336 Days ’til 40: Facing Your FEARS

22 Mar

We all fear something.  Some people like to pretend that they have no fear, but in reality they are only kidding themselves, and I am guessing that even they are not truly convinced.  We all have worries and concerns and are terrified of various realities that life may bring us.  The fears that we have can be on a variety of levels, from work to family to finances.  Here are some of the most common fears I hear:

  • What if I lose my job and not be able to support my family?
  • What if I lose my mind and go crazy?
  • What if I cannot keep up?
  • What if I am not good enough?
  • What if I am not smart enough?
  • What if they all hate me?
  • What if I cannot adjust to my new circumstances?
  • What if I do not have what it takes?
  • What if I fall apart?
  • What if I look stupid and embarrass myself?
  • What if my children hate me?
  • What if my children grow up to be burdens on me or society?

Most of the fears we tend to express are worse in our minds than how they play out in reality. Years ago I worked on a post-graduate degree program at Gonzaga University.  As Gonzaga is a Catholic University, one of our courses brought in the writings of Anthony De Mello.  As I am not Catholic, I had not heard De Mello prior to his works being required reading in this degree program.  De Mello was a psychotherapist and Jesuit priest who had amazing insights on people, their thought processes, and also had many deep philosophical insights.  I read his thoughts on fear over ten years ago and they made a strong and lasting impression in my mind.  De Mello states:

It’s not that we fear the unknown. You cannot fear something that you do not know. Nobody is afraid of the unknown. What you really fear is the loss of the known. That’s what you fear.

This is SOOOO true!  We do not really fear the known, we fear the LOSS OF THE KNOWN.  We fear losing our comfort zone, being pushed into something that we are not ready to do, feeling completely out of control.  We fear our stable circumstances (job, family, etc.) becoming unstable and unpredictable.  We fear our reactions to losing the comfortable lives that we live.  Even when our lives may not be perfect, we still fear losing them, as they are all that we know.  De Mello is correct, we do not fear the unknown, we do not know what the unknown holds.  We fear the loss of everything familiar to us, everything we hold dear.

This realization has helped me immensely as I have sought to challenge myself to push through my barriers of fear that prevent me from the learning and growth I wish to achieve.  If I can stop and remind myself that I will not lose all that I know, that there will still be familiarity and stability in some forms in my life, it is easier to garner the courage to walk into circumstances that I am not accustomed to experiencing.

Today, 336 days ’til 40, I remind myself that my fear of loss of the known is my true fear.  By acknowledging and naming the fear for what it really is, I am able to properly address the issue.  I am able to remind myself that I will not lose all that is familiar to me (even if I lose all material possessions, I still have my familiar thoughts, etc.)  I am able to acknowledge that fear of loss of the known is fear of a grieving process, fear of death of one chapter in my life, and apprehension as to what the next chapter of my life may bring.  The unknown is nothing to be feared – it is a blank canvas waiting to be painted.

It is my hope that you too will understand the difference between “fear of the unknown” and “fear of loss of the known” – as you work out the subtle differences in your life, you will be freer to take chances and prepare yourself for new adventures in the unfamiliar.



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98 responses to “336 Days ’til 40: Facing Your FEARS

  1. autumninbruges

    March 22, 2012 at 00:08

    Very true, we cannot fear something that we don’t know, and it’s the thought of losing what we already know/have that scare us… So true. Even though sometimes we should lose something of the known, just to make us experience new things, and overcome our limits and fears…

    • 400daystil40

      March 22, 2012 at 07:11

      Yes, Autumninbruges! You are so correct, sometimes it would be better for us to lose the known… but we certainly fear that immensely!!!

  2. thispastorspensieve

    March 22, 2012 at 00:09

    Can I hope you don’t figure out life before you are 40? If you do, then you might not share your insights with the rest of us after that. Thank you for some honest and inspiring words that help even those of us who have passed 40!

    • 400daystil40

      March 22, 2012 at 07:12

      I love your reply, thispastorspensieve! 🙂 Don’t worry, once I hit 40 I will continue blogging in some form, though perhaps not every day – it is quite a challenge I have undertaken! 🙂

  3. wherethedaytakesme

    March 22, 2012 at 00:09

    I have lived in fear for quite some time, it’s definitely time for me to face it and live my life. Love your posts.

