We have a generic fear of the unknown, but it is familiar that we fear with greater detail and certainty. It’s easier to imagine something that we’ve seen elsewhere, making it seem more likely even when it’s not. And although we have spent much of our lives knowing that we are not the only ones vying with this every day, we still fall most vulnerable– on wee hours– when we’re unaccompanied. It’s a recurring kind of woe. It finds a way to catch us unguarded, when our positive self- image is in short supply.
That’s the seed of paranoia, which would really be harmless if it stayed in our heads. The trouble begins when we begin acting on it, allowing it to sway our behavior in ways that would otherwise have been unthinkable.
But what is it, really, that we fear the most? If it’s on the basis of knowledge and familiarity, then wouldn’t that be ourselves?
In the end, fear is crippling. It paralyzes. It places limits on us and causes us to plateau and give up when we should be climbing to higher heights. It is one of the enemy’s greatest tools to defeat us and prevent us from birthing the dreams God has placed inside of us. We end up wary of anything that resembles the worst about us. Our imagination takes us beyond rationality, and before we know it, we’re acting questionably based on some vague, gut-feel notion.
It makes no sense, but it happens.