Fear is a natural emotion given to us to help us survive. However, it can also be taken to an extreme, where it dictates your life and interferes with your functioning. Fear can become dysfunctional and harmful when it comes from trauma, cognitive distortions, mental illness, shame, an unhealthy upbringing, or perfectionism.
Fear is both a positive and negative emotion. It’s positive in that it sends a “Danger! Alert!” warning to our brains when something seems off. Its purpose is to keep us alive. Sometimes we will experience a gut feeling or intuition that tells us something is wrong, even if we don’t have all of the information.
Fear is also a negative emotion, in that it holds us back. When it drives your life, you miss out on opportunities because you’re scared. It’s the little negative voice in your head telling you “It’s too scary”, “You’re going to fail”, or “You’re not good enough”. Anxiety and other mental illnesses can also instill irrational fears in our brains that simply are not true.
The opposite of fear is faith. Faith is having trust and confidence in yourself and others. It’s believing that you have the ability to move mountains. Fear can paralyze your faith. It can keep you from reaching your greatest potential or best version of yourself. Grow your confidence in your ability to do things and succeed. Let your faith be bigger than your fear!
Written by Christy Fogg, MSW, LCSW
*Christy Fogg, MSW, LCSW is a licensed therapist at Journey to Joy Counseling. Christy enjoys doing marriage/couples counseling, individual counseling, premarital counseling. She also provides family counseling, teen and adolescent counseling.
Journey to Joy Counseling serves the Indianapolis area, including Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville, Zionsville, and Westfield.