When it comes to really knowing yourself, fears and biases are quite challenging to identify. They are two components that hinder our inner growth if they remain hidden. They do so by keeping us stuck and acting as blinders to opportunities, options, and different perspectives that lay before us. Without awareness of your fears and biases you are not able to overcome them, nor to see how they are tainting a situation or reaction with the feelings they bring about and thoughts they themselves instill upon you.
So, even if you don’t want to rid yourself of your fears and biases, a lack of awareness of them means you won’t have the opportunity to truly learn from experiences or pursue growth or see clearly. Clarity is achieved when nothing obstructs what’s in front of you. Fears and biases, although not physical objects, hinder the ability to see what is in front of you because they paint a preconceived picture of what’s going on or of a person and their behavior based on feelings of uncertainty and/or judgements that you have regarding that situation and/or person and their behavior. Not actively knowing that you’re doing this makes you interpret what’s going on as true, while a part of what you’re seeing (perceiving, thinking, etc.) is based on you (your fears and biases).
It’s not a matter of right or wrong (good or bad), but objectivity is key to uncovering yourself if you’re really set on a path of self-discovery and inner growth. Even if you decide to keep your fears and biases, the fact that you can be aware of them will paint an entirely different picture. You’ll be able to see the situation and/or person clearly and yourself (your fears and biases) alongside it. This gives you the opportunity to avoid missing out on something amazing from that specific experience, interaction, life moment; and it also helps you to ask yourself questions and explore why you’re fearful of this or that and/or why you’re judging a person or situation in that way.
The difficulty in uncovering your fears is somewhat more challenging than uncovering your biases. There are biases that are deep rooted within us like gender bias or classicism, but for the most part if you’re aware of your external cultural and societal influences, such as family teachings or country culture, it’s easier for you to identify your biases. Especially, when you compare different family teachings or country cultures across the globe (that’s why travelling helps to open up our minds, we realize that there are different cultures out there; and thanks to the internet, now this knowledge is way more accessible to everyone even without travelling). When it comes to our fears it’s a whole different story. Our fears, while some lie on the surface, there are those that are hidden deep within subconscious and within our unconsciousness. These are tougher to catch in the moment because they have a deep emotional effect on us, even uncontrollable reactions sometimes (where we fully shut down and stop absorbing any type of information).
- Side note: According to some reading material I’ve come across, psychologists say the unconscious is inaccessible to us on our own, but only potentially accessed with a professional. I beg to differ, from personal experience and because I know the mind to be a very powerful thing. All it takes is you truly wanting to achieve something and believing in yourself. As long as you realize that it won’t be quick or easy, and as long as you’re patient and loving with yourself, you can dig to the depths of your being with or without anybody. It’s all up to you ❤
As with everything related to inner growth and our life journey, there’s a process and a time. There has to be a desire to reach different places, and the belief in your heart that you can achieve such a goal. Your mindset is yours to mold if you want; but again, even if you’re not looking to change anything, being able to step back and objectively see where you’re affecting a specific situation with your fears and biases helps your inner growth journey. It helps because you’re able to see two things happening in that moment, you see the situation and/or person for what they really are, with as little tainting as possible, and then you see you with your fears and/or biases.
Once you’re able to be aware of your fears and biases, in any situation and when dealing with any type of person, the questions and breathtaking moments of self and overall discovery will never cease to amaze you (and come your way). It all starts with you being able to put yourself aside for a moment, while you’re arguing or running away or feeling anxious; and in that moment, you just ask yourself, “What am I doing? Why am I feeling this way?” All it takes is one question, a curious mind that is looking to explore the depths of their being.
How about you, what are your thoughts on fears and biases? How do they affect your inner growth and self-discovery?