    • 400daystil40

      March 22, 2012 at 07:13

      Wow, wherethedaytakesme, this is powerful insight into yourself. Being able to come to terms with the value of making change is the most significant step, the rest falls into place. Please keep me posted!

  4. balancethroughthelens

    March 22, 2012 at 00:16

    What a fresh perspective! And very timely for me. Fearing the loss of the known? You’re right, there will always be tidbits if the familiar that remain. As I face challenges, I’m going to try to remind myself that the unknown is “a blank canvas waiting to be painted”. Wonderful post!

    • 400daystil40

      March 22, 2012 at 07:14

      Thank you, balancethroughthelens! Yes, this particular post is a concept that I seem to personally cycle back to over and over again in my life. The blank canvas analogy helps, doesn’t it? Thanks for your comment! 🙂

  5. viveka

    March 22, 2012 at 00:19

    Yes, we fear what we know … !! Can only relate to myself – my cancer. Hadn’t been able to sleep for nearly 4 months because of the pain I had in my hips. Up the whole nights – then when they found the tumor in me … I slept like a baby up to the night before the operation. There was no fear what so ever involved before the operation or after, but now with all the treatments behind me – I fear the cancer, because I know what kind of package it comes in. Fear are so many things for us … and as with our mountains – we build up our own fear … I call them my demons – and I’m very good to create my own ghosts. The fear for not being good enough – is one of those ghosts we build up ourselves. Excellent post !!!! Makes us think … and react.

    • 400daystil40

      March 22, 2012 at 07:19

      Viveka, you bring up such a good point which is critical for many of us who deal with struggles beyond our control (be it illness or an unhealthy family member, etc.) That fear that the issue will rear its ugly head again is a real fear. Yet, as you are so aware, the fear then takes away a quality life today… and I think the challenge is to be able to walk past that fear and not allow it to win – to say that we are going to live each day in the here and now and not live life in the midst of hypothetical “what ifs” – I try to tell myself that I do not need to ask “what if?” – I will deal with that when it comes and enjoy my life fully in the meantime…. taking the most from every moment. Great comment! Hang in there!

      • viveka

        March 22, 2012 at 10:30

        “fear” is just what we make to – it’s so personal it can be. As you wrote here – walk pass it – or as I say, learn to dance with them demons and try to get a rhythm together that suit both. It’s now nearly 2 years since my operation – but got some “side effects” from the treatments – that I have to dance with daily. My life has shrunken with 40% – in my eyes, but on the other hand if I didn’t had the treatments I would have no % of life left – that is my rhythm *smile.

  6. SD Storm Chase

    March 22, 2012 at 00:31

    That makes perfect sense. I have just made a huge change in my life. And the fears I feel are of losing that comfort zone. Those things and places I am use to, not those things that will be new.
    Great post!

    • 400daystil40

      March 22, 2012 at 07:19

      Thanks, SD Storm Chase, it is so great to hear a personal example of how this rings true in the lives of others. 🙂

  7. Fiona Pimentel

    March 22, 2012 at 00:49

    Very good post. Thanks

  8. rabidmongoose

    March 22, 2012 at 00:50

    OK, that’s it, I’ve got to start a new blog on this subject. You bring up so many excellent points that you’ve inspired me!

    I did not avoid confronting my addiction for years because I enjoyed being an addict. I failed to confront my addiction because I had no idea what life would look like without my addiction, and that unknown was far more terrifying for me than the pain of my addiction.

    • 400daystil40

      March 22, 2012 at 07:22

      What a great comment, rabidmongoose! You need to let us all know when you post on this or similar subjects so we can read your writings! I so appreciate your comment because it shows the practical, real application of this concept – and the truth behind it. Thank you! 🙂


    March 22, 2012 at 01:10

    We fear our reactions to losing the comfortable lives that we live. Even when our lives may not be perfect, we still fear losing them, as they are all that we know. De Mello is correct, we do not fear the unknown, we do not know what the unknown holds. We fear the loss of everything familiar to us, everything we hold dear.

    This one statement is SO TRUE OF EVERYONE in the world!!!!
    Thank you!

