Why Am I Afraid Of Life? Possible Causes And What To Do

Why am I afraid of life?

Everyone has big dreams in this life. Regardless of age, gender, culture or race, we all want to be happy and achieving our great life goals is a good way to get closer to happiness.

But in the same way that these goals satisfy us enormously once they are achieved, the path that leads to them, with its efforts and sacrifices, is not comfortable and even scares us, but of course, if we do not dare to risk or suffer on the path that leads to our success we are simply not going to achieve it.

Many people want to achieve their goals but fear the effort that comes before reaching them. They say to themselves “if by trying hard I can get what I want and be happy then why don’t I do it? Why am I afraid of life? ” Below we will address this issue in depth.

Why am I afraid of life?

Fearing life is something quite common but curiously it goes unnoticed a lot Practically everyone has felt it at some point in their lives, manifesting itself with very deep feelings, with an unpleasant sensation in the chest and seeing the world worse than it really is. The fear of life is not, in itself, being afraid of living, but rather of beginning the stormy path that leads us to being able to enjoy it.

Life is not a bed of roses. In order to enjoy it, to be able to live with all its letters, it is necessary to take risks in the decisions we make, invest in our happiness by putting effort and sacrificing some immediate pleasures to achieve our long-term goals. They are changes that are not comfortable and the uncertainty that accompanies them is scary, especially if we stray too far from our comfort zone, but we must understand that if we do not change our habits we will not change our lives, having to resign ourselves to our current situation.

It is true that fear can act as a protector from making too crazy decisions, however, being afraid of anything that deviates from what we are used to, even though we know that doing them will bring us closer to what we have proposed, limits us. a lot. Feeling fear is natural, but letting it stop us from achieving our dreams and goals can become a real tragedy If fear controls us and convinces us that trying hard will be of no use, we will not move forward. We will have given up before taking the first step.

But living not only means achieving great life goals, but also being happy being as we are. Being afraid of life can also mean doing the same as others, “playing it safe,” going with the flow fearing that if we show how we really are, others will judge us. No one wants to feel like they don’t fit in, but it is much worse to deceive ourselves to please others than to show who we really are and for others not to understand it. We cannot be happy if we do not take risks and behave how we really want to see what happens.

Understanding the fear of life

Fear, as an emotion in general, is necessary for our survival. When we feel fear it is because we feel that something bad may happen to us and we should be careful. Both human beings and other animals are afraid of dangers that make us either fight or flee. Whatever we do, fear motivates us to protect our physical and mental integrity and, in essence, survive with as little damage as possible.

You may be interested:  Imposter Syndrome or Defensive Pessimism

However, a peculiarity of human beings is that we can feel afraid of something that has not yet happened, also interpret it as more threatening than it really is and, therefore, avoid it when it may not be necessary. What we interpret as “dangerous” may not be dangerous at all or, if it affects our physical and emotional integrity, it may do so in a gentler and more temporary way than we thought. We may be depriving ourselves of a great experience thinking that it is a powerful threat

As we said, being afraid of life limits us, prevents us from moving forward. For example, let’s think about someone who wants to get in shape because he is not comfortable with his body and this causes his self-esteem to be low. He believes that by being in shape he will look good in the mirror, feel confident in himself and be more successful in his social relationships and for this reason he decides to join a gym to fulfill his dream.

But although it is said that he is going to go three times a week and do strength exercises, such as lifting weights or signing up for “body pump”, he does not comply. He makes excuses saying it’s because he lacks time or because she has other more important tasks to do, but if being in shape is his dream, something he thinks will make him happy, isn’t going to the gym a priority? His current situation causes him to have low self-esteem and he does not enjoy life which is prolonging his current suffering.

Digging deeper, we discovered that although staying in his current comfort zone makes him feel bad, he imagines that going to the gym could cause him more emotional suffering than he already feels, despite being aware that it is necessary to get in shape. Yes, he does want to be in shape, but he is afraid that when he goes to the weight corner he will do the exercises wrong and the other users will look at him strangely, mocking him inwardly. His fear is that, feeling humiliated, even if it is an imaginary fear.

As we can see with this example, we can perceive the steps that lead us to success in such a threatening way that our natural reaction is to avoid them. The problem is that in many cases, Since we have not faced those necessary steps to achieve what we have proposed, we do not know how “dangerous” they are In fact, we do not even check whether the situation we have imagined is remotely real or merely a product of our biased mind.

With this case that we have just discussed, to what extent is your fear of being judged by other users real? He doesn’t know how real it is because he hasn’t checked it to begin with, fear blocks him. The fear of what we do not know is something natural and until we try it we will not know if there were reasons to fear it. For this reason, it is necessary to leave our comfort zone to be able to live life because, as we have mentioned, without taking risks or making an effort it is not possible to know to what extent the situation is as serious as we have imagined.

