I fear a lot of things, such as:
A lack of concentration when I most need it
Being judged prematurely
Being prevented from making progress on things I care about
It is natural to feel fear. Sometimes, in situations of danger, fear keeps us alive.
For example, say a car comes down a highway toward us from the opposite direction. Then it suddenly moves into our lane! We would feel fear and our mind might create an image of a head-on crash to prompt us to act (such as moving to a shoulder).
But not all fears are about survival. My fears are about my sensitivities and the feeling that problems cannot be resolved. I also fear that others will judge me before I have a fair opportunity to show them who I am.
My nature is to respond. When I do not respond to a question, criticism or insult, I become angry with myself or with the situation.
Where do these fears come from?
Childhood explains some of it. I had a speech impediment as a child. Other kids mimicked me and made me feel less inclined to participate in conversations.
I had trouble finding allies. Trusting others became difficult when people I stood up for did not stand up for me. I developed a fear that I was not worthy of an equal relationship.
As an adult, this problem of trust continued. I never felt like I fit in anywhere and feared a life apart from everyone else. For some time, like a self-fulfilling prophecy, my fears were realized.
In a state of loneliness, I decided to join a club I had wanted to join for some time. I could not have known it at the time, but it turned out to a great benefit in more ways than one. For one thing, I easily overcame whatever had remained of the speech impediment and have gone on to lead the club, win awards and participate in contests.
But more importantly, I met the woman who is now my wife!
All decisions we make affect us, some in good ways and some not. But the act of making decisions strengthened my confidence in myself and also my resolve to confront my fears.
So, by writing this essay, I have created my own progress in addressing my fears. The simple realization that we have control over finding our own solutions keeps us ready to handle whatever life hands us.