We all have our bug-bears and mine is, most definitely, fear. The prospect of bad news, or financial difficulty, or being in any kind of trouble with the authorities has me paralysed with fear. I think that what I really dread is not so much the difficulty as the fear. It is the waiting game, the trickle of apprehension.
I had a bad patch of it recently, but suddenly this morning I woke up feeling able to take a real pleasure in surmounting difficulties. I flipped suddenly from cowering in a corner to coming out relishing the challenges ahead. Because the daft thing about the fear is that I am a person who thrives on a good challenge. I rather enjoy having too much to do and too little time to do it in, of having a new skill to master and a short time to accomplish it. It is reported of me that as a toddler, my favourite phrase was ‘Buba (me) do own self’ and I’ve not changed much, though I can now ask effectively for help. The idea that, running short on the dosh, I might need to tackle a difficult job myself does not really upset me at all. I have an insane confidence that I can do it. Sometimes I can – sometimes I have needed to call for urgent help. The last time being when, with a wedding approaching, and the bride’s coat still not completed, I found the dress could not be sewn by machine. I was not nearly upset enough at the hours a good friend spent rescuing the situation with her very superior sewing skills.
So why, given that the actual situation does not terrify me, does the waiting game of fear paralyse me? It is plain the opposite of fear is not confidence. Perhaps it is faith? (Genuine question!)