I remember that when I was a little girl I was scared of turning off the light in my room and stay in the darkness. Images of vampires and monsters crowded my head gambling the possibility to bite me, kidnap me or I do not know what else.
As an adult fear follows me closely, even though my eyes are more used to seeing when there is no light.
In this recent months I have had the opportunity to talk with several friends and colleagues and, in many conversations, the fear of the darkness would still show up. Although darkness in these cases was no longer a room without light; it was not knowing what will h appen, the ignorance of what lies ahead, the unknown. And the monsters no longer had fangs; they were more like ‘losing my job’, ‘being wrong and not able to go back’, ‘let people down and be alone’ and many other little animals of the same family.
And that is scary. How often does the heart tells us to jump towards the void and the head reminds us that the void is scary…
During my years studying psychology we talked a lot about fear, something emotionally so intense that it can influence us in unexpected ways. And lately, more with the situation we are currently living in Europe, this has become one of our worst diseases.
Let’s put ourselves in a work environment and think about what reactions we can see in front of fear:
- Flee: how many times we have excused or convinced ourselves that we could not do something new? No, I am not good at this; no, I do not know how to speak in public…
- Attack: have you lived the experience of having a coworker or a boss that steps over you because he is afraid of being left behind?
- Remain motionless: perhaps one of the most common reactions: I better stay as I am, I do not want the situation to backfire; I better go unnoticed so they do not bother me; I better forget about my dreams because staying here I can pay my bills.
Perhaps the most difficult and the first step to overcome our fears is to REALIZE that we are afraid; realize that the darkness still frightens us.
Just watching our monsters face to face we can see how to make them small, how to turn them or how to make them disappear.
As Nelson Mandela said:
‘The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear’.