    • 400daystil40

      March 22, 2012 at 07:27

      Hi prideinphotos, thanks for your comments. Yes you are very right – even when our lives are not perfect, we fear losing them! This is why I love the quote so much, because of how much truth it holds! 🙂

  10. The Duchess

    March 22, 2012 at 01:38

    A subtle but important difference! Sometimes the very uncertainty is the exciting bit, it’s just the regular income that holds us where we are.

    I like the concept of your blog–anyone actively trying to get the most out of life is winning at life in my book. x

    • 400daystil40

      March 22, 2012 at 07:28

      Thanks, The Duches, for your comment! I agree with you and thanks for the compliment! 🙂

  11. terry1954

    March 22, 2012 at 01:51

    my fear is leaving my kids behind

    • 400daystil40

      March 22, 2012 at 07:28

      Yes, Terry, I have that fear too – I think most parents do!

  12. Dave Knickerbocker

    March 22, 2012 at 01:53

    Great article. I turned 40 a year-and-a-half ago, and I lost what it’s like to lose weight easily . . . and I had no idea it would happen that quickly!

    • 400daystil40

      March 22, 2012 at 07:31

      Thank you for your comment, Dave! I appreciate your insight! Yea, funny how things change so quickly when we get old (but we are not really old at 40…. it is too young!!!) 😛

  13. Words From the Moon

    March 22, 2012 at 01:53

    Great post, and some very wise words. I have a book by Anthony DeMello that I am anxious to read – I have read some great quotes from him.

    • 400daystil40

      March 22, 2012 at 07:32

      Yes, Words from the Moon! I have quite a few of his books because I LOVE his quotes – in fact, I may have to use more here! 🙂

  14. johnedoe

    March 22, 2012 at 05:41

    HI,…..FIRST THING THAT I WANT TO SAY IS THAT I ENJOY YOUR WRITING VERY MUCH!!!,…AND YOUR UNIQUE VARIETY OF TOPICS,……..before i comment on your “today’s” piece,….i must ask a question,….it may just be a “typo”….???….if so,…please correct it before i comment,… with the typo (possibility of?) i can not get the context,…here is what you originally posted……

    It’s not that we fear the “unknown”. You cannot fear something that you do not know. Nobody is afraid of the unknown. What you really fear is the loss of the known. That’s what you fear.

    This is SOOOO true! We do not really fear “the known”, we fear the LOSS OF THE KNOWN.

    now,….must admit,….that perhaps it is “just a trick” of the wording?????…lol…….i dunno!!!!!!!!

    thanks much,………

    • 400daystil40

      March 22, 2012 at 07:41

      Yes, Johnedoe, as you worked through the reply to me you started to see – it is a purposeful trick of wording…. we fear the loss of the known, we fear losing all that we know, all that is comfort – we do not really fear the unknown……. we do not know the unknown…. you will read others comments as well as they are all responding to this play on words and how this play on words changes the meaning completely! 🙂

      • johnedoe

        March 22, 2012 at 08:04

        OH,…YOU ARE SSSSSSSSSSOO SSSSO SNEAKY!!!!!!!,…..LOL!!!!!!,…….

  15. J M Naszady

    March 22, 2012 at 06:38

    Great post! I have spent the past year dealing with my life being turned upside down, and have had to keep my mind on the fact that I still have so much to be thankful for. I feel like I have lost ground and lost my way, but in reality I have simply changed directions, and it is scary. It is also a growth experience, and very liberating. But I find myself taking baby steps, because loss of control is VERY scary.

    • 400daystil40

      March 22, 2012 at 07:43

      Yes, loss of control is indeed so VERY scary – I agree completely. It sounds like you have really been living this post for the past year and I hope that you find that you are able to create a new known, that begins to become as comfortable to you (or even better) than your life before it was turned upside down. Keep on keeping on! 🙂

      • J M Naszady

        March 22, 2012 at 21:02

        Thanks for your encouragement!

