My entire life I have been afraid…afraid to fall, afraid to fail, afraid to make the wrong decision, afraid of regret, afraid to die… And this fear always comes with anxiety mixed into a crazy cycle of being afraid, feeling bad about it, pushing myself to do it, being scared then anxious that I committed and finally proud that because I always do it (because I am afraid to quit). But why can’t I skip that entire journey and just do it and feel proud. What makes this happen! What is the difference between me and someone who lives with controlled fear and anxiety (because lets face it everyone has fears).
I have spend a lot of hours meditating over this and trying to understand why I fear so much. Don’t get me wrong my fear does not stop me and keep me in a dark hole at home to never take any chances…. on the contrary I am so anxious about it that I overcompensate, and luckily for me that has pushed me in life. I overcame a difficult teen life, I got my PhD despite being dyslexic, I have given many successful talks and presentations, I am raising two kids, I have gone white water rafting off a class 5 waterfall, rocked climbed 60 feet (that’s a lot for me OK), gone skiing down a black diamond in Whistler despite suffering a severe fracture skiing as a child, and swam with jellyfish in Brazilian waters. So then why does it still exist inside me, isn’t the saying “make it until you break it” mean the fear should have left long ago?
That isn’t the case for me and lately I have noticed that I am anxious and fearfull a lot these days. There is so much pressure to be better, do better, and make all the right choices. How can we be perfect all the time in a society that isolates and judges everything we do. So then I become afraid I am messing it all up.
But then it came to me one day in the shower…why! Why be so scared. Why not just let go of it. I am not saying that simple thought will leave me peaceful and calm but with the right focus why can’t I just simply stop being afraid. OK but lets go back for a minute, how do I know I am so afraid all the time. I think the key to working on yourself is to listen to what YOU have to say. to be quiet with your thoughts and listen to them without judgement. I never really did this before. Knowing this about myself was itself liberating because I can now start to see why I am so anxious all the time.