Sunday, 4 October 2009

What do you fear?

Okay, so I lied. Maybe I am not yet ready to blow the lid on my deepest darkest secrets. Not just yet. Why? It's simple. What is the reason for anything we choose not to do in our lives? Fear.

Fears and phobias interest me no end. Fear is ultimately an illusion set by our Opponent. Fear is never real - it doesn't exist. Only our perception of fear exists. Fear keeps us from doing the things that we want to do, from being all that we can be. As Eleanor Roosevelt said "You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face"

Our minds are programmed from birth to help us survive. Our parents (hopefully) teach us the limitations of our mortal being and our brains record the warning message for future reference in a file marked "keeps me in one piece". Which is very handy if you want to avoid regular trips to your local Accident and Emergency Unit.

Unfortunately our brains also store a whole heap of other messages using the exact same methods which do nothing more than offer us the illusion of being safe. What messages we build in to this internal belief system greatly determines how we live our lives.

A large part of my fear, which I believe that is shared by so many others - such is human nature - is the fear of rejection. Funnily enough, when researching the topic of fear and phobias, I have found that there isn't actually a name for fear of rejection. I feared that might happen. The closest recommendation in naming is Kakorrhaphiophobia - the fear of failure or defeat. Well I certainly failed in finding a name for the fear of rejection, that's for sure (although I can't say in this instance that I actually feared it).

So what else do I fear? Probably high on my list at the moment are:
Chronophobia - fear of time
Peniaphobia - No, not phallophobia - Peniaphobia: the fear of poverty!
Rhytiphobia - fear of getting wrinkles; and
Monophobia - fear of being alone (which is also bizarrely defined as the fear of menstruation - a fear that I have long since overcome).

All I can say is: I am so lucky. Who would want to suffer from the following?
Anablephobia - the fear of looking up. Derived from reading Chicken Licken.
Anthophobia - the fear of flowers. Derived from watching Day of the Triffids.
Arachibutyropiaphobia - the fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of your mouth. Hmm.
Aulophobia - the fear of flutes. But there is no mention of fear of oboes. I would be much more wary of oboes.
Asymmetriphobia - the fear of asymmetrical things. Is this a tessellation issue?
Cathisophobia - the fear of sitting. Is that why psychiatrists have couches?
Cnidophobia - the fear of strings. Thank heavens for sticky tape.
Geniophobia - the fear of chins. Just chins in general? Just one chin or multiple? What about turkey neck?
Genuphobia - the fear of knees. Knobbly Knees competitions have a lot to answer for.
Lutraphobia - the fear of otters. No mention of stoats or pine martens. What did the otters do wrong?
Metallophobia - the fear of metal. This would make life a tad difficult.
Namatophobia - the fear of names. This would make life even more difficult.
Numerophobia - the fear of numbers. Mainly experienced by women approaching birthdays.
Ostraconophobia - the fear of shellfish. Perfectly reasonable after a plate of dodgy prawns.
Pogonophobia - the fear of beards. Is this really a fear of chins in disguise?
Selenophobia - fear of the moon. Fair enough.

Even worse, you could suffer from Panophobia - the fear of everything, or from Phobophobia - the fear of phobias.

Every fear has an underlying cause. What seems ridiculous to one is perfectly justified by another, so despite the list above, I do not mock.

Unlike the person who invented the term Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia - the fear of long words. Cruel. Very cruel.


  1. Hilarious!
    Needed a chuckle, as I'm having a fear of homework.

  2. This is my first visit to your blogs. I have been where you are with respect to work, spirit, life, etc. Thanks for sharing. I am also interested in your experience of Judaism and how that influences your perspective. I'm going to track down a resource you may find helpful.

    Take care.

  3. I am not a great believer in the "look fear in the face" school of thought. It is second cousin to the "let pain be your spur" school. Graveyards are full of people who have looked fear in the face and A&E departments are full of people who have broken through the pain barrier.

  4. Lulu - glad to bring a smile. Cannot find 'homeworkaphobia' on the list, but it definitely needs to be added.

    Alan - I agree. Graveyards are full of people who haven't recognised the difference between fear and mortal danger. I don't recommend not fearing sticking your finger in the plug socket - some things are meant to be feared!

    e - Welcome! Thanks for popping in. Oo I think the experience of Judaism is a blog post in itself, being raised as a Christian and then turning kind of Agnostic/Spiritual... Explanation coming up.