"What?", you may say. Yes, it's true. Yet there's hope and it's called "conscious awareness". When we can see that our fears tend to keep us small, we can move on to that greater sense of joy and living that becomes available to us when we cast aside our training wheels and soar on down the road.
Remember those moments in your life when a physical challenge was paralyzing? Learning to ride a bike without training wheels is one example. For me I think of diving for the first time from a standing position. In learning to dive, I had started out dropping off the dock headfirst into the water from a kneeling position. Yet diving from a standing position seemed impossible; truly too scary. Yet somehow I did it. And you know what? I found intense joy on the other side of the fear. That thing I feared ended up being something that I truly love!
Recently I was listening to the ministers' message at a spiritual community I visited. The message was focused on "transformation". The minister was using the metamorphosis of a caterpillar to butterfly as an analogy for transformation, yet my mind got an immense message out of a tiny segment of his sharing. He spoke of the caterpillar being born on a leaf and his existence being largely just eating and surviving on that leaf. I could see this as an analogy of surviving when the ego is calling the shots, rather than the heart.
Wow, I thought. How many years did I do that? Just eat and survive ... not really seeing nor experiencing what was around me in plain sight?!?