I took part in a writing prompt last week and ended up getting a blog out of it. The prompt was: “What scares you a little? What do you feel when you’re scared? How do you react?” I got a bit of word salad out of it, but I thought I’d share my stream-of-consciousness with all of you. Read on:
What scares me a little? I feel like this is a trick question. There aren’t generally things that scare me a little. I tend to be scared a lot when I’m scared a little. I suppose if I were to pick something it would failure. Scared to fail at my job, or fail at being a decent partner, or fail at being a good fur mom. This is such a nonsense thing to be scared of, but it’s there. I take comfort in the fact that I’m not the only one that feels this way. Fear of failure is a common thing.
What interest me the most is how one fights past that fear. What I tend to do when I’m afraid (besides freak out a little on the inside) is take deep breaths. Assuming the little fear hasn’t blown itself out of proportion I tend to remind myself that the fear is normal and expected, but unnecessary. I coach myself to move on. Failure, after all, is just a stepping stone to something more.
Generally I don’t react to fear well. It’s something that we’re all programmed to do – fight or flight. I tend to let my fears escalate until they turn into panic (again, when I feel fear at all). Most of the time, with little things, it’s just a low burning stress that can sometimes blow out of proportion – indicated by migraines for me, usually.
The bigger things I’m afraid of are much more out of my control than something as measly as failure. Tornadoes, Earthquakes, Floods, SPACE…loved ones passing away before I’m ready for it. A lot of my greatest fears revolve around death – not because I’m afraid of it, but because I’m afraid of what it will take away from me. Missed chances.
I think that’s really the heart of it all. I fear missed chances – time with someone running out and never having said the right things; publishing that book; traveling. I suppose it really all boils down to making sure you really live life day-to-day. Don’t pass up the small chances to let someone know what they mean to you. Stop procrastinating that project you really want to do. Our lives are made up of all these little moments – what if I miss them? What if I don’t appreciate them? I suppose the simple answer is just…don’t.
What do I feel when scared? Choking. Sadness. I cry with strong emotions all the time. Shaky. A general ick that tells me to get out.
Take a breath. It’ll be okay. This isn’t the end. Hell, sometimes it’s not even happening. I’ve just imagined ridiculous scenarios in my head and the emotion of them has swept me away as sure as the ocean tide. Feel the chair you sit on. Hear the sounds around you. See the things around you. Get present. Take a breath. There’s no need to be afraid.
Author’s note: What scares you? Is it typically little or big things? How do you react? What are some of your tried and true methods to get over your own fears? Feel free to discuss in the comments!