It is a memory of every seemingly life-threatening experience they ever had. It was born of a time of absolute dependency and helplessness. It originated in not having their needs met in a timely, judicious manner. It was fostered by fearful systems that discouraged risk and rewarded conservatism. It was heightened by the reality that life is messy and chaotic and any kind of change promises a journey into the unknown.
I call this kind of fear, Memory Fear.
Because of the memory fear created in childhood, Nice Guys still approach the world as if it is dangerous and overpowering. To cope with these realities, Nice Guys typically hunker down and play it safe. As a consequence of playing it safe, Nice Guys experience a lot of needless suffering.
Suffering because they avoid new situations. Suffering because they stay with the familiar. Suffering because they procrastinate, avoid, and fail to finish what they start. Suffering because they make a bad situation worse by doing more of what has never worked in the past. Suffering because they expend so much energy trying to control the uncontrollable.
No matter what happened, he would handle it. The following week, Nolan proudly announced that he had contacted an attorney. Even though he felt tremendous fear and anxiety, he found courage in repeating his new found mantra: "I can handle it."
Facing present day fears is the only way to overcome memory fear. Every time the Nice Guy confronts a fear, he unconsciously creates a belief that he can handle whatever it is he is afraid of. This challenges his memory fear. Challenging this memory fear makes the things outside of him seem less threatening. As these things seem less frightening, he feels more confident in confronting them. The more this confidence grows, the less threatening life seems.
List one fear that has been controlling your life. Once you decide to confront the fear, begin repeating to yourself, "I can handle it. No matter what happens, I will handle it." Keep repeating this mantra until you take action and stop feeling fear.
No More Mr Nice Guy