Possible causes

One of the reasons behind the fear of life are the person’s own experiences, as well as the perceptions they have of themselves. He or she has had experiences in which he or she has “learned” that he or she is not worth it, that success is for other people or that if he tries, there is a good chance that it will turn out badly. AND Even if it were not going to turn out badly, you may also think that you are not going to do it perfectly and clearly, to do it halfway it is better not to do it.

You may be interested:  5 Keys to Overcoming Feelings of Inferiority

The fear of life can limit us so much that not only do we consider our current dreams impossible, but we also stop focusing on all the good things that we have achieved. It may happen that we have had so many recent failures that we believe ourselves to be absolute losers, stopping doing anything new assuming that it will also go wrong. As he puts the focus on recent failures, he ignores or belittles the successes he has had in his life, being the victim of a powerful negativity bias, a negative view of our personal history that makes our self-esteem lower than it already is. by itself it is.

Another factor that contributes to us not getting to work on our path to achieving our goals is the fear of failure. We all know that failure is something very unpleasant, perceived by many as a real physical pain. Many people are so afraid of feeling the pain of failures that they do everything they can to avoid them, the “safest” way being not to start on the path to your goal directly. If you don’t start the path there is no suffering, but there is no success either. For this reason, the fear of failure is a great obstacle to achieving our goals.

How to overcome the fear of life?

Everyone knows stories of famous people who have achieved what they set out to do, great achievers whom we envy because we feel that they have achieved goals and dreams that have made them happy. Although we know that these people are made of flesh and blood, we attribute special abilities and skills to them, we think that they are very different from us. Since we convince ourselves that they are made of a different material, they succeed naturally, while we simply are not going to succeed.

It is true that each person is different and has their strengths and weaknesses. There will be things that we are better and worse at, but this does not mean that some people are better than others, but rather that they excel in different skills. As real people who are successful people, they have also been afraid of life like anyone else, except that with the difference that they have known how to handle it, they have overcome the fear of life and have simply started living it. They know that without risks, suffering and effort there are no gains and they got rid of the fear that hindered them.

In the same way that they learned how to manage their fear of life, we can do the same. Basically there are two aspects that have to be taken into account when overcoming the fear of life, one being to change the attitude and the other to stop focusing on the past, in addition to being very clear that everything in this life involves suffering. a little, a necessary suffering to be able to succeed later.

Change attitude

To live without fear of life it is necessary to change the attitude towards everyday life It is essential to put aside the negativity that makes us see things worse than they really are, in addition to stopping convincing ourselves that we are not worth it. In order to do this, it is necessary that we ask ourselves and find out where the feelings of fear came from, what is the origin of the fears of initiating the change so necessary to be happier and achieve what we want to achieve.

You may be interested:  How Does Confinement Affect Families and Couples?

We may have grown up in a very strict family where mistakes were seen as symptoms of weakness and worthlessness. It is possible that in our minds our desire to achieve what we have set out to do collides with a fear in which we think that any failure is synonymous with the most absolute failure a sensation that, as we have mentioned before, some feel like a real physical pain.

It may also happen that we have had so many disappointments lately that we do not see ourselves capable of initiating a change because we are not willing to experience new experiences. Although we have a history of having had some triumphs, it happens that we have had such a bad streak that we do not want to feel more pain and, therefore, we remain paralyzed, static. But as we have insisted before, if we do not do something we will not be able to progress.

Whatever the way we perceive failure, we must change our attitude towards it. Far from being synonymous with the most absolute inability, we should see it as something that can be learned from, something that teaches us how things should not be done or that motivates us to try more times. As we said, life is not a bed of roses and, if we stand still, we will not succeed. It is not possible to succeed without suffering and you should never give up. If you fail a fifth time, you try a sixth time.

If our way of seeing the world is too pessimistic and no matter how hard we try, we cannot change the way we see our small failures, the best thing to do is to go to a professional Psychologists are experts in encouraging changes in habits, helping their patients progress in life. In fact, the majority of achievers value psychological therapy very positively since it is what has made them change the course of their lives, a change that is also within our reach.

Focus on the present

On many occasions it happens that these fears are the result of having a mind that is too focused on the hypothetical and not focusing on the present moment. The mind often sets traps for us, it tries to put us in the worst of situations, it overwhelms us with all kinds of intrusive and irrational thoughts that, despite being very unlikely, overwhelm us, making us constantly think about everything bad that happens. could occur. This is why one of the best strategies to deal with them is simple: live in the here and now

In fact, the experience of living in the here and now is a protective factor for our mental health. There is only one moment in which we can act to change our future: now. Instead of thinking about the bad things we did in the past and the supposed unpleasant situations in the future, it is best to try to initiate changes right now. If we have the opportunity to enjoy life now, now is the time for it.

On the other hand, if it is necessary to do something unpleasant in order to enjoy life afterwards, it is also appropriate to do so. Whatever has to be done now, we must think that our present behaviors influence what the future will be like, not the way we imagine what it will be like.