Going Deeper: Getting to the Root of Fear

The first step to conquering your fear is understanding it. And let’s face it, some of our fears are shallow and easy to identify at face-value. For example, you don’t have to go through a traumatic episode to be afraid of spiders. People can be afraid of spiders simply because, well…

They’re creepy!

Other fears are a little harder to excavate, and it’s hard to fight against a fear that we don’t understand. For example, some people have an irrational fear of roller coasters. I had a client once who would break out in a sweat even if she overhear people talking about a theme park. She assumed it was because of a fear of heights, but  in reality, she was an avid rock climber who could be 300-400 feet in the air without much discomfort.

When we sat down to talk about why she was afraid of roller coasters but had no problem climbing up a 300-foot rock face, we realized heights weren’t the problem at all. The root of her fear was feeling like her safety was out of her control. She had no problem setting a rope hundreds of feet in the air as long as it was her hands that did it, When it came to trusting a stranger to design and maintain a machine that could go a hundred miles an hour, however, she couldn’t imagine strapping herself into the seat.

After digging further, it became clear that she had experienced a history of domestic violence as a young woman, and that experience made it difficult to trust other people with her physical well-being. So while at face-value my client seemed afraid of heights, deep down there was a whole lot of hurt and history that was keeping her at arms length from those she loved. Counseling not only helped her take steps towards riding her first (albeit, small) roller coaster, it helped her take steps towards trusting others again. Facing this seemingly simple fear had huge beneficial consequences for her, and I’m convinced you can have that same experience too!

So what about you? Are you ready to start digging deeper to the root of your fears? If so, then list out some of your most common fears on a sheet of paper. Then ask yourself these three simple questions:

 

  1. Do you notice any common traits in those fears?
  2. When did some of these fears first begin?
  3. By addressing the root of some of these fears, how would your life be different?

 

 

3 Steps to Resolve Anger

It’s inevitable…if we choose to be in a relationships with others, then sometimes we are going to find ourselves in situations where we feel angry or offended. Whether intentionally or unintentionally, we are all guilty of causing others pain. As Christians, it is our responsibility to resolve conflicts quickly in order to heal relationships and move forward.

It’s inevitable...if we choose to be in a relationships with others, then sometimes we are going to find ourselves in situations where we feel angry or offended. Whether intentionally or unintentionally, we are all guilty of causing others pain. As Christians, it is our responsibility to resolve conflicts quickly in order to heal relationships and move forward. Unfortunately, when it comes to resolving our anger, we can react out of anger instead and find ourselves in greater conflict than before.

If you find yourself feeling offended or angry, take some time to consider the situation. Pray for clarity and check your heart to honestly consider what is causing your anger. Once you find the clarity you need to address the problem level-headedly, seek out the person that has angered you and attempt to resolve the issue. Be authentic and honest with the person using these three steps as a guide:

1) Share What Happened

This will allow you both to align your perceptions and identify whether there is a problem to resolve or if it was a simple miscommunication. Either way, you will free yourself from the temptation of holding a grudge and offer the other person the chance to provide clarity. It is very possible the person is unaware he or she has offended you, so give the benefit of the doubt and initiate a conversation, free of accusation and full of grace.

2) Share How You Feel

Even if the situation turns out to be a simple miscommunication, you are still human, and feelings can be hurt even without bad intentions. Allow yourself the freedom to explain how the situation made you feel. Be open, transparent, and honest--but careful not to let your emotions get away from you.

3) Share What You Need 

The most overlooked step in resolving anger is sharing what you need to move past your anger. While sharing how you feel may help you feel better in the moment, it will not resolve the issue or prevent it from happening again. If there is something that you need in order to move forward in the relationship, share it! Allow the other person to do the same, and you are one step closer to creating unity in your relationship.

Unfortunately, this three-step approach cannot guarantee to fix every situation because you cannot control how the other person will react. It will, however, help you deal with your anger in a positive and healthy way that will lead you one step closer to a healthy relationship again.

God bless, and have a great weekend!
Shawn Maguire