I think the tendency that some of us have to avoid fearful experiences, which we suppose will cause us pain, is normal. We all want to be happy. This does not mean, however, that we'll succeed at every attempt to move away from situations that evoke our fears. Wanting to be happy motivates us, but fear also does. Fear is not an emotion we should circumvent or invalidate.
Many of my own goals come from the genuine desire to be happy and to feel that I am becoming a better person. That is one side of the scale. The other side, the one that creates aspirations that are born in a place of fear, is the one I am learning to embrace. I understand now that my fear-based ambitions stem from my imagination: the fear of what could happen if an intention is not fulfilled. I'm convinced that subconsciously this fear of what could happen is translated into a thought process similar to the following one: if X does not happen in my life, then due to Y consequence, I will feel hurt. The reasoning remains the same regardless of what the goal is and what the probable consequences are. I am afraid of being vulnerable and hurt because if I am not as resilient as I think I am, what will happen to me if I can't get back on my feet?
I am slowly accepting the fact that even if I feel hurt to the point where I assume I'll break, it is just an idea inside my head. Not all ideas are correct. Nothing can break me unless I give it permission to do so.
If I acknowledge my fears instead of beating myself up for them, assuming of course that I observe them and choose to respond proactively, they will help me in my path to self-knowledge and I will be better-equipped to deal with fearful experiences in the future. We need to let go of the idea that fear make us less capable of functioning in today's society. Fear is a stepping stone that helps us transmute limiting beliefs into self-empowerment. Challenging events happen because we need them to mature emotionally and grow spiritually. Fear reminds us where the boundaries of our comfort zones are located. It pushes those boundaries and forces us to look further into ourselves and our inner resources. The way we react to challenging events is what makes or breaks us, not the actual events.
I am understanding that there are many ideas ingrained in my subconscious mind; ideas that constitute the source of the narrow-mindedness because of which I fear certain situations will unfold in a hurtful way. Those ideas are limiting and negative. There are times when it is not even fear of an undesired outcome the reason why I do not take a particular course of action and do take another, but fear of not having the slightest idea of what the outcome could be. That, my friends, is fear of the unknown at its finest.
When I refer to fearful experiences, I am speaking about experiences that have not even happened yet. The fear I am referring to is nothing more than the manifestation of the subtle -and sometimes outrageous -- ideas of unworthiness or of the impossibility of finding some freedom in our lifetime that we are bombarded with since our birth.
I know that many of us allow fear to mark our souls and determine our future. What I intend to propose here is that instead of using those marks as arguments to justify not growing, they should serve the purpose of helping us embrace vulnerability as a valuable tool for resilience, courage and happiness.