By Peter O'Donovan
You attract what you fear. No, I don’t mean spiders or the boogie man.
And don’t expect anything to happen if you walk around saying, “oh man, I’m afraid of one billion dollars”. What I mean is that the fears and lies that you believe about yourself in your heart will actually manifest themselves in your relationships because you fear them.
There’s a reason why when you walk into a room, the only thing you think everyone notices about you is the one thing you are self-conscious about. There’s a reason the same issues and problems keep reoccurring in your relationships with different people.Like any kid in primary school, I remember going through a phase of trying to establish my own individual identity and not being confident in it. I wasn’t sure if I was ‘cool’ enough to fit in - I was afraid of not being liked by my peers. And what do you know!? As a result of this fear, I was nervous, quiet and awkward, which definitely didn’t make me cool and made it even MORE difficult to be liked by my peers.
The very thing I was afraid of happened because I was afraid of it.
And it doesn’t stop at school yard awkwardness, it applies to so many aspects of our relationships. If you are afraid that a girl you like won't say yes to a date with you, you’ll either put too much pressure on her when you ask her, or not ask her at all, thereby not getting a date.
Say you are afraid that you are UN-loveable. That if you were truly known by someone at your core, that they would reject and abandon you. If you really believe this fear, then you will put up walls and masks to make sure that no one will truly see you, or that they will only see the parts you want them to see.
And what do you know? If no one truly sees YOU... then they aren’t capable of loving YOU.
Believing that you are unloveable actually stops you from being loveable! If you only show the parts of your character that people will like and hide the others, whenever you are loved or affirmed, you will always wonder, “if they knew the other parts of my character, would they accept me?”.
What comes to mind here is the Disney classic Beauty and the Beast: "in order for something to be loveable, it must first be loved". The fears and lies that we believe about ourselves aren’t defence mechanisms to keep us safe, but paralysing cages that stop us from being fully alive. Before we can move past the recurring problems in our relationships, we first have to confront and process the lies we believe about ourselves.
Peter is 23 years old and a graduate of a Bachelor of Arts from Campion College Australia, and Law from the University of Sydney. A former volunteer for the Culture Project, he has experienced first hand the struggle that the culture poses to young men today, and the strength and resilience that a life of virtue offers. Peter has suspended his career, committing to this unique mission of inspiring all young people to not settle with the messages of the culture and reach higher for answers to questions on life and love.