Contributing Writer Marshaun Olaniyan | Life & Relationship Strategist
Fear and anxiety are like kidnappers that hold you captive, holding you back from the full, free life you could be living. The stranglehold on your life will typically get worse over time if left unchecked.
Talking about what scares you is important for people to make rational statements about how they really are, how other people really are, and what is true about his or her social world. Talking about your fears often shrinks them down to a size you can deal with.
Here are a few things that will occur due to you deciding to open up and speak about your fears:
1.You overcome the challenge quicker and it gives you courage when you talk about what scares you.
Your courage grows with each fear you face. Researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles found that people could overcome their fears by labeling and talking about them rather than trying to ignore them. Also, the words, positive or negative, have an effect on how much closer you get to facing the fear the next time around.
Have you ever noticed when you are scared of something, snakes, for example. If you hear the word snake it makes your body cringe. Now, think about your reaction if you were to get near the snake. The more you verbalize how you are going to be bitten by the snake the higher the likelihood that this will occur. However, there is a trainer there so you will be safe. It’s a protected environment or there is nothing to be afraid of. The closer you actually get to the snake, you will see that your fear and anxiety will decrease. Your body will begin to relax because you are finding the courage to verbalize your fears and even begin to face your fears all while moving closer to the snake.
2.It shows up in other ways such as monitoring, you stop speaking up, you withdraw, and often get angry.
When you stop talking about your fears, they can show up in the way of you monitoring or you stop speaking up. You may even decide that withdrawing is a better solution or just getting angry out of nowhere and for no reason at all. When this happens one or both people feel stuck. The more you feel stuck, the more disconnected and hopeless you feel about the relationship and about the other person.
Have you ever noticed that whenever you feel scared and you stop verbalizing it in your relationship you have a tendency to create a story that matches up? Your viewpoint makes the most sense in the story which best suits the way you are feeling because you did not express yourself. This happens when you do not verbalize the things that are bothering you. You start to internalize them. This is also when you create your story about what must be happening, whether it is true or not. For example, you start to think of reasons why he did not answer the phone. Your first thoughts may be, he must be out there cheating. Instead of you bringing up your fear, talking it out with your spouse, you allow this to fester and the next time he doesn’t answer the phone, the more you believe and confirm your story that he must be cheating.
When you do this, you start to make this scenario bigger than it actually is and before you know it, because your mind has created the story and you have fixated on it for some time, it becomes true to you. By the time you express yourself, it is an explosion cast in the form of yelling and screaming at your partner all because of your assumption of why he is not answering your call. This is all fear-based! There are usually no facts to back up this way of thinking. You must be willing to be vulnerable and speak up so these things will not build up and wear you down because if you continue to hold onto these things this will plague your relationship.
- Fear helps you decide what’s real.
When you take the time to define your fears, you learn to separate fact from fiction. This is an important distinction. Some things you are afraid of will be valid, but many will be mental worst-case scenarios that have simply spiraled further in your mind than they ever will or would in reality. Which was exactly the case in the previous example. So, do not do this to yourself. Do not allow your fears to creep in and stay there because you are too scared to talk about them. You have to face your fears. You have to speak about them with your spouse so they can have the opportunity to set the record straight regarding your fears and what you assumed was taking place versus what was actually occurring.
How is fear showing up in your relationship? How are you facing your fears? What conversations are you having with your spouse regarding facing your fears and he is or her fears as well?
I am Marshaun Olaniyan and my mission is to decrease the divorce rate while simultaneously increasing the marriage rate one coaching conversation at a time. If you need help with facing your fears or discovering who you are or showing up and being better within your relationship, please reach out. Let’s set up a free 30-minute coaching conversation so I can help you get from where you are today to where you want to be tomorrow and beyond. Click the link so we can help you on the road to becoming a part of the top 1% of couples that have extraordinary relationships.