Your fear has made you strong - now let go of it
I’ve seen it many times that a give fear during your childhood builds a corresponding strength in you. In other words, the fear, while painful, has a gift for you. The challenge becomes in adult life it let go of the fear while retaining the strength. To not throw the baby out with the bathwater.
Take my wife, for example. Her parents’ marriage fell apart and her father died of cancer shortly thereafter. She’s been haunted by a fear that her life would fall apart, and consequently seen it as her responsibility to keep everything together.
That fear has made her a really really good project manager, because it has built in her the ability to see everything that could possibly go wrong in any given circumstance, and the team can then take precautions to mitigate those risks.
I’ve seen it in many times. For some, the fear of not being okay has made them really good at learning new things. The fear of being rejected has made others really good listeners and really good at intuiting what other people need.
Letting go of the fear, however, doesn’t mean the strength goes away, too. In fact, the strength can help you be grateful to the fear for everything it’s given you, which in turn makes it easier to let go of the fear.
So long as you simply resist the fear, it’s going to stay where it is. Accepting it, allowing it to be, recognizing that it was the only possible response to the experiences you had at some point, and being grateful for what that has done for you, including the strength it’s built, allows it to let go of you.
What are your examples?