  16. Spider42

    March 22, 2012 at 08:29

    Very nicely written post.
    I had not heard of De Mello before this and the quote from him you’ve shared here is very insightful and thought provoking.
    I’d like to disagree on one thing though – that too only partially. What I mean to say is that while I agree with what he says and the point you are using it to make, I don’t think a blanket statement of nobody fearing the unknown is entirely true accurate. I feel that largely people are afraid of losing the known as you said, but a part of us is always afraid and apprehensive of the unknown, the unfamiliar and anything we cannot categorise or explain because the unknowable is a threat to our very self and to what we know – its the thing we cannot prepare for and so most often we tend not to think about it, hence not actively fearing it at all.
    This has changed a little in modern times as scientists and such who study these things try and explain them and come up with alternative solutions and preventive measures and such which in a strange way make it more active as a fear because (for eg:) today people live in an atmosphere of fear that exists charged all around us with things like terrorists and the like potentially around every corner if you believe some people. We don’t know the people attacking, we don’t know how, we don’t know why, we don’t know when or where but somewhere in the mind remains the threat that something might happen somewhere, sometime.
    As I said, its not an argument against your point, just a thought that in today’s day and age its becoming more complex and if trends continue, I think will only worsen.
    Sorry for the overly long rambling post – and thanks for visiting my blog by the way.

    • 400daystil40

      March 22, 2012 at 08:39

      Thank you so much, Spider42, for your very insightful comment. Ironically, I think even in your difference of opinion, you are saying a similar thing – because the fear of the unfamiliar that you mention could theoretically be flipped around to also be fear of loss of the familiar…. really a play on words. I feel that your post really reinforced everything I was saying beautifully, from a slightly different angle – which is that we really do fear what we do not know because it is a loss fo the stability. You are also so correct, often we do not even think about it (which is probably much healthier than active fear!) You are also correct that we live in a crazy world – and that fear of attack or whatever could happen is a fear of the known and a fear of a loss of the world as we currently know and perceive it. Great comment! I hope you stop by again and share more of your insight!

      • Spider42

        March 22, 2012 at 08:50

        No thanks needed, I love a good discussion and sharing ideas like this is one of the things I try and do in the blog-sphere because its not always easily found day-to-day in the non-digital realms. 🙂
        Will definitely stop by when you post new items and share any reasonable intelligent thoughts that come to mind. (oh and just ‘spider’ is fine, don’t have to use the whole name :D)

  17. Anon

    March 22, 2012 at 11:50

    Wow this is so true! I love your blog! 🙂

  18. stilllearning2b

    March 22, 2012 at 11:51

    I always suffered great fear of losing everything I had. Then, it was gone in one fateful email: my husband, my dogs, my money, my house, my life. In coming through that trauma and living to see the other side, I found that I have also lost my fear, left it behind in my old life. Now I know that I can handle anything, and I am enjoying the peace that comes with that belief.

    • 400daystil40

      March 22, 2012 at 12:06

      Wow, Stilllearning. Thank you so much for sharing your story, as I believe that there are many other blog readers out there who will benefit from hearing your experiences. It is so true, once we go through a trauma like you have experienced we learn how very strong and capable we are. When we have this knowledge, the fear does subside. Please stop by again, I really appreciate your input! 🙂

  19. Stuart Otway-Smith

    March 22, 2012 at 11:58

    Reblogged this on Stuart Otway-Smith and commented:
    There is nothing to fear but the fear of fear it’s self!

  20. The Quiet Borderline

    March 22, 2012 at 13:45

    Great post, thank you.

    I, since being in the hospital, have had a fear of losing my mind. Really thought that it was happening. But now I realise it was an incorrect fear I had and was just me building it up more and more in my mind, driving myself more crazy with the thoughts than anything.

    But I am glad to be out of this frame of mind. It was very scary!

    The Quiet Borderline

    • 400daystil40

      March 22, 2012 at 14:06

      Thanks for your comment, QB! Great that you were able to come to that realization!

      • The Quiet Borderline

        March 22, 2012 at 15:39

        Most welcome. Yes, for sure a good realisation to come across!

  21. saymber

    March 22, 2012 at 15:20

    Excellent article 400! I’ve had to become very uncomfortable in my comfortable many times in my life in order to grow as a person.

  22. New Hampshire Garden Solutions

    March 22, 2012 at 16:33

    Most of what we fear never comes to pass. It lives only in our mind but can still paralyze us and literally make us sick. We need to understand that if our mind is powerful enough to make us sick, then it is also powerful enough to make us well. As we think, so shall we be.

