Why do I operate from a place of fear?

I'm constantly scared of failure, love, competition, loneliness. I'd like to for once just be confident and feel like I deserve to be who I am and live.
Asked by Eppi


Your question is great, and honestly, it's one that many people ask themselves. I can't answer it for you. Determining where all of this comes from is important though--and this isn't to say that therapy should be largely focused on the past, but likely there have been some experiences that have contributed to the challenges you're facing today. So, I would want to know where this fear stems from, what your childhood was like, what beliefs you developed about yourself, and others, and the world around you. I would want to know what your support system is like and if and how you have been hurt by others. 

As someone who works a lot with clients who have experienced trauma, I would take a look at what trauma (if any) you may have experienced. Many people who experienced the world as a scary place. They lose trust in others, feel weak, are overly critical of themselves, etc. Of course, it's also quite possible you haven't experienced any trauma, but if you have, I would suggest trying EMDR therapy.

Regardless of whether you have experienced trauma, it's important to look at your overall belief system. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, which is the most common therapy modality for anxiety and mood disorders today, focuses on identifying what's called your "self-talk". Paying attention to what you tell yourself about yourself and the situations you encounter can help establish patterns. It can help you explore what lens you tend to look through when viewing yourself, others, and your environment. Therapy can help you to examine these thoughts and then, once identifying what thinking may be irrational, to look at how to practice replacing that maladaptive thinking with healthier ways of thinking. 

So, I certainly can't answer your question, but I hope my response at least gives you an idea of how you could approach the question. Whether you choose to engage in therapy on this platform or somewhere else, I encourage you to give it a try. It can be helpful to receive that support when encountering so much fear, and you may need some help identifying what's behind all of this. And you need to hear, not just from myself or others, but from yourself, that you absolutely do deserve to be who you are, and you do deserve to live. 

Take care,

Nicholas DeFazio, MRC, LPCC-S, LICDC