I think that most people would say that fear is paralyzing. It certainly is for me. I can be motivated by a lot of things; love, joy, even anger. But fear just takes it out of me completely. I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about the why of that for a while now. I want so much to not let fear stop me. I know to say that I won’t be afraid is foolish, fear is a natural, and in many cases, healthy feeling. But I want to understand my relationship with it. What does it do to me? Why? Do I experience different kinds of fear? When is it healthy for me, when is it holding me back? Basically fear and I need to have a real heart to heart and become very comfortable with each other.
What I have come to understand at this point is that my unhealthy fear is really a “what if I’m wrong” question. I mean, what if I am wrong? I can’t make a decision because I could be wrong. The fear of being wrong is absolutely paralyzing. That sounds pretty easy to understand on the surface right? I mean, logically I know that mistakes are really just opportunities for learning. But this, this goes much deeper. This is a question of personal confidence. My thoughts are more like, what if my feelings are wrong? What if what I want is wrong? What if how I do something is wrong? It’s not just a simple, ‘I should have had the chicken for dinner’, it’s a question of what if I’m wrong.
I am working hard to not get stuck in this place but it is really hard. You condition yourself to behave a certain way your whole life and then you think about changing deep parts of yourself. To be more of who you want to be…that kind of change is like an identity crisis. You question everything and everyone. I find I can justify anything at all to continue doing things similar to how I’m use to doing them. What bothers me most though is that there really isn’t a right or wrong answer which is of course what I’m hoping to find. Everything depends on a balance within yourself and the trick is to not lose sight of that balance or at the very least check in with it from time to time. It seems to me that I need to be more comfortable with believing that what I want is ok to want. And that what I feel is ok to feel. I wish it wasn’t so difficult for me to do.
I’m getting closer to finding the courage and strength deep inside of me to make choices that I think are right for myself, even though I have never done it before. Even though I’m scared. I want a life inspired and uplifting. I want to look back over my time on this Earth and not feel like I didn’t do something because of fear. I am confident that while I’m not quiet there yet, I am on my way. And in the meantime I want to try to be ok with myself through the process, something I struggle with a lot. What I have come to learn about myself in the last few years though is that while it takes a long time to build up the courage to be different, once I decide that’s what I want to do then I am capable of getting it done, eventually. That is a comforting thought I suppose.
Have you struggled with this? Did you overcome?