    • 400daystil40

      March 22, 2012 at 16:51

      Yes, New Hampshire Garden, what you say is so VERY true… our fears CAN make us sick, and our mind can also work to make us healthy. It is amazing how powerful our mind/ body health connections really are! Great comment! Thank you!!! 🙂

  23. readytochangenow

    March 22, 2012 at 16:59

    Great post – I agree that by obsessing on our fears we can draw them to us – nothing but bad ever comes of it…

    • 400daystil40

      March 22, 2012 at 17:01

      Yes, this really true…. we do not benefit from the obsessing.

    • 400daystil40

      March 22, 2012 at 17:01

      Yes, this is really true…. we do not benefit from the obsessing.

  24. maudestandard

    March 22, 2012 at 17:04

    I love this blog.
    I used to curl up in a fetal ball when I was afraid. Didn’t get anywhere doing that. It took a very long time to stop that.
    I figured it was easier facing something than trying to hide from it. It was there whether I faced it or not.
    A big one I deal with is staying in the day. Fear of the future is one of my bad habits.
    A good saying I heard on the radio was that worrying is like a rocking chair, you are moving but you’re not going anywhere.
    I don’t talk about what I fear in meatspace.
    This blog is a great place for people to discuss this.

    • 400daystil40

      March 22, 2012 at 20:00

      Thank you, maudestandard, for your great comment (and the compliment!) I also used to curl up and hide from my fears and found it to be counterproductive. I LOVE your rocking chair quote, it is such a great visual and SOOOOO true!!!!! Please visit again, as I really appreciate your insight and I am sure other readers will as well!!! 🙂

  25. evilnymphstuff

    March 22, 2012 at 19:33

    Wow such an interesting blog! 400 days til 40… great!
    I’ve never heard of him either although I’m supposedly Catholic… and neither heard of such a meaningful quote! Very inspiring 🙂

    • 400daystil40

      March 22, 2012 at 20:01

      Thank you, evilnymphstuff! I hope you come visit again! Thank you for the compliment! 🙂

  26. lujat71

    March 22, 2012 at 20:08

    Great post, you have good insight and appear wise – I like that! I climbed the mountain to 40 and hit it last year, I tried hard to get life figured out before I got there but am still searching!

    • 400daystil40

      March 22, 2012 at 20:09

      Sometimes I think that our entire life is meant to be a search, lujat71!!! Thank you so much for stopping by my blog! Please visit again! 🙂

  27. buckwheatsrisk

    March 22, 2012 at 22:04

    so very true, even profound. we have lost everything in the last two years. we left everything to start a new life in a new Province, and we are just about to leave everything again and start in another new Province…you know as hard as it was, a lot of good came from it. good friends, dreams come true, different culture…i truly believe there are dreamers and then those that go after their dreams, and that takes risk. the ones willing to take the risk, are the ones who see their dreams come true. we are seeing our dreams come true…i hope you have too 🙂

    • 400daystil40

      March 23, 2012 at 07:49

      Wow, thank you so much for sharing your experiences with the readers here. I love your distinction between dreamers and ones who truly follow their dreams. It takes a great deal of courage to really follow your dreams as you are. 🙂

      • buckwheatsrisk

        March 23, 2012 at 18:08

        thank you! i’m glad you dropped by for a visit…i am really enjoying your blog as well…i love the title of it too!

        • 400daystil40

          March 23, 2012 at 23:58

          Thanks so much, I will be visiting again! 🙂

          • buckwheatsrisk

            March 24, 2012 at 05:28


  28. anotherthousandwords

    March 23, 2012 at 00:30

    As I recall, nearing 40 was never a fear as much as it was a challenge. I accomplished some of the best artistic work of my life since then, and I shall become 66 in early May.

    I took the challenge then, as I continue to, without fear, as I feel you shall also.

    When we stand up against any innermost fear, and conquer it, we become better human beings…if only to ourselves.

    Thank you for your great ability to write of difficult subjects.

    • 400daystil40

      March 23, 2012 at 07:47

      Thanks for your comment! I agree with you so much, we do become better when we are able to conquer the fears we have in our lives. I hope you visit again, as I so appreciate your insight!

