Can be crippling. For me at times they have been. If I reach back as far as I can go, I can fear, and choices made OR not made at crossroads in my life because fear was an enemy instead of a friend. THAT voice ( you know the one that pops up and sits on your shoulder whispering how you are ‘just not good enough‘, OR ‘have never done it before so why bother now‘ OR even, ‘just one – gooooo on, take just one – you can always start again. YOU deserve it.’ OR ‘This has always made you feel good so why not?‘ This voice and those fears can be the reason we stall in our progress towards a treasured goal. Fear can stop us when we have gone so far and done so well. Can paralyse. Often did paralyse me.
The other dire voices are the ones that tell you that those people who expect you to take on a job or a role ‘don’t really know you.‘ ‘you are already overworked, how can you possibly do this?‘ And then it starts. You have entertained it, so it sits down and has a party and you sit with it and agree. YOU are just going to fail and let people down – then they will know the REAL you. Think about it – someone has just given you a compliment by assigning you something amazing because THEY see and believe you can do it. Yet the very first thing your voice does is UNDERMINE you.
Do you recognise any of these? Once upon a time I thought I was the only one who had this inner dialogue. I mean, noone else ever talked about it or exposed this side of themself. I egotistically thought it was JUST ME!! Guess what, FEAR is no respecter of persons. Dealing with FEAR, with THAT VOICE is part of being human.
Have you ever thought that your fear of succeeding may very well be the reason your progress and impetus forward STOPS?? Do you recognise any of these thoughts/ questions?
- What if I get there and I am still not happy?
- What if losing 20 kilos still won’t make me beautiful?
- What if I do all this and he/she still doesn’t love me?
- What if I do this – what THEN?
Suddenly, everything stalls. The brains ends the body a message and a dreaded plateau strikes.
A new friend posted the image above on Facebook and it struck a chord with me. It goes along with my reframing message. WHAT if, as Gandhiji said:
‘Fear has its use but cowardice has none.’
So, let’s look at fear differently after acknowledging we all face it, carry it and live with it.
‘The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time.’
~ Mark Twain
Now, I look at fears differently. I am grateful for that voice, not that I entertain the sentiments.
‘If you look into your own heart, and you find nothing wrong there, what is there to worry about? What is there to fear?’
I do examine the sentiments, and often discard them as truth. However, then I use them as a prompt to spur me on, to live in the moment – THIS moment , to truly stretch myself to become the very best me I can possibly be in every possible aspect.
It came to me that IF I try something and it doesn’t work, it just means it either wasn’t mine to do OR there is a Plan B, or C…or I haven’t learned the lesson yet! If it is that way for me, then why not for you too?
The choice is ours how we approach fear and fears. I choose to embrace mine and be grateful for the warnings, for the directions and for the motivation and impetus. I choose to be grateful for the challenges. I choose to stride towards them and most often THROUGH them, watching them dissipate into a shower of illusory sparks.
My biggest fear? Ahhhhhhhhh – that would be telling!!!
‘Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything – all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important.’
~ Steve Jobs