Four Lessons We Can Learn from Fear.

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There are four best friends that reside under the umbrella of fear: inadequacy, danger, loneliness and rejection.

These four demons can make us feel completely separate from the world. The truth of the matter is, these have as much power as we want to give them.

We allow our minds to let these four best friends dominate our world, and prevent us from living a more open and transformable existence.

For me, I can relate to these four foes. These four anomalies have at one point or another dominated.

1. Inadequacy

Case and point why I cheated through most of college. I was unable to let go of my fear of inadequacy to be the best.

I was afraid of not getting where I wanted to go professionally, and didn’t feel as though I was good enough to get the job done, so I sought out help, but didn’t ask for the help— I took it selfishly.

Inadequacy can penetrate deep into your heart and will wrap its tentacles around you and hold strong.

One day, it came to me. If I need help, I need to ask for it. I am not going to take it without an approval.

I saw from that point, that my fear of inadequacy was guiding my mind and spirit.

No more.

Photo: microraptor

2. Danger.

How many times have you said no to something because you felt it was too dangerous?

I was also talking to a friend about this one day. He is a professional rock climber, and I asked him if there were times in his climbing when he took the “unsafe risk.”

He responded with, well there are definitely times when I have felt so lucky that I’m still alive. So I guess then you would say, yes.

So what is the point in taking the unnecessary risk in life?

There are differences in taking risks, saying yes to everything, but maintaining a level of caution. Then there are those people who are so adamant about being a “risk taker” that they don’t take safety into consideration. But also, there are people who are the complete opposite, and say no to everything because they are fearful of the danger involved.


Find a healthy balance.

Sky dive with a parachute. And a guide. And a prayer.

3. Loneliness.

Biggie for me. Throughout nursing school, I was unable to admit that I was lonely.

What is fascinating is that you can be surrounded by people, yet still feel lonely.

Boy did I feel lonely. I was lonely every day. No matter what my company was.

I was afraid of admitting to myself that I was lonely. One main thought would circle in my head, “Greer has never been lonely before, therefore can’t be lonely now.” Eek.

Get a life. Embrace loneliness when it knocks on your door.

Welcome it in, and try and understand where the void lies. Fill that void in a healthy fashion (literature, nature, family, dear friends).

Photo: Yuliya Libkina

4. Fear of rejection.

Academically speaking, I was always afraid of rejection, afraid of not getting into the school I wanted to get into, afraid of failing a test, afraid of being caught.

In other realms of life, this was one card I wasn’t dealt.

I am not going to let these moments pass me by because I’m afraid of hearing a no.

Try it, rejection doesn’t put you anywhere other than where you started.

So, here are your four lessons for today:

1.) Know in your heart that your sense of adequacy can only come from within.

If you find yourself feeling below anyone or anything, try and understand the root of these thoughts and counteract them with positivity. Know that each individual is a unique commodity and holds strength and beauty that far resides far below the surface.

2.) Take risks.

Take safe risks, but always say yes. Don’t find yourself regretting turning something down, because you knew it would make you remotely uncomfortable.

Isn’t that the ultimate goal for our emotional well-being, to try and be comfortable with being uncomfortable?

3.) Loneliness isn’t a weakness, loneliness is you eager to fill a void.

Don’t ever be afraid to admit to being lonely. It is a higher level of self actualization, so really it is you becoming more connecting with your inner being.

4.) Rejection makes you stronger.

If we never felt rejection, then we aren’t shooting high enough in this life. Rejection merely means that you are reaching and striving for the best that you can be.



Editor: Elysha Anderson


Like “I’m not spiritual, I just practice being a good person”

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anonymous Aug 25, 2012 3:52pm

Another four lessons to remind myself of when I go to bed! Thank you – am really appreciating this website. I too have to sometimes admit to loneliness, and all those demons listed above. I think ultimately they're all there to make us stronger. The challenge is accepting them all as part of our journey; we wouldn't be human if we didn't have them.

anonymous Aug 24, 2012 11:46am

Really nice, Greer. I love the definition of loneliness as our own eagerness to fill a void. As a writer who spends a fair amount of time in her own head and body, loneliness can sometimes be the familiar, yet still unexpected house guest when she shows up. Lovely when we can embrace her, and know she sometimes just wants to be noticed. Perhaps unveiling another interest or skill of hers when we do. 😉

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Greer Van Dyck

Greer Van Dyck, M.A. appreciates the quiet of the early morning hours. Proudly representing herself as a “realistic optimist,” she thrives on challenging herself in the workplace and on the playing field. She works for a startup company called TherapySites, who specializes in providing web based solutions for mental health care practitioners and gets geeked out over riding her single speed mountain bike. The work keeps her stimulated and always tests her creative edge and business savvy.
She references the words of Kahlil Gibran often and appreciates the wisdom of his words. One of her favorite quotes is, “Work is love made visible. And if you cannot work with love but only with distaste, it is better that you should leave your work and sit at the gate of the temple and take alms of those who work with joy.” Game on. Providing therapeutic services in and around Boulder, CO. Please feel free to call at 706-714-6500 or email at [email protected]