I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear... And when it is gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear is gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.
Fear is an interesting topic and perhaps questionable for an inaugural post for my blog. Most professionals in my position would probably choose to write something more welcoming or perhaps more uplifting. I suppose I could write about health or nutrition or exercise. And, in the future, I will cover those topics as I think I can help and inform those of you who choose to follow along with my writings and thoughts. For today, though, I am going to write about fear.
"Why, Dr. Mavor, would you write about fear?" you might be asking, "Especially on your first blog post, which, should uplift and encourage visitors." Well, several reasons immediately spring to mind. First, is that this whole process of writing can be scary stuff. By the time you read this, it will be on my website and for all intents and purposes it will live on forever. The internet will ensure this post will probably never die, no matter how much it may fade away.
In addition, there is a fear of exposure. By writing down my thoughts and making these writings public, I am exposing myself to criticism and potentially hurtful commentary. All of us, to some degree, crave love and approval from our friends, peers and the world at large. This type of writing immediately puts some of that at risk. Just like speaking in front of a crowd, imagining it can create similar feelings in all of us.
As I describe these fears both real and imagined, I have several choices. I can wallow in the negative possibilities or I can take these fears, step back and look at them critically. Is some criticism or ridicule really that terrible? What is really the worst that will happen? Will I feel silly asking these questions? So what? In the grand scheme of things, I will probably benefit far more than the worst possible outcome. Some of the feedback and positive support I receive will likely make my life better. Had I not faced my fear of rejection, I would not have married my wife and experienced the joys of fatherhood and all the wonders that go with it. Heck, I would not be a chiropractor today with the opportunity to help an untold number of you out there if I had given in to hidden fears.
That brings us to the true purpose of this post. Fear left in our heads, unexamined or unspoken, is often crippling in some fashion. As a health care provider this is probably the most problematic. As a chiropractor who manipulates backs and necks this can be additionally challenging. How often have some of you experienced some pain or strange sensation and refused to voice your concern? Some of you will say you are “toughing it out” or “manning up”. But why should you suffer pain, discomfort or uncertainty? Fear of a terrible diagnosis, fear of ridicule, fear of the treatment, fear of judgment or some other similar fear I have not enunciated are all there in your heads, lurking in the background. However, fear is not simply a matter of asking or discussing an ache or pain with your health professional. Fear keeps people from exercising or simply getting up off the couch when something hurts, and nearly all of us have been there at some point. Resistance to trying something new such as a new exercise regimen or diet due to the fear of failure or judgment have happened to us all. Worst of all is the fear of the unknown and our bodies can be a vast territory of unknowns.
These are simple examples we can all relate to and important to discuss. Because ignorance is fears ally. When we ask the questions, even if the answers are unpleasant, we know and the fear recedes to something manageable. Uncertainty will breed fear but once we know our options, we can plan and work to avoid the negative outcomes and achieve the best possible end result. Let me be clear, though. Not all the answers to your fears will be happy ones. Sometimes when you fall down, you break your arm but once you know you are not dying and the cast will come off in 6-8 weeks and you will be able to recover and move on. The same is true for back pain or stomach aches or high cholesterol or that strange bump on your arm. Hiding it away only fosters that gnawing fear but once you talk about it with an expert or even just a trusted friend; you can improve the outcome. Putting the words out there makes the fear a tangible thing, not imaginary. The solution may not be easy but it certainly is not something you need to fear and your life is yours again.
So please, face your fear, whatever the context. If your back or neck or foot hurts come by and see me and ask me about it. If you want to get fit, ask me if there is any reason you cannot exercise and then let me aid you in determining what is needed to help you get fit. Should I be unable to help you, I will help direct you to a source who can. If you are unsure about anything, ask around for the best source of information and get your answers. Because once the fear is gone, only you will remain and you will be stronger than when you started.
Thanks for listening.
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