|Photograph by Marian Crawford|
*Be sure to scroll down and read the first part of this post if you haven’t already. The top ten fears listed in my book Fear, Faith, and a Fistful of Chocolate are based on a survey I conducted of 500 women between the ages of 18 and 80.
Okay, got your guess of the top 5 fears penned and ready?
They are in descending order:
1. Loss of a loved one (spouse/child/parents)
2. Debilitating illness/terminal disease
4. Old age/senility
5. The unknown/the what-ifs
Other common fears that were repeated but didn’t quite make the top 10 were:
– Trying new things
– The dark
– Public Speaking
– Disappointing others
So how do your personal fears compare with those of your peers?
You know, our fears spotlight what matters to us most … those hidden corners of our life in which we trust Papa God the least.
Those are the hot spots we need to work on. Because fear first worms its way into our thinking processes, then it affects our actions. If we allow fear to continue to wreak havoc in our lives unimpeded, it can eventually erode our self esteem, relationships, and even our faith.
But remember, we can’t embrace change until we let go of fear. And change is a product of the power, love, and self-discipline referred to in 2 Timothy 1:7: “For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.”
We need that change, don’t we? A change from imprisoning phobias, destructive anxiety, and unproductive fretting. A change from worries that keep us stretched tighter than size 8 jeans over a size 12 tushie.
A change that will enable us to boldly step up to our fear monster, grab his beard, and as his mask falls away in our hands, realize that what’s beneath there isn’t really as frightening as we thought.
Richard I. Garber says
Interesting results, and very different from the 2001 Gallup poll which had four types of critters in the top ten (snakes, spiders and insects, mice, and dogs).
I just did a blog post where I also compared your results with those from fear survey schedules.
Debora M. Coty says
Thanks for taking the time to comment, Richard. My survey turned up all kinds of frightening critters (including skunks, iguanas, and even frogs), but we opted to consolidate all the critters together for the sake of clarity. Interestingly, it turned out to be #9 of the top ten. Other fears that were repeated frequently but didn't make the top ten were the dark, flying, depression, public speaking, and injections. I suspect if we had men in the polled population, it would have turned out very differently. What are your thoughts?