When you have lived with fear your whole life, it takes years to learn a new way of living, and thinking. I’m not talking about the type of fear that is healthy, the one that keeps you safe; the fear that you can make friends with. I’m talking about the type of fear that is crippling and holds you back from living an amazing life.
I’ve lived with fear my whole life. In the past few years, I’ve learned how to overcome the crippling fear that held me back and I’m living a life that I only dreamed about. Recently, I had fear rise up. A new fear. I had no idea where it came from, and, to tell you the truth, I had no idea what I was supposed to do with it.
This fear was different, and it was to do with the Overcoming Fear, Living Courageously workshops I’ve talked about. I kept putting them off. I wasn’t even researching. I stopped reading the book I had bought to help me prepare these workshops. I procrastinated. And I’m not one to procrastinate. I don’t put things off… normally. I was getting so frustrated with it all. I was ready to pack the whole idea away. I don’t need to have these workshops; I reasoned to myself.
I wondered what on earth was going on with me. I tried to push through and shove how I was feeling down. That behaviour only brought everything to a grinding halt… again. I finally decided to put half an hour a day to finish reading the book I was mainly using for research. A small step towards my goal. During my reading I came across a story about a boy who was anxious about a play he was in. When asked why he was so anxious he replied, ‘This is really important to me. I’m afraid to stuff it up.’
Until recent years, I’d lived with fear controlling me my whole life, but now it doesn’t. I’ve learned to manage my emotions and not be controlled by them. So, this whole fear of completing and running these Overcoming Fear workshops was nuts to me. When I read this story, it resonated within me and I realised why I couldn’t move forward. These workshops are super important to me and I don’t want to stuff them up.
However, I want to share what I’ve learned with others, children and adults alike. I want to be able to empower children, and adults, to overcome fear and live a courageous life. And, I also realised something else. I would've wanted to run these workshops even without my book, ‘Raymund and the Fear Monster’. The book has only served as a catalyst towards me planning these workshops.
Now that I realise this, I can get on with creating these workshops. I have my ‘why’. I won’t suppress how I feel. I look at it, recognise the emotion, name it, and then deal with the emotion appropriately. And I will take it one small step at a time so I don’t overwhelm myself.
Here is a quote from the book, The Opposite of Worry by Lawrence J. Cohen, Ph.D.
“The solution (to suppressing your emotions) is to emotionally move step-by-step toward each scary feeling.
It is by doing this I will get these workshops done, one step at a time.
I want to encourage you today, to look fear in the face and take a step towards it. One small step. Allow yourself time to feel what you are feeling. And, when you are ready, take another