      • anotherthousandwords

        March 23, 2012 at 07:54

        I am following, you are ‘bookmarked’. I so enjoy your perspectives, so just KEEP GOING!

        • 400daystil40

          March 23, 2012 at 08:06

          Thank you for your encouragement!!! 🙂

  29. Asuma

    March 23, 2012 at 07:54

    Hi, thanks for liking my post earlier, by the way! I often have irrational fears and tend to get either really depressed or guilty…but I’m working on it with my counsellor. Thanks for sharing this post with all of us!

    • 400daystil40

      March 23, 2012 at 08:06

      Thank you for your response! I think we all need to work on not adding those feelings of guilt to the fear… but it is so hard!!! 🙂

  30. Donna L. Sadd

    March 23, 2012 at 12:16

    Great post!Thank you for this; the timing was perfect for me to see this.

    • 400daystil40

      March 24, 2012 at 00:14

      You are welcome – thanks for stopping by and I am glad that this was relevant for you.

  31. Jennifer Terry

    March 23, 2012 at 15:15

    Thank you so much for this and your blog in general. It’s so insightful. My husband and I are considering a move. He’s ready and I’m hesitant. Your post has really helped me categorize my fear.

    • 400daystil40

      March 24, 2012 at 00:10

      I am so glad that this post helped you! Thank you for sharing that with me. I wish you the best – moves can be terrifying at worst and stressful at best. I hope that you are able to make the decision that is right for you and that you are at peace with the choice you make. Please stop by again and let me know how you are doing and what decisions you made. Take care~

  32. Jaen Wirefly

    March 23, 2012 at 16:14

    Thank you for stopping by my blog and liking my posts. Fear can be crippling and it would be nice to think there’s nothing to fear but that wouldn’t be valid. Job loss, foreclosure, sickness they are all possibilities. I guess the best way to deal with fear is to get yourself into a place that if any of these things do come along you’ll know how to handle them. Fear has prevented me from doing many things I might have enjoyed but it probably also saved me from dangerous situations. Fear can be healthy but not when taken to the extreme. Maybe it comes down to trust. Can you trust yourself to get through bad events or can you trust others will help when those events arrive? In any case, you wrote a wonderful post. Looking forward to more!

    • 400daystil40

      March 24, 2012 at 00:06

      You are welcome, Jaen! I agree with you, often having a plan “just in case” can help to release the fear. Yes, sometimes fear can be healthy and can protect us – as you say, some of it is balance and some of it is trust. Thank you so much for your great input and I look forward to reading more of your posts and hearing more from you. 🙂

  33. leese315

    March 23, 2012 at 20:51

    I truly love reading your blogs, they are so insightful and really make me think about my life. When I was reading the quote at the top, I was thinking at first, but we are afraid of the unknown, but as I thought about it, it is that we fear losing what we already know/have. For instance I know a lot of people fear death, we don’t know what is on the other side; good, bad, or nothing. But I don’t think that’s what we fear, it’s leaving people behind, leaving the life we knew, the people we knew, the things we had, the memories that we have created, that is what we fear.

    Thanks for posting! It puts things in perspective for sure. =)

    • 400daystil40

      March 23, 2012 at 23:51

      Thanks so much for your really encouraging comment – I agree with you completely and you added a great example that I had not thought of. Thank you for your great insight! 🙂

  34. Coach Sue

    March 23, 2012 at 23:12

    I love the quote about fearing the loss of the known! I also believe that we do fear the unknown as anticipatory fear. This creates a lot anxiety. I see your growth already. Your blog reminds me of one I wrote….

    • 400daystil40

      March 23, 2012 at 23:36

      Thanks so much for your comment! Yes, you are so correct, it is anticipatory fear. Thank you for pointing me to your blog post – I enjoyed it. Please stop by again and thank you again for your great input.

  35. Coach Sue

    March 23, 2012 at 23:12

    Love the photo of the cat!

    • 400daystil40

      March 23, 2012 at 23:35

      Thank you! 🙂 He and I are a bit codependent! 🙂

  36. WhispersOTM

    March 24, 2012 at 11:24

    Thank you so much for posting this. I have been going through a lot of tough times in my life and this really just taught me to face my fears and go for it. Thank you so much.

