Why are we afraid to heal?
As a life coach, I’ve had to process and get real with my share of emotions.
The reality is, for any coach, the best way to help others is to do the work yourself and then help others to do the same.
Oh, I have walked that walk.
I have been afraid; I have avoided and pushed away help and said, “I’m fine,” hoping that it was true, and knowing deep in my gut that it wasn’t.
I was afraid of the unknown, to unbox all the experiences from my history—until I had to.
Our experiences—when left unresolved—result in patterns of thinking, feeling, and acting that wreak havoc in every area of our lives.
We say that we want to change.
We say that we want to grow.
We say things like “I’ve forgiven” or “It’s not really a big deal to me anymore” because we want to be over it.
We’re tired of having the same arguments, tired of attracting the same toxic people into our lives, tired of reliving the same experiences and emotions that make up our history.
But, it’s fine.
But, do you know what fine means?
Fine means, I’ve given up, there’s too much pain, and I’m gonna keep a tight lid on these emotions and just get by.
The reality is that we’re afraid to heal. Healing elicits emotions that are uncomfortable requires that we face the things we want to keep buried.
The question is, what’s greater? The fear of processing our emotions or staying stuck right where we are?
If we get real with what we’re actually afraid of, typically, it falls into one of these five categories:
1. “It’s going to hurt.”
You’re scared to go there.
Maybe, it’s been buried for a long time. Maybe, the feelings are excruciating pain points.
So, you run from the chance to heal your wounds. You push it deep down with the grand gesture of “now’s not the time.”
Self-doubt overshadows everything.
The mind starts rattling off emotions of fear and rejection. You think you’re not worthy. You doubt the healing process. You’re terrified to step out of a desolate place of misery.
2. “I might collapse if I allow myself to feel all this.”
Maybe you think that if you open pandora’s box that the world as you know it will end. You might believe that you actually can’t face your emotions. Maybe you think that you will actually succumb to the pain, anger, or sadness—and never be whole again.
You are consumed by fear over “what ifs” and all the reasons why you can’t.
The reality is that by not allowing yourself to process those emotions, you’re doing more harm than if you were to allow yourself to feel.
3. “I don’t know how.”
For inner healing to work, you have to give yourself permission to dig into those hidden and buried wounds. You have to allow yourself to be vulnerable for this process to succeed.
Stop hiding behind closed doors and suffering. Stop acting like you have it all together on social media. Stop pretending to be somebody, and actually take a step toward being authentically you.
At some point, you will have to say “enough” and want to do something different. Spinning in a hamster wheel of repeated emotions sounds like insanity and does nothing for progression.
4. “I just need a one-and-done solution.”
Quit being convinced that someone else knows you better than you know yourself.
Quit thinking you need to rely on someone else to give you your answers.
What you actually need to do is shut off the world around you, sit in silence, and listen to yourself. Listen to what you already know. Take a moment, create some clarity, and feel.
Yes, this can be scary, especially scary as feelings come to the surface that you’ve never allowed yourself to deal with. But you know what’s scarier than dealing with your emotions? Living half a life—a life that isn’t yours—and telling people that you’re fine when you know you’re not.
Guess what? You will not succumb to this. You will not be overwhelmed by your emotions. If you allow yourself to feel, to process, to reconcile, you just might open up a door to possibilities that you never know existed.
5. “If I let go and I’m not defined by these events, then, who am I?”
No one wants to face this one.
The reality is that, often, we’ve held on tightly to the pain and anger because it’s familiar. It’s given our lives definition and meaning—to identify with the events of our past.
In other words, we’re comfortable being the victim.
We know who we are because of our story. It’s a story that’s familiar and feelings that we understand, so when we heal from this, then what? What’s next?
Who am I?
Well, wouldn’t you like to find out?
There’s a multitude of reasons why we stay where we are instead of choosing change.
Can you be brave? Do you have the courage to face all those things that you haven’t been able to in the past?
What would you like to change?