We all have fears, and odds are good you, too, have more unconscious fears than conscious ones. The picture we’re going to ask you to look at in just a minute, however, can help you determine what those unconscious fears might be.
In fact, the first thing you see in the image below will help us uncover what your greatest psychological fear is.
So without thinking, take a look below:
Don’t think! Just look. What did you notice first?
What did you see first: the little girl, the butterfly, the strawberry, the spider, the trees, or the teddy bear? Whichever item you saw first, jump to the corresponding section below to see what it means!
1) The Little Girl
If the first image you noticed in the picture was that of the little girl, we can gather that your fears from childhood emotions which you repressed.
These type of repressed emotions are startlingly common, and can surface in your adult life as addictions or inappropriate desires if you don’t take the time to work through them.
In particular, this may be a reflection on your relationship with your mother. If she wasn’t affectionate when you were young, this may lead to your own fear of making decisions, or even of responsibility.
Regardless of what is being repressed, you need to accept that it may have occurred at any stage in your childhood, and you need to deal with it.
2) The Butterfly
Credit: Trevor Brown / babyart.krowndesign.com
We usually associate butterflies with light, hopeful, positive meanings, but they can also be a reflection of fears in our unconscious—particularly fears of new starts, or even of death.
This may be a reflection on a fear of missing out, or not taking advantage of opportunities. It could also be that you haven’t allowed yourself to grieve the loss of someone close to you.
3) The Strawberry
In this image the strawberry represents the heart, especially as it is placed in the center of the picture and is an enlarged representation. If this is what you saw first, you need to look inward.
And in particular, you need to look at your feelings and fears surrounding love. This may go back to childhood (and how your parents expressed love, toward you or toward each other, for instance), or it may refer to more recent relationships. It may even be a fear of future relationships.
Regardless of where it comes from, you need to address those fears if you are going to have healthy meaningful relationships in the future.
4) The Spider
On their own, spiders are commonly one of people’s greatest fears. Here, though, as a symbol of our unconscious fears, they refer to this idea that we aren’t in a safe place.
This could refer to our current physical environment, or it could be a reflection of our emotional or even spiritual surroundings. Regardless, seeing the spider first is a reflection that you feel ill-at-ease with where you are, and that fear can keep you from living fully in the present.
As a result, you need to address what it is about your current space that is stressing you, so that you can work on either changing it or making your peace with it. Otherwise, you won’t be capable of living your fullest life.
5) The Trees
If you saw the trees first, this points back to your roots, or can be a referendum on an emotional split you fear, a way in which you feel torn.
This fear of being split emotionally is incredibly common, and can refer back to a stressful situation in which you feel pulled in different directions. It can refer back to our own doubts and uncertainties as well.
The best way to address is to both practice trusting your intuition and ask for outside counsel, depending on what it is you feel torn about. With practice, you can learn to face those shadows—and to be a more whole self.
6) The Teddy Bears
Teddy bears represent comfort for most children, and that’s what you’re look for—a way to be less afraid of your fears.
The teddy bears in this image represent a subconscious fear of fear itself, instances where you think you may not be able to find comfort. This may stem from childhood trauma in which you weren’t properly comforted, or other instances in which you were left to try and cope with something for which you didn’t have the skills or tools.
Often these types of situations lead to fear of facing the unknown, because you won’t to avoid repeating such unpleasantness again at all costs. With practice, though, you can build up your toolbox so that you’re ready to face whatever may come, and these moments can be less scary in the future.
*This content was inspired by an amazing article that can be found here, with credit to the following references:
- Trevor Brown, for the rad image, as well as the following sites and texts:
- Jung, C. G. (1948). The phenomenology of the spirit in fairy tales. The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious; and
- Jung, C. G. “Contributions to Analytical Psychology. transl H & C Baynes.”