwards. If they'll approve or disapprove. What they'll say or think. Should I even tell them? And I know now that this is a fear.
So where do I go from here? I started this book thinking I was in control of my thought life and unafraid. Now having recognized that there is fear in my life that does have some control, what next? I'm a fixer. I'm the friend you never ask to just be moopey with you because even if I try not too, I'll be thinking of a solution in my head.
I was laying in bed last night praying about how to overcome my fears. The answer hasn't been revealed to me just yet but I've accomplished step one which to me is, identify them. I've figured them out and addressed them by name. I've even shared them with you here. Awareness is a beginning but now I have to conquer them...somehow.