    • 400daystil40

      March 24, 2012 at 15:42

      Thanks, Whispers! Yes, we all need to take that leap and face our fears – I wish you the best with what you are going through – please check in again and let me know how you are doing.

  37. kissingthecockroach

    March 24, 2012 at 21:44

    My worst fear = what if I succeed?

    • 400daystil40

      March 24, 2012 at 21:46

      Wow, such a good point, kissingthecockroach! I know of many people who fear success as much as failure!

      • kissingthecockroach

        March 24, 2012 at 22:30

        It is like staring at a blank canvas. I have the paints. I have the brushes. I have the arms and hands. Now why can’t I just put some bleeping paint ON the canvas and see what happens??
        There is still some little girl in me that thinks she will be GRADED. So she doesn’t try. Of course I know if we don’t try, we’ll never learn or grow or succeed! It’s a silly self-dance I do….round and round….@@@

        • 400daystil40

          March 24, 2012 at 22:34

          Yes, I try to make myself paint ANYTHING just to get started! It is not always easy to motivate oneself to get started. 😦

          • kissingthecockroach

            March 24, 2012 at 22:37

            Why is it so scary! It’s like someone hands you a grocery store and says, “Here you go, Cook!”

  38. Linda Willows

    March 24, 2012 at 22:10

    Wonderful…and fearing the loss of the known is also born from the attachment of the “I am” or finding identity and security in the known even if it is not one that is ideal or pleasant. The known, each succeeding known becomes “family”, or familiar…and we re-attach not to feel the fear of separation of identity (the void-loss of love-self). I think it important to also discover Why we fear losing the known and work with the roots themselves! I do love your site, Just followed, Linda

    • 400daystil40

      March 24, 2012 at 22:27

      Thanks so much for your wonderful comment! I love the insight you share. You pose an important question – asking ourselves WHY it is we fear losing the known. I imagine if we are self-aware enough to be able to answer that question then the loss will be less scary and have less power over us. Thank you again! 🙂

  39. Summer Moon

    March 25, 2012 at 03:16

    Wow! This is a really great post. The ‘fear of the loss of the known’ is such a powerful concept. I’ve never really thought about that before. The loss of a “comfort zone” as you put it. And, it’s so true! This gives me so much to think about. Thank you for sharing this.

    Cheers 🙂

    • 400daystil40

      March 25, 2012 at 12:13

      Thank you, Summer Moon. Yes, this really is a powerful concept and it was one of those “Aha Moments” for me when I first understood it. It actually changed the way I view change from that moment forward – which was a good thing! 🙂

  40. frootbat31

    March 25, 2012 at 18:35

    Great post! I read a book once called ‘feel the fear, do it anyway’ where I also had some serendipitous events that empowered the idea ‘fear will always be part of us, we need to learn to work through it’. Learning that really opened my eyes how I let myself wallow in my fear and other negative thoughts. 😉

    • 400daystil40

      March 25, 2012 at 21:12

      Thanks, Frootbat31. I am going to have to look up that book! I think we are all prone, by human nature to a fair amount of wallowing. The key, I think, is to learn to limit that stage and advance past it. 🙂

  41. Amarissa Cale

    March 26, 2012 at 23:08

    Thank you for the thought-provoking Post! You are right on with being afraid of the unknown; we become far too complacent and comfortable in our lives with what we do know, that often we become terrified of leaving that ‘comfort zone’. To leave our zones is to be brave and bold.


    • 400daystil40

      March 27, 2012 at 07:34

      Yes, what you say is so very true, Amma. I hope to continue to find the courage to leave the comfort zone more often and experience even more of what life has to offer me.

      • Amarissa Cale

        March 27, 2012 at 15:40

        Leaving the comfort zone is not always easy, but a necessary evil if we want to experience life. I am also guilty of avoiding the unknown at times, but have somehow found courage to face it .. most of the time!
        Keep smiling, even through the tough times; a smile given is a gift received.


        • 400daystil40

          March 27, 2012 at 16:28

          I think we all struggle with avoiding what we do not know! Yes, if we can smile through it all, then we are doing well!!! 🙂


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