Our View From Here

Perspectives of Five Women


on September 1, 2011

(I apologize for the terribly unoriginal and boring title. I couldn’t think of anything else.)

My fears don’t have a lot of rhyme or reason to them and although I know they’re present, I have a hard time identifying what specifically my fears are. I have the semi-but-not-totally-irrational fears of being raped or abducted, which I think most women probably experience at one time or another. Other fears from time to time flit across my brain: getting into a car accident, being in a plane crash, having a loved one die unexpectedly. I attribute these fears to an overactive imagination, with my need to always plan for the worst. I seldom seriously consider these fears, and am hesitant to even categorize them as “fears” but they do pop in from time to time. Most of my fears are more mundane.

Many seem to stem from my pseudo-perfectionism. I hate the idea of being wrong, or saying something completely ridiculous. I was always a quiet kid in school, seldom raising my hand, even though I often knew the answer to a question. Despite being reasonably confident that I had the right answer, my fear of being wrong usually held me back from answering. It really started sucking when participation became part of my grade. I was usually able to overcome this shortcoming enough so my grade wasn’t sacrificed, or at least by too much.

Somewhat related, I have a fear of failing, particularly as my career is concerned. For a long time, I felt stuck in my job. It wasn’t what I had imagined doing and worse, I didn’t seem to be making progress. It’s only in the last year or so that I finally felt like I was moving forward. I’m still not exactly where I want to be, but I feel like I’m getting closer. The problem is I have so many plans for my life and expectations that it’s important to me to make sure I have a challenging, satisfying career that commands a good salary. I think there is a bit of pride at play too. A part of me wants people to be impressed when I tell them about my job. I don’t know why I feel the need to have such validation, but I do.  Must work on that.

I also have a fear of getting lost. I often joke that I could get lost in my house, but I’ve proven to myself time and again that I can follow directions or plan an alternate route on the fly when a road I was planning to take is blocked or traffic is heavy. Driving to a new place can often be a stressful experience for me, but I think more than anything, I psych myself out and actually create the problem. If I could learn to trust myself, I’d probably find I get turned around a lot less.

The final fear I can think of happens from time to time with scuba. I’ve had great training and fortunately, I’m usually in situations where I’m diving with much more experienced divers, who are very aware and would be able to help me if I encountered a problem. Once I’m actually diving, I usually enjoy myself and don’t have a problem, but getting into the water makes me a bit apprehensive sometimes. There’s just something about taking a giant step off a boat and into the wide open ocean that makes me a bit nervous at times. Once I’m in the water and 15 feet down where I can collect myself again, I’m usually fine. The only other time I get a bit nervous is coming back out of the water. I’ve had some problems with currents and navigating the ladder. I’m sure a bit more experience will allow this process to go much more smoothly, but until then, I always have to remind myself to relax and fall back on my training.

I’m fortunate in that I recognize most of my fears, and none seem to be debilitating. What’s more is that being able to identify these fears allows me to consciously work on them so they lessen over time. It’s a slow process, but I’m reasonably sure I’ll be able to conquer at least some of these over time.


One response to “Fears

  1. Thank you for sharing this dear one. One day at a time and you will be able to conquer anything. Just remember to take baby steps til you get there.

    Love and light,

    Lucky Star

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