It’s easy to know what you’re afraid of. But it’s difficult to know WHY. Today you’re going to learn why you’re afraid of certain things. Last week you learned how to Face It on your way to becoming fearless when birth is staring you in the face.
If you missed Part 1, go back and read it. The second step in becoming F.E.A.R.L.E.S.S. is to Examine It.
How To Be Fearless By Examining
Sometimes we may be afraid of one thing and are actually afraid of something else. Or maybe you feel you’re not fearful of anything at all, but then you actually are when you start to dig deep. Our subconscious is so complex, built upon layers and layers of aspects about ourselves that it’s really hard to see exactly what’s down there without uncovering things layer by layer.
I had a social worker tell me once that the reasons we feel the way we do are often based on things we haven’t considered. We think we’re upset over something, but it’s really not the real reason. And we can’t heal something or overcome it without fully understanding it.
So we’re going to uncover what’s buried deep. Even if it’s small, or you’re not worried about it… it may come back and run you over full force if it’s not dealt with now.
“If you know the enemy and know yourself you need not fear the results of a hundred battles.” — Sun Tzu
What You Need To Examine
Get your notes from the questions you answered in Part 1. When you wrote down what your fears were, those were the immediate thoughts on the surface you have about your birth. It doesn’t matter if your list is short or long, we’re going to examine each of them in a way to help you truly know how to move forward in overcoming them.
Here’s what you’re going to do:
- Get out a fresh piece of paper for each of your fears and write the individual fears on the top of that sheet.
- Now, while you’re thinking about that fear, answer the question “Why?”. Why are you afraid of that? Write it down in a quick, simple answer, no more than a single sentence. There will be more time and room for an ultimate pouring out of your thoughts as we go on.
- Okay, do that same thing again. Based on the things you just wrote down, ask “Why?” again. Why do you feel that way about your fear? Write it down in a simple answer that’s only a single sentence again.
- Now ask yourself “Why?” again for the reason you just wrote down. Then answer quickly as before.
You’re going to do this FIVE TIMES. Record your “Why?” about the previous answer at least five times. And remember to be completely honest, going with your first impressions and gut intuitions.
This method is called The 5 Whys that’s used to discover an underlying reason for the problem at the surface. It may become a little harder with each step that you take in order to truly see why you’re afraid of something. If you can’t go to five levels deep, that’s okay. And if you can keep going, then you can certainly do so. But it’s usually around five times that you can truly see what the underlying core of your fear is.
I’ll do this with you. Now, just take a few minutes and complete The 5 Whys for each of your fears. Go ahead, I’ll wait …
My 5 Whys
I wrote that my fear was the My Baby Will Have A Disability. I’m not pregnant right now, but I don’t think our family is complete. We’re taking a few years off since we had three so close together. (Right now I have three boys, ages three and under!)
So if we were to have kids in the future, I would be pushing into my mid-thirties. That makes me nervous because I know that there are more risks for the development of babies when the mother is 35 and older. I understand those risks and don’t want them affecting my family if at all possible.
So here are my 5 Whys:
- Why? Because it will mean a life of greater difficulty for me and my baby.
- Why? Because that will cause greater pain and difficulty for me.
- Why? Because I selfishly don’t want that for myself and my baby.
- Why? Becuase I know the Lord can bless us beyond that difficulty.
- Why? Because I want to be good enough for that blessing and my family.
My fear boiled down to the fact that I’m afraid I won’t be good enough. That my body will have some sort of a fault that is passed onto my children. That I am weak or not strong enough to press forward in spite of the hardships that might possibly come.
I know that this certainly isn’t true. Yet, it’s still sprouting in me somewhere deep and I have to constantly address it. That’s why I have a number of books on my wish list about overcoming fear that I want to read. (See my list below for what I plan on reading.)
The Roots Of All Fears
Almost ALL of our fears boil down to two things:
- fear that we’re not good enough
- fear that we’ll lose what we love
Now, read your last “Why?” and see for yourself if your fear doesn’t ultimately spawn from one of these two fears.
Let it sink in for a moment.
Before moving on, complete the same steps of 5 Whys for all of the fears that you wrote down previously.
Now look at the resulting fears for each of them. Are they pretty similar? Sure, you may have one or two that may be slightly different. Everyone’s individual case is unique. But are the underlying reasons what you thought they were originally?
After seeing the core fears that were buried deep under layers of lifestyle and perceptions, you can take the proper steps to address the correct things at the root of your anxieties. Hang onto these sheets of paper you’ve recorded your feelings on. You’re going to use them as we move forward through this FEARLESS series.
While you eagerly anticipate the next part, Accept It, yet to come next week, take a look at one of my favorite birthing kits.
What are your fears? What did the 5 Whys tell you about why you feel that way? What’s truly the reason you’re afraid or anxious about something?
Share them with me and the rest of us. I want you to know that you’re not alone! We ALL have these fears, even if we hide it. Let’s open up and start the conversation.
Now Go To:
- How To Be Fearless When Birth Is Looming – Part 1: Face It
- How To Be Fearless When Birth Is Looming – Part 2: Examine It
- How To Be Fearless When Birth Is Looming – Part 3: Accept It
- How To Be Fearless When Birth Is Looming – Part 4: Do Your Research
- How To Be Fearless When Birth Is Looming – Part 5: Listen To The Right Voices
- How To Be Fearless When Birth Is Looming – Part 6: Handling Your Emotions
- How To Be Fearless When Birth Is Looming – Part 7: Stop
- How To Be Fearless When Birth Is Looming – Part 8: Smile