What’s The Source Of Your Fear?
February 12, 2021
” Dad, can you please come with me to go to the market,” my now teenaged son asked me when he was much younger, during one of our trips to India.
“Why can’t you go on your own. Why do you need me to come with you?” I asked him.
“Dad, the market is very crowded and confusing. I am worried I will lose my way.” My son was uncomfortable moving around on his own in the bustling bylanes of my hometown, not having grown there.
“You have been invited to perform for an hour-long solo violin concert next week. Prepare well and be ready,” my wife told my son.
My son was agitated. “C’mon. You can’t do this, mom. I need at least two weeks of practice. I don’t want to give a concert at such short notice.”
“Why do you need more practice. You are well-practiced. You say the same thing every time. If I told you three weeks, you would have said; I need four weeks. Don’t complain, and you are performing next week.” My wife told my son, brooking no more conversation.
The two scenes I describe above are real.
In Scene 1, my son was fearful of doing something that he had not done before-moving about in the congested streets of my hometown in India.
In Scene 2, the fear of uncertainty was not coming from him having to do something new. He has performed on the public stage quite a few times. It was not a unique experience for him. His discomfort was stemming from the possibility of failing and how others would see him or judge him.
What Is The Source Of Your Fear?
There is no one I know who likes or enjoys losing or failing at something. All of us are hardwired to hate losing.
Why do we fear losing or failing?
Mostly because we overthink about what others will think about us if we fail. There is an underlying sense of shame. “What will happen to my well-crafted image? I will fall in the eyes of people who today respect and value me.”
Sometimes, we have to do something completely new, and we are not sure we will be safe if something were to go wrong. It could be taking a new approach, changing the status quo, some new strategy, etc. When we tread on a new path, it feels threatening.
The question we have to ask ourselves-What is the source of our fear ?
Are we scared of what people think, or are we scared because we are on an entirely new way of doing something? Something new and untested.?