Fear……fear…….fear! Fear is all around us and we are all susceptible to produce it from our own hearts and minds. We don’t intend to be fearful, but we have innate and healthy fear responses built within us that help keep us safe and help us to avoid dangerous people or situations. For example: if you see a vicious dog, the fear response, often called the fight-or-flight response, kicks in to help keep you alive. It is at this point that you do whatever you have to do to keep yourself safe. You may choose to fight off the dog or you may run away from it. Either way, fear is the initial feeling that you have that tells your mind something is threatening you.
Oftentimes, our fear response kicks into gear at moments when we are not in any real danger! Simply put, we have become overly-fearful women. We fear the worst outcomes and worry about things that probably will never happen the way they play out in our minds.
Many people believe that fear is the opposite of faith, but we would like to pose the idea that fear is a type of faith—just faith in the wrong direction. When you are fearful of something, you are pretty much believing in the worst case scenario. You are believing that the “what if’s” that are circulating in your mind will in fact happen. That is a kind of faith, is it not?
We want to zone in to the hearts of women and the fears that we face! We believe that women are strong, but delicate beings who oftentimes tote around various fears like the fancy handbags that we like to carry. Like a fancy handbag that’s worn out on the inside, many of us women walk around beautifully made up, but are shaking and petrified on the inside.
We believe that there are some specific fears that many of us share as women and we want to highlight a few of them.
Fear #1: Never Getting Married
Almost every woman starts an inevitable thought process around the pubescent years of what her love life will be like and who she wants to date or marry, even if it’s a far-fetched idea! We hang up posters all around our bedroom walls, cut out pages of magazines, daydream, talk with our friends about our dream weddings, and make elaborate lists of what we want in a relationship. This dream does not always match reality though. Many women begin to sink into a deep pit of discouragement, despair and depression when relationships that had potential turn sour, when they are around men but aren’t getting any second looks or asked out on dates, when they are in environments with no prospects, or just can’t find a man who will commit. They are left to believe that there’s someone out there for everyone but them and that they will be single forever!
Fear #2: Failed Marriage
While many women fear never getting married or settling down, there are others who fear that when they do get married, their marriage will take a nose dive into divorce-land. Single women tend to find hope and inspiration in other married couples, and when the couples they look to as examples falter in their marriages, this creates reservations and hopelessness. Watching marriages fail around you is not exactly inspiring! If the divorce rate is 50%, then single women do the math and conclude they could be that 1 out of 2 that fails. Having a potentially failed marriage is the ultimate fear and would make us feel like we are failures therefore looking bad to others around us. Failed relationships can and DO happen! We just hope and pray that they don’t happen to us!
Fear #3: Infertility and Pregnancy Issues
This is a sensitive subject so we will tread lightly! —Biologically, women were created to give birth! Being able to become pregnant and bring a baby to full term is a dream that a lot of women have. Not all women want to have their own children, but there are quite a few who do. To some women, being able to bear children is a sign of strength and femininity. It is a desire that is embedded in many of us from childhood. There is a real chance though that having biological babies is not possible for every woman and this can be a scary reality. There is also the possibility of complications and scary diagnoses that make pregnancy risky and fetal development problematic. The grief that accompanies infertility, miscarriages, and complicated pregnancy is immense and often hard to find relief from, which increases the fear of experiencing such circumstances.
Fear #4: Rejection
Rejection comes in many forms. As women, we experience rejection from men, parents, teachers, our significant others or spouses, our friends, and family. No matter how much we experience it, we never get used to it and would love if we never experienced it again. Being left out, uninvited, and ignored just doesn’t feel good. In many cases, we go to great lengths to avoid any form of rejection by avoiding people, places, and events. We keep our hearts locked up and our hands extended out in a “stay-away” signal! If no one can get near us, then no one can hurt us!
Fear #5: Sexual Abuse or Assault
This is also a sensitive subject, but needs to be addressed. As women, it is no secret that we are often the targets of unfair or harsh treatment, victimization, suffering, and every kind of abuse. For centuries women have fought to have a voice in society and through the years, the unfair and unjust treatment we have endured have caused us to lose our boldness, tenacity, ambition, and braveness. We have become worn out mentally because we see the constant targeting of women on social media and the news. In the back of our minds, we may secretly ruminate or worry about if something bad will ever happen to us. This is especially true for women who have already endured some type of abuse or assault in their past.
Fear #6: Gaining or Losing too Much Weight
Our bodies sometimes have a mind of their own. One day we can fit our pants perfectly, the next day we can barely get into them, and the day after that the pants are lose and ill-fitting. Is it the pants that changed or is it our weight that changed? More times than not, we blame our weight for the inconsistencies. For some odd reason, we think or believe that we are meant to become this perfect weight and size and stay that way forever. We fear that we will never achieve our desired bodies and that other people are judging our bodies. We obsess over what we eat, what we wear, and where we go all because of the way we look. In a sense, everything revolves around how flattering our shapes are to us! If we feel good about our bodies, we are more sociable, happier, and carefree. On the flip side, if we are feeling unhappy about our bodies, we regress, hide, complain, and criticize ourselves publicly before others. Oh, yes! You know when you meet up with a friend and the first thing you say instead of hi is “Girl, excuse how I look today, These pants make me look fat, or man, I’m disappearing!” We criticize ourselves first so that no one else does! Sound familiar?
Fear #7: Career failure
Many women, not all, have dreams of having great careers and advancing occupationally and financially. Having a successful career can be a status symbol or a way to execute your life’s purpose. Often times, a woman’s self-worth, self-confidence, status, value, purpose and identity are intertwined with her career path. So the idea of failing in some way in the workplace can be devastating because of the significant risk of losing a sense of self as well.
Fear #8: Inferiority
As you’ve heard it before, comparison is the thief of joy, yet it is still an issue many women face. Comparing body shapes, comparing bank accounts, comparing houses, comparing careers, comparing spiritual gifts, comparing hair styles, comparing love lives…you name it and women have contrasted their lives against each other. Sometimes comparison is used to feel better about one’s self, and other times it is used to put yourself in a “less than” position. Neither of these are healthy.
Fear #9: Deterioration of Health
Many women have various degrees of health anxiety. Health anxiety is worry and angst about developing a health condition. Some women experience this type of anxiety to the degree of needing clinical help. The other percentage of women just sit ruminating about all the things that could possibly go wrong with their health. Losing our capacity to function due to health conditions is a very bad dream that we don’t want to come true. One routine visit to the doctor to investigate a benign symptom can bring a devastating health report. You can exercise, eat organic, use chemical-free beauty products and still get a bad report from the doctor. This scenario makes us feel vulnerable and powerless.
Fear #10: Aging
Ever notice how heavy the market is with wrinkle creams, hair dye, Botox treatments, serums, and every type of age-fighting product you can think of? Do you ever stare in the mirror for hours examining a single gray hair or picking apart every wrinkle or smile-line? Or how about the intense research you’ve done on age-fighting foods, vitamins, or detox regimens. We will visit every specialist, try every yoga pose, try every box of hair dye, or spend hours on homemade facial treatments to ward off any sign of aging. Aging is natural and a human process, but we just don’t want it to happen to us! We want to look young and stay young forever!Do any of these fears ring true for any of you as women? Please leave us comments, email us, or engage with us on social media to share your fears with us. We want to provide a community of support and encouragement to you as women as we all acknowledge and deal with these fears together!
Stay tuned for our 1-minute video solutions and tips for overcoming these various fears!