I am afraid I will fail.
I am afraid that I won’t be able to figure out what I am doing next with my life.
I am afraid that people won’t like the things I am doing with my Blog.
What if I move somewhere and It doesn’t work out …
What if people do not understand why I am traveling…
I am afraid of being vulnerable.
This is a blog post about some of my own personal battles. Now that I have shared some pretty tough admissions with you let me address them. Fear can be crippling. It can stop you dead in your tracks if you let it. I refuse to let it take hold in my life. But how do I do that? How does one fight the voice in their head that tells them they “can’t” almost every step of the way? The answer is much more simple than I thought.
Talk to yourself and call that fear out into the open. What are you scared of? Put it out there and hear yourself say what it is. Then ask yourself (again, out loud) WHY?
Why are you scared of the those things? You need to talk through whatever it is. Admit why you are scared of it and then try to use facts to break that fear down… I bet you will be able to list out far more than you may think.
Why am I scared of failing? First of all, show me a human being that is not scared of that. Fear is logical if you look all the way down to the root of it. Self-Preservation. Every human, animal, bird and fish in the sea is programmed with self-preservation. The one thing that has helped me push through fear, is to realize the specific fear that I am battling is pointless. Earlier I mentioned I was afraid of failing. Outside of the fact that everyone I know has the same worry at some point, there is no logical reason I should be afraid to fail. If there is no failure then that would mean that I never tried to do anything at all. So that is, therefore to say, that if you do not try, you will never fail. So my question is, what kind of life would you have if you never took a chance at anything? Rhetorical question. It would be horrible, not to mention impossible. Failing is part of life. Yes, I realize that sounds so simple and basic, but really, it is after all just that simple.
I may sound like I have it all figured out, but trust me, I do not. The one thing I do have however is the knowledge that fear is just a word. It is a word that I choose to fight. Going back to the fears I listed above, let me face them with some simple facts.
I do not fear failure because I now realize that without failure there is no chance to succeed. I am not really afraid I won’t be able to figure out what I am doing with my life because I am happy walking my path until I do (and trust me I will figure it out – it is inevitable.) I am not afraid of what people think of my Blog because I am doing it for me and as much as I want everyone to enjoy it, I know that there will always be someone who doesn’t and that is OK! I am not worried about what will happen if I move somewhere new and it doesn’t work out. Do you know why? Because if it doesn’t work out, I will simply move somewhere else. And yes, I realize that there could always be loss incurred in that, both financially and with friends and so on, but in the totality of my short life, does it really matter? I am not afraid of what people think of me and my travels/road trip because…. I am on a journey to better myself. What people think of something I am doing, that brings about a good change in my life, matters not.
Then there is the last fear I listed above…. “I am afraid of being Vulnerable.” My response to that is best laid out by Theodore Roosevelt, in a speech he delivered in Paris, France on April 23, 1910.
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly”
I am more aware of my own vulnerability now then I ever had been before. I have learned so much about it, (some of which came at a cost to me.) I confronted it and now I work on it (and most likely will continue to work on it for the rest of my life.) I was speaking with my therapist, Haley Erickson over Facetime the other day, about fear. I had presented some things that had come to the forefront of my mind when I thought of fear. And then I provided facts that directly contradicted those fears. She stopped me and noted how irrational those fears were. She pointed out how I had stopped myself after listing each fear and provided facts that completely destroyed it. It made me realize that those “fears” I had thought of were really nothing at all. They were thoughts that I had given far too much power to by thinking of them repeatedly. Haley said to me “Fear does not deserve the power that we give it.” Think about that for a second. She is completely correct. Fear is just a word so why fear it?
This blog post was very difficult for me to share. There are some that will read this and probably laugh at me. That is ok. I have come a long way from those that may be laughing at me. I have gained a greater understanding of myself. I am not afraid to admit I talk to a therapist. She has been an amazing person to share with. I think everyone would benefit from talking to a therapist. Therapists (the good ones anyway) will only listen and help point out things that you can use to better yourself. What do you have to lose by trying something new? I swallowed my pride, took a step of faith and it has truly made me a better person. Either way, you may already know all of the things I said above. If you do, then feel free to tune out now. But for those of you that have battled fear, (perhaps you still are to this day,) I say this: You are not alone. You are not weak. You DO have the power to change your situation. Don’t give fear a power that it does not deserve. Fight. Be bold. You only have one life to live and tomorrow is nearly yesterday!!
Side note: Haley Erickson is a Therapist in St. Petersburg Florida. If you live in the Tampa Bay area and are interested, you can check her out at Haley D. Erickson
Side Side note: If you are interested in reading a good book about Vulnerability seek out a book called “Daring Greatly” by Brene Brown. Find it here…. Daring Greatly