Do you know that feeling when something or someone isn’t there for you anymore? They just suddenly disappear out of your life like a leaf in a hurricane. And you don’t know what to make of your life from that point onwards. That, my friend, is the fear of loss, which almost everyone one of us experiences at one moment in our life.
Let me tell you a short story. When I was still in a senior year at high school, I lost my best friend. He died of pneumonia, which you might think is not a big deal. But, it took everything away from him, including his youthful life. He was the only person I could talk to when it felt like the end of the world. So, after I lost him, I was left behind all alone. I didn’t know what was going in my life, my school, or my family. It felt like there was this void in my life, which he took away along with him.
As a result, I became that lonely kid in school, who sits alone in the corner of the cafeteria. Suddenly, I stopped talking to people, even my parents. The world where you feel the loss of fear is a cold, dark, and lonely place. It wasn’t until I graduated from university; I started traveling to new places, started meeting new people, and eventually started a new life.
I’m not saying you will overcome the fear of loss just like that in a few days. No, it takes time and a lot of effort from your side. For me, it took almost 5 years to overcome the loss of my best friend. But that doesn’t have to be for you too. I wish there was someone at that time to tell me these things, maybe it wouldn’t have taken me years to move on.
However, if you’re having trouble with the fear of losing something or someone important in your life, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, you’ll learn the symptoms of fear of loss, how to overcome that fear of loss, and move on with your life.
Symptoms of Fear of Loss
Everybody reacts differently when they have fear of loss and the symptoms can vary from individual to individual. However, most of them have common signs such as:
- Having low self-esteem
- Being afraid of changes
- Having a hard time building trust
- Overreacting to little things
- Being jealous for no reason
- Being overprotective of your surrounding
- Looking for recognition
- Developing a hyperbolic impulse to control
- Becoming pessimistic and suicidal
4 Steps of Overcoming the Fear of Loss
Fear of loss is not only awfully dreadful but as you saw the symptoms above, can have a horribly negative impact on your entire life. It affects your self-esteem, your personality, your relationships, your health, and your daily life. So, to prevent all of this from happening, you can simply follow these 4 Steps of Overcoming the Fear of Loss:
1. Identify “What am I scared of losing?”
This might sound like a cliché, but recognizing the factors that are affecting you is one of the best ways to face them. When you ask yourself that question, finally you start to think and find out what are the things that you’re most afraid to lose in your life.
For instance, you might be afraid to lose your parents, your partner, your friend, or your children. So, the first step is to recognize in what way you’re triggered by the fear of losing them. You can start prioritizing them and try spending more time with them. As a result, when you lose them one day, you won’t feel like you weren’t there for them or they weren’t a priority to you.
2. Look at the whole picture
When you’re afraid of losing something, you only see the negative outcomes and ignore the positive ones. But don’t worry, that’s a very natural thing we, humans do when we face the fear of loss. You have no idea what plans the universe has hidden for you. For instance, one of my friends back from college wanted to pursue a career in hotel management, but due to pressure from his family, he was obliged to study chartered accounting.
So, after graduating, he started to work at an accounting firm, and he wasn’t happy with his job at all. He used to tell me often that he would leave the firm and start a restaurant by taking a bank loan. Guess what he did, he quit his job, started a restaurant, and now has opened 10 outlets in NYC. So, although you might be afraid of losing something important or necessary for you, you should also look carefully at the bright side and the endless possibilities.
3. Practice mindfulness
Since the fear of loss is not physical, but all in your head, you need to clear that mind of yours to get rid of that fear. And mindfulness can help you in that area. So, what is mindfulness? It is a technique that helps you stay in the present moment, instead of getting lost in the future that you can’t control, and the past that you can’t change. One of the main reasons why most people have fear of loss anxiety is because they dwell on their past and over think their future. Therefore, to get rid of those unnecessary dwelling and over thinking, start practicing mindfulness in your daily life.
4. Build up your self-esteem
As the symptoms suggest, you start thinking less of yourself when you have a fear of loss. When you have low self-esteem and start feeling less worthy of love and support, you can’t see things positively. I’ve seen some people, who don’t feel they deserve love but that’s because you are not able to love yourself first. That being said, treat yourself with kindness and love yourself, because you definitely deserve it.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs)
What is the fear of losing loved ones called?
Thanatophobia is the anxiety of losing someone we love. More specifically, it can be a fear of death or a fear of the dying process. It’s natural for someone to worry about their health as they age. It’s also common for someone to worry about their friends and family after their loss.
What causes fear of loss?
Some people fear losing their significant others more than usual due to mental health conditions. If you suffer from mental health problems such as depression or anxiety, then you might worry more about losing loved ones such as your girlfriend than a typical person would.
Should you be afraid of losing someone?
It’s normal to worry about losing a loved one, but you shouldn’t focus so much on it. A little bit of fear is rational, but you shouldn’t have an irrational fear of losing her. Some people fear losing their significant others more than usual due to mental health conditions.
What is the fear of failure?
Fear of failure (also called “atychiphobia”) is when we allow that fear to stop us from doing the things that can move us forward to achieve our goals. Fear of failure can be linked to many causes.
What is Pistanthrophobia?
Pistanthrophobia is a phobia of getting hurt by someone in a romantic relationship. As a result of the trauma, the person with this phobia possesses a fear of getting hurt again and avoids being in another relationship as a way to guard against future similar painful experiences.