We sometimes create what we fear

This is a classic from literature and psychology: We sometimes create what we fear.

EXAMPLES

Here are a few examples:

We fear not being supported, so we push people away before they have a chance to support us. We expect them to not support us, so we get angry and push them away before they can disprove our story.

We fear and expect not to be understood. So we don’t put real effort into being understood, which increases the chances of people not understanding us. We give up sooner than we would have if we didn’t have that issue.

We fear not being accepted so we people-please. This may lead people to keep some distance from us since they notice we are not completely authentic. It makes us question if we are really accepted by others since we present a somewhat fake facade to them. People-pleasing also means we set aside our own needs, which means we won’t feel completely accepted since we don’t fully accept ourselves, we don’t accept and take our own needs seriously.

SELF-FULFILLING PROPHECY

When these dynamics happen, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. We set the stage to prove to ourselves that what the issue is telling us is true. It maintains the issue. And it feels familiar and even safe to us because we stay in the same familiar loop.

We reduce the risk of having life disprove what the issue tells us, and get into unfamiliar identities.

WHY DOES IT HAPPEN?

It’s often a circular dynamic. We grew up with certain family dynamics, internalized these, act as if our fearful beliefs are true and our identity around it is who we are, set the stage to get our fears confirmed, and increase our chances for just that happening. We recreate the dynamics we are familiar with, even if they are painful.

Another side of this has to do with motivation and skills. If we are used to not being heard and understood, or not being taken seriously, we may feel hopeless about being heard and understood so we give up early in the process, and we may not develop the necessary skills to be properly heard and understood.

INVITATION FOR HEALING

There is a healing impulse in this, and an invitation for healing.

We get to face our fears more often. The invitation here is to get more familiar with it and perhaps see it’s not quite as terrible as our more catastrophic stories about it. We may even learn to navigate this particular terrain a bit better.

More importantly, we get to face our issue and how it plays out in our life. We are invited to identify and explore the issue and what’s behind it, and find a resolution for it. Life shows us what’s going on and we have an opportunity to do something about it.

OTHER WAYS IT PLAYS OUT IN THE WORLD…

The self-fulfilling dynamic is just one way these issues can play out.

For instance, we may have a fear of not being understood, so we go to great lengths to be understood. Here, we are setting the stage for another experience. We may still have the issue, but we act against it.

It’s healthier in some ways, although it does come with its own challenges. For instance, the stress of the issue is still there. Also, our behavior tends to have a compulsive quality which can lead to ill-considered actions and pushback from others.

AND EVEN THEN LIVING THIS PATTERN

Even here, we are actually living the self-fulfilling prophecy although in a less visible way.

In the example above, we don’t fully understand ourselves. We haven’t completely understood the issue and what it’s about, so we are acting on our habitual way of relating to it.

Similarly, if our issue is to not be supported and we make sure we have plenty of support in our life, we are still living the self-fulfilling prophecy. We are not properly supporting ourselves. If we did, we wouldn’t need to compulsively seek support in the world. If we did, we would resolve the issue.

And as mentioned above, if our issue is not feeling seen, heard, and understood, we may make a great deal of effort in being seen, heard, and understood. This helps our life in the world, but we are not really hearing, seeing, and understanding ourselves. To do so would mean thoroughly exploring the issue and through that finding a resolution for it.

We give to ourselves what we are looking for in the world, and that’s the real medicine for healing.


INITIAL OUTLINE

Creating what we fear

  • We often create what we fear
    • Examples
      • e.g. if fear not being supported, may push people away before they have a chance to support us
        • Expect them to not support us, so getting angry before they even have a chance 
      • If fear of not being seen, may hide so people don’t see us
        • Expect to not being seen, so hide and don’t put much effort into being seen 
      • If fear not being understood, may communicate poorly so people don’t understand us
        • and expect them to not understand us so not put enough effort into it 
      • fear of not being accepted, so put too much or too little effort into it, which makes people wary of us
        • or we people-please, which means we don’t accept ourselves
      • Self-fulfilling prophecy, maintains the issue, feels familiar and even safe bc stay in the same loop 
    • why does it happen?
    • part of an impulse towards healing
      • brings it to the surface, get to see it, face it
      • get an opportunity to work through our fear
      • get an opportunity to explore the issue behind it

Here are a few examples:

We fear not being supported, so we push people away before they have a chance to support us. We expect them to not support us, so we get angry and push them away before they even have a chance.

We fear not being understood, so we communicate poorly so people don’t understand us. We expect not to be understood, so we don’t put real effort into being understood, which increases the chances of people not understanding us.

We fear not being accepted, so we try too hard (push it) or too little (give up), so we set the stage for not being properly accepted. We act fake so don’t trust that people would accept the real us… so we people-please. That means we don’t accept and take our own needs and boundaries seriously, so we don’t feel accepted because we set aside our own needs.

THERE ARE OTHER PATTERNS & WE ARE EVEN THEN LIVING THIS PATTERN

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