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Saturday, June 25, 2022  

The Box Known as FearPublished 5/27/2003

Do you live in the box known as fear? The box of fear wears a variety of labels. Fear of failure, of success, of loss, of losing love or attention, of loneliness, of physical or emotional pain, or of being wrong. There are many more, but these will give you a place to start. Behaviors and feelings such as anger, frustration, depression, sadness, shyness, and even sarcasm may all reflect fear of some kind.

How does fear lock you in your box? By limiting the choices, opportunities, and possibilities you can enjoy in life.

Fear of failure, for example, may keep you from trying a new business venture, which might have otherwise provided you a new sense of accomplishment and excitement and maybe even better financial security in the long run.

Fear of physical or emotional pain might keep you in a bad relationship because you may worry that your partner will inflict more abuse upon you if you threaten to leave, yet by not leaving you may risk him or her abusing other family members later.

Fear of being wrong might keep you silent in a brainstorming meeting at work where you have the perfect solution for a problem but are afraid of being laughed at by coworkers who might not agree with you. Not speaking up and bringing that great idea to the surface might just mean the promotion you want goes to someone else!

Allowing your teenager to run over the top of you might be your way of dealing with your fear of the possibility that he or she might not love you if you put boundaries upon them. (Amazingly enough, research has shown that most teenagers are begging for boundaries and are usually pushing you to find just where those boundaries are.)

Perhaps you are in an unsatisfying relationship but the fear of being alone outweighs your frustration with not feeling loved. Yet, the point you miss is that as long as you’re involved with the "wrong" mate, "Mr. Right" will probably never find you.

Do you stay inside your box labeled fear because it is a known entity and the big, "unknown" outside looks even scarier? Or would you like to break out of the stifling space you’re living in?

Ok, first, ask yourself what you would do differently if you weren’t afraid? What might you do if you knew that your new business couldn’t possibly fail?

Or if you could be free from your unsatisfying relationship and could be with someone who treated you with respect and you could spend the rest of your life feeling happy, safe, and loved unconditionally?

These are not impossible dreams – but they are guaranteed unattainable if you stay trapped within your box of fear. You must realize that wonderful possibilities truly are attainable and that they are within your reach. Then, ask yourself which fears are holding you back. You can’t slay your dragon unless you know what he looks like.

Let’s say you identify fear of failure as the one holding you back from trying a new business. Start by doing some research into the financial details. Interview successful business people and learn their secrets. Ask yourself what the worst reasonable scenario might be if you were to fail and if you could live with it. If so, once you move forward, get all the negative self talk out of your mind and give one hundred percent effort towards your success.

As I began my new business venture, I got stuck in some fearful boxes for awhile. I kept worrying, "What if it fails? What if I spend all this money for nothing?" The day I wrote my first big business check for brochures and artwork, my heart was in my throat!

Then, it occurred to me that while people all over this country have been chasing the stock market up and down with their money, I was investing in myself. I alone knew just how hard I was willing to work towards my dream and if I couldn’t rely on me to get the job done, why would I rely on anyone else to determine the direction of my life for me?

So believe in YOU and get out of that box!

Mary Jo Fay facilitates a seminar entitled, "Power Out of the Boxx," in Cozumel, Mexico each month and can be reached at or by phone at (303) 841-7691.

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