If you follow me on Twitter, then you may have noticed I often tweet about fear. How we need to face our fears head on. How our biggest growth comes from overcoming fears. How fear prevents us from truly being everything we can be.
I’ve gotten a pretty good handle on confronting many kinds of fears but one has continually evaded me. Fear has managed to hinder me from finding real happiness. The fear has been so pervasive that when I’ve been presented with a potential opportunity to have happiness, I start to self-sabotage. I will do things to destroy it.
This is a recent revelation for me. When you start to look at your own behavior, patterns inevitably crop up. When I initially realized this, I thought the fear was of being happy. But that never made any sense to me. Why would anyone be afraid of being happy?
Something happened recently with someone (the details I won’t share out of respect for the person and the situation) that made me realize I’m not afraid of happiness. What I’m afraid of is finding it – or thinking I’ve found it – and then having it ripped away.
Alfred Lord Tennyson wrote “‘Tis better to have loved and lost, Than never to have loved at all.” But is it really? Although Tennyson was writing about love, I think the same question can be asked of happiness in general.
Subconscious mind says: “If you don’t get to a happy place, then you’re minimizing the potential pain. You can then shift the blame for all of the things that went wrong to prevent it from happening to something or someone outside of you.” Ergo, a path to self-sabotage perpetually awaits me.
Don’t get me wrong. It’s not that I want to be unhappy. It’s not that I am an unhappy person either. I actually want happiness but it’s part of human nature that we are much more willing to do what we can to avoid negative things than we are to gain positive things. The fear of potential hurt is just a stronger driver for me right now.
Yet another wall I’ve realized I’ve put up that I need to take down.
Do you find yourself self-sabotaging out of fear? Have you overcome this?