Fear – 2

In the first part of this three-part series, we discussed how Fear could disguise itself in our lives and hold us back from our destiny.  In Part-2, I will take a closer look at the undirected mind.  If we leave our thoughts to their own willy-nilly course, they will most certainly lead us to where we do not wish to go.  We have predictable thought patterns that are not productive for us.  You can notice this is you listen to your kids’ conversations at times.

They might say, “Well, it won’t matter anyway.”  or “I can’t do that–I don’t have the .. . ”  fill in the blank.  When we sabotage our thinking by allowing these thoughts to take root and, worse, repeat, we gradually destroy our self-confidence.

By looking for the evidence of our fears, we will see more and more the little sayings that go unspoken in our heads or the soft mutterings that are not positive and uplifting.  Eventually, we conclude that the world is as we say it is, and we lose sight of our passion.  How do we go about turning this around?  I like to reverse those thoughts.  If I say something like, “You can’t do that.”  then I switch it to, “I can do that, and plan to do so right now.”

It is much like correcting a bad habit; once we realize the destructive power over us, we see that we have a lot more to lose by holding on to it than by making a healthy decision to reverse it.  It does require that we be positive with ourselves and hope that we can make the changes we need to create and reach our goals.

By catching our kids saying or even thinking about destructive emotions, we can help them turn those around to be more supportive of who they want to be.  I like to use smoking as an example for applying this.  If we’re going to quit smoking first, we ask ourselves, ” What do you think about smoking?”  The answers might include things like, I enjoy it, it relaxes me, it is a social thing that I do with my friends.

Second, ask, “What kinds of behavior do people that smoke exhibit?”  At first, the answer might be obvious; they light up a cigarette or vape when they get stressed or nervous.  Make a good list of the behaviors and include those that are impressions of those around us.  The third question is, “How does this benefit me long term?”  How does this benefit you to hold on to this view, belief, or thought about yourself and your dependence?  Quickly you will realize that “It doesn’t.”

It is then that you know that you have a faulty belief about smoking or vaping.  Then you can go about the process of changing a view, which includes self-talk, comments, those little sayings that you allow yourself to say silently in the judgment of yourself.

Part-1 in this series can be found here, in case you missed it, Fear – Dr. Rich Patterson (pattersonphd.com)

Part-3 in this series is linked for you here, Fear – 3 – Dr. Rich Patterson (pattersonphd.com)

In Part Three, we will take a quick look at how to change a belief system.

The Great Courses has a course for you to take; please see this link Understanding and Overcoming Fear (thegreatcourses.com)


Yours for Better Parenting,