The air is crisp, the days are growing shorter and displays of pumpkins abound. Candy corn, costumes and excited kids are waiting for the up-coming special night.
Today’s activities bear little resemblance to the ancient rituals offering protection against the returning spirits who would cause trouble and mayhem as the world moved from autumn to winter. Gone are the bonfires and sacrificial offerings.
It’s interesting that both current and ancient activities contain an element of fear: ghosts, spirits, and things that go bump in the night. Things that make us hesitate. Things unknown. Things that cause our hackles to rise. Things that cause us to look over our shoulders, just in case.
So let’s use Halloween as an analogy. What scares you? What causes you to look over your shoulder? Is it a healthy fear? To clarify: healthy fear is not stepping off the curb of a busy intersection without looking for on-coming traffic.
Here are some tips for determining if your fear is unhealthy:
- Is what you believe really true? Or is it coming from a belief you hold to be true?
- Are you only predicting one outcome (usually a negative one)?
- What assumptions are you making?
- What facts support your viewpoint? What are you imagining will happen?
So, you’ve got an unhealthy fear. Don’t we all!
Our fear arises out of the story we tell ourselves. Far too often what we believe about our capabilities and ourselves is distorted. Our beliefs are built from our perceptions of reality and the expectations of others. And keep in mind; our fears would not exist if they weren’t serving us in some way. Isn’t that an interesting thought?
So, who’s gonna be in charge? You or your fear?
Your call to action:
Take some time this week and notice where your fear makes perfect sense. And determine what it is serving. What do you notice about your willingness to move beyond your fears? If you recognize that your fears loom large, they may still be serving some part of you that is unwilling to let go. Take some time to dig deeper.