Why Is Childhood Innocence Replaced By Fear?

As children we acted without regard to certain elements: gravity, weather and common sense to name a few. We didn’t know any better – climbing trees and riding our bikes downhill with no brakes was fun – we didn’t worry about the consequences. When someone would ask us a question we would answer, when we wanted something we would ask – life was simple.

But then our education began: don’t do that, you will get hurt, be careful you might fall, don’t say that or ask for more it is rude. We became curbed in our behavior and it all centered on one underlying element: fear. Fear of getting hurt, of getting in trouble with our parents, of acting inappropriately.

Then we became grown-ups and that fear has really screwed us all up.

We would rather do without than ask because we fear rejection or ridicule. We would rather pass on something new for fear of failure. How did we become comfortable in isolation, incompleteness or accepting of a situation in which we do not? You hate your job, you want to ask for referrals, you want to ask that girl out, you want to try something new but yet you do not verbalize or take any steps toward these things because fear overrides the desire.

The sad thing is: fear doesn’t kill us, but the residual effects of settling slowly deteriorates us: unhappiness, sadness, anger, frustration – you get the point. And it would take literally less than 2 seconds to stand up to fear – just say “So what!”

As children it was our parents, family and teachers that were telling us what we should and should not be doing; as adults who are we listening to? Think about it for a minute, who is encouraging you not to do something you want? If it is external sources ask yourself why, why would they be hindering you from going after something you want? If it is internal then ask yourself why you are fighting yourself.

Everyone fails, yes everyone at some point or another (or even repeatedly) falls flat on their face. But the bold or smart or I guess some would even call ignorant keep getting back up. Instead of asking yourself, “What if I fail?” type questions try asking yourself, “So what?”

You want to apply to a job that you are totally jazzed about – when the little voice says, “But I’m not fully qualified, I’m sure I wont get it” – say “So what!” You either get the opportunity or you don’t – so what.

You want to ask your boss to give you more responsibility – when the little voice says, “But I’ve never done anything like what I want to do” – say “So what!” You either get more responsibility or you don’t – so what.

You like a girl and you want to tell her – when that little voice says, “If she doesn’t like you the same she’s gonna dump you” – say “So what!” You either move forward with someone you want to or realize that it is not the right person – so what.

You want to take a class to learn something new – when the little voice says, “But people will make fun of you” – say “So what!” You get to learn something new, make yourself happy and who the heck cares what others think – so what!

Make it a so what day – take that two seconds to say out loud “So what!” and then let the request actually come out of your mouth; you have a 50/50 chance here of success. But if you never utter a syllable you have a 100% chance of failure. Not good odds. If you do fail – so what, you are still kicking, and now you have two things to celebrate: you faced fear and went for it and you might have learned something that will make you successful the next time.

Lisa K. McDonald, CPRW
Career Coach-Strategist
Certified Professional Resume Writer
Career Polish, Inc.

Leave a Reply