Social Work Programs

August 12, 2009

Fear of Letting Go: Personal Problems Can Paralyze You

Filed under: fear of change — Tags: , — admin @ 1:21 am

Letting go of personal problems can create a LOT of fear. We are not sure if we can
survive them. This funny clip from Mr. Bean shows us a lot about fear:

I’ll discuss it on next page.

There are some very important points in this video about how we cope with fear, despite it being a hysterical video. His exaggerations show us some hidden truths about personal problems.
First of all, we see Mr. Bean initially excited about going down the kiddie slide into the water. Granted, it's not age-appropriate, but still everyone can relate to that. Just as he's about to go in though the life guard sees him and blows the whistle. You see the fear in his face about breaking the rules and he scrambles up the with great difficulty the slide. Many people would've just completed the slide and then left for the adult section of the pool.

The substance of the fear scene though is when he goes to the diving board. He had been positively excited about the diving board but didn't realize the height till he got there. The response is hysterical as he sneaks peeks over the edge on his belly and retreats in panic a few times. He stays on the ground and then there is pressure as 2 boys are in line now waiting for him to jump into the water.

He tries to inch down the board, not facing it with his feet hanging and slowly lowering himself down. This is like Chinese water torture just like pulling off a bandaid as slowly as possible. There is a lot of laughter as most people can relate to handling fear this way and the incommensurateness of some of our hopes with the apprehensions that follow later.

What do you do when you are in a situation like this? Are you paralyzed when you have fear? How do you let go when you don't want to do that? Can you see beyond the moment and visualize?

What does it take to change? Do you have to be at the end of your rope or really see something is hopeless? Do we change when things are going well? The fact is though we think we'd grow the most when things are secure, we tend to face things most when they aren't. This still doesn't make letting go easy.

How much does the past weigh on you? Do you let it drag you down? How much of each day is spent thinking about situations that happened a long time ago as if they are alive now? Remembering that we have limited days helps to get the frame of thinking right so that we don't live as if we have all the time in the world.

Take inventory of your thoughts and emotions during the day. Do they pull you in all directions? When we think we're upset by something are we just feeling what we think we should feel? Sometimes we feel we have to be consistent and insist upon staying upset about something from the past because we did before. But, don't fall into this thinking. You don't have to stay upset due to being upset in the past. That is the value of time and insight- to see you can live without what you thought you couldn't.


  1. Mr. Bean is so funny. There is one at the library where he is looking at reference material and messes it up. He ends up putting white out on it and then the pages all stick together. What is funny about him is that he is very defiant in a passive aggressive way yet insecure. I think it would be a good case for a psycho therapist to look at. I really don’t know what his diagnosis would be but for “psychotherapy homework” I’d have him look at the things he wants because they seem to be very much like a 12 year old’s mind in a lot of ways.

    Comment by Rowanda — August 16, 2009 @ 12:28 am

  2. Good video clip. When fear is paralyzing you really can’t move fast and it makes you frozen. I see that in my daughter when she tries to go into the ocean. There is a lot of fear. She has some other phobias too like being in small spaces and also being in the back of a supermarket where there are no windows or doors. I am not sure what type of phobia this is but she likes to have comfort and security around her.

    Comment by Walter — September 22, 2009 @ 8:08 pm

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