I love that scene in What About Bob where Bob sleeps over at the Marvin’s vacation home and Sigmund asks him if he’s afraid of anything.
Yes, Bob is afraid of…everything. “What if my bladder explodes?”
Bob’s fears make me laugh because in some strange way I can identify with him. When I look at my fears from an outside perspective, I see that all of them are silly things to worry about, really.
I find that fear is a tricky foe. He sneaks up on you with a nameless feeling and lingers, whispering lies or twisting some truth to use as a weapon against freedom and joy.
For me, fear preys on…
…worry about the future,
…worry about possible failure, and
…worry about what others might think of me.
It is not worth worrying about the future because the future has no substance yet. The negative scenarios that pop into my head only exist in my imagination. Worry about the future has no basis in reality.
It is also not worth worrying about failure because…I’ve failed before—and life did not come to a screeching halt. Yes, everyone fails from time to time. No one is perfect. But there is grace and “second chances” beyond counting. What’s more, failure can be a wonderful teacher. Finally: “Who says I’ll fail? No one can predict failure. So, I may as well give it my best.”
It is also not worth worrying about what others might think of me. First of all, there really might be people who think I’m off my rocker. What of ‘em? I can’t control what others think or feel about me. So, why worry about it? I need to be true to who I am, not who others think I should be. Besides, popularity is a game you can never win.
So, Bob and Sigmund—and everyone else—here are three more things you don’t have to be afraid of: the future, failure and the opinions of others. Just be true to who you are, right here, right now, with the gifts that have been given to you. That is all that matters. That is all that is real.
PlayFull exists to help people play from the inside-out. We’re on Facebook and Twitter, too! Have a good, worry-free weekend and thank you for reading.