Fear of loss: How to recognize causes and successfully overcome them

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Fear of loss: How to recognize causes and successfully overcome them

There it is again, this stabbing pain that drives through your body like an ice-cold lightning bolt. Suddenly, the horrible feeling of emptiness spreads through you. Your hands begin to tremble and you feel abandoned and completely helpless. Yet nothing has actually happened, apart from the fact that you have just been abandoned. But not in the sense of Separation - You just couldn't cope with the departure of a person close to you. Now your emotions are going crazy. And although your head knows that you are completely overreacting, your fear of loss has you firmly in its grip once again.

We all know the fear of partings and the loss of loved ones, situations or things. Some are very afraid of losing their partner or best friend. Another fears for his job or his social status. To some extent, this is perfectly natural. But sometimes fears of loss get so out of hand that they virtually numb us. We lose sight of reality, suffer terribly and build a protective wall around ourselves. Where the fear of parting comes from, how you can recognize it and how you can overcome it, you will learn in this magazine article.

Fear of loss

Fear of loss - these are the causes

Newborns who have just come into the world cannot survive on their own. They are one hundred percent dependent on the love and affection of their parents. Without this, they would die within a short time. This creates an enormous dependence.

Robert Betz explains in this context: "In our childhood, we are physically, emotionally, mentally and financially dependent. It's a time of powerlessness that shapes many people well beyond childhood and into adulthood.

So our existence would be severely threatened if we lost our parents. This time in our lives shapes us so much that even as adults we sometimes perceive losses as existentially threatening.

For some of us, traumatic experiences and terrible experiences come along over the years. When parents separate or important attachment figures die, this can result in our fear of loss becoming more pronounced than average.

If you have ever been unexpectedly abandoned by a partner and the separation has pulled the rug out from under you, this can also leave lasting emotional wounds and lead to permanent feelings of loss and pain. Attachment Anxiety that was set.

The 12 most common reasons why fear of loss arises

The reasons why fear of loss arises can be manifold. In the following, we would like to introduce you to the 12 most common reasons, so that you have a fixed point to which you can orient yourself.

  1. Divorce: Your parents separated at an early age and you had to grow up in a chaotic household.
  2. Loss of loved ones: At an early age you had to cope with the death of a close relative (mother, father, grandmother, etc.).
  3. Inherited fear of loss: Your parents already suffered from fear of loss. They have then passed this on to you.
  4. War: You have experienced war and what it feels like to lose family members, loved ones and possessions.
  5. Illness: You may have witnessed a serious illness strike someone you love.
  6. Cheating: Your life partner has cheated on you with someone else.
  7. Betrayal: Longtime friends have your Loyalty betrayed when you needed them most.
  8. Caregivers: You have been treated badly and devalued by caregivers (e.g. your teacher).
  9. Lack of security: Your parents did not give you the security you wanted in childhood.
  10. Excessive anxiety: Your parents were constantly overly concerned about your well-being.
  11. Bullying: You were bullied in your school days and are therefore looking for a stable environment.
  12. Mental illnesses: Mental illnesses such as depression can also be the cause of fear of loss.

In which of the above points did you recognise yourself? Can you think of any other causes that could possibly be the reason for fear of loss?

Fear of loss

These are the most common 12 symptoms of fear of loss

The symptoms of loss anxiety can vary from person to person. However, there is always a clear intersection that clearly points to symptoms of loss anxiety. We would like to briefly introduce you to the most common symptoms in connection with fear of loss.

  1. Groundless jealousy: Do you blow a fuse quickly when your partner is talking to someone else?
  2. Brackets: Do you want to spend every free minute with your partner? Do you restrict him and leave him no free space?
  3. Control compulsion: Do you constrict people in your environment (e.g. work colleagues) and want to control their actions?
  4. Recognition: You are constantly looking for recognition and want to be applauded by those around you.
  5. Low Self-confidence: Do you often feel worthless, small and much worse than other people?
  6. Distrust: You find it incredibly difficult to trust other people and to put aside your constant doubts.
  7. Fear of illness: You constantly fear that a bad illness will throw your life off track.
  8. Overreactions: Even little things (your partner didn't take the trash down) already get you to 180.
  9. Constant pessimism: You see only the bad in everything and fear that at any moment the world could end.
  10. Overprotective: Always you are overprotective and try to protect your environment from all dangers.
  11. Emotional dependence: You need people around you all the time. Being alone is a total horror for you.
  12. Susceptibility to stressAs soon as your ideal world starts to shake, you experience above-average stress, which pulls you down.
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Overcome fear of loss: These 10 tips will help you regain your quality of life

Fears of loss are not only extremely painful, but can negatively affect your entire life. They affect your self-worth, your self-image, your relationships, and possibly even your job and lifestyle. If you're very afraid of goodbyes, then you should definitely follow our 10 tips to overcome loss fears step by step:

1. find triggers & causes

The very first thing you should do is to think carefully about the situations in which you feel particularly anxious. If a pattern emerges, you can make a conscious effort to avoid these situations. Do you always have the feeling that it is a matter of life and death when you have a heated argument with your partner? Then tell him about it and, for example, bring up the subject of your Jealousy. This way he can react more understandingly and you won't get into the situation of being hit by the ice-cold, inner lightning again.

Of course, the trigger is not the same as the cause. Because the fear of loss must have arisen through some situation in your life. Determining this is a little more difficult. If in doubt, it is even advisable to seek the professional help of a coach or therapist. Work through your past and remind yourself again and again that the past is closed and that its experiences do not have to repeat themselves in the present and future.

2. break thought patterns

If you always assume the worst case scenario, you are prepared for the pain that could possibly occur. But this preparation doesn't make the feeling any better in the end. On the contrary: If you think positive perhaps things would be quite different. Because then you would be more relaxed and would also transfer this to your environment. Therefore break through your negative thought patterns and instead internalize the following belief: "Everything will be all right.. And even if I do get disappointed or hurt, I'll still survive the situation."

3. strengthen your self-esteem

"My partner left me because I'm not worth loving." This belief system is unfortunately widespread, but completely wrong. Some people believe they don't deserve loveBut the truth is that when someone leaves you, it can be for many reasons. And in any case, you are worthy of receiving love. Because you are unique and wonderful just the way you are. That's why this tip is extremely important: Strengthen your self-esteem. The stronger it is, the less often you will feel fear of loss.

4. change your self-image

Your self-image goes hand in hand with your self-esteem: How do you perceive yourself? What do you think about yourself? Do you think you are a strong person who is at peace with yourself despite your flaws? If not, you should definitely work on it. Because you are so much more than you think. You can achieve anything, experience anything, and start over again and again if you want to. You don't need another person or a certain status to be strong, successful and be happy. Happiness is within you. Once you have internalized this, you will achieve a positive self-image and shake off your fear of loss with ease.

5. reduce your stress level

Stress is a big companion of loss anxiety. The problem: The higher your stress level rises, the greater your fear of loss will be in the end. For this reason, it is immensely important that you reduce your stress level noticeably. You can do this, for example, through various methods such as meditation, autogenic training, Pilates, yoga or progressive muscle relaxation. The most important thing here is that you make appropriate methods a fixed part of your everyday life so that fear of loss cannot spread.

6. put the focus on the positive

Hand on heart: How often have all the dramas you imagined while lying in bed brooding come to pass? In all likelihood, never. Counter question: How often have good things happened to you in your life that gave you a Smile painted in the face? Surely often enough! And these are exactly the things you should focus on. Because our positive experiences drive us forward, give us strength and courage to keep going.

7. communication

It is immensely important that you don't eat your fear of loss inside yourself. And that's why you need people in your life with whom you can talk openly about everything that's on your mind. So if you have a person in your family or circle of friends that you think can help you, gather your courage and open up to that person. Often just letting things out can feel like a release.

8. detach from dependencies

On whom do you depend for your happiness? Is it your partner? Your friends? Work colleagues? Family members? The correct answer is: You make your happiness dependent on you! If you don't, you make yourself emotionally dependent and thus only cause yourself additional harm in the long run. For this reason, it is sometimes important to. Relations terminated, which simply cause you harm.

9. understanding fear of loss

Fear of loss always has its origin. As you have already experienced, this usually lies in your childhood. It is important to find out which events are possibly the reason for your fear of loss. A little tip: Take a pen and paper and write down all the events that could possibly be the reason for your fear of loss.

10. coaching

More and more people are taking advantage of coaching. This is because coaching can leave clients with noticeable results. There are also numerous coaches on the market who explicitly deal with the topic of fear of loss. If you haven't done any coaching yet, we can only give a warm recommendation at this point.

Finally, we have prepared a great video for you by Marco Geers. In this video you will learn how you can Fears let go and at the same time strengthen your self-esteem in the long term.

YouTube video

Conclusion: Any fear of loss can be overcome with the right methods

In this article you have learned where fear of loss comes from, through which symptoms it manifests itself and what you can do about it.

The last point is especially important: You can do something about it! Meaning: If you are plagued by a fear of loss and you don't know what to do, then it is possible to find a solution.

To help you succeed, we've shared a total of 10 valuable tips in this post that will help you successfully manage your fear of loss.


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Reviewed by Dr. med. Stefan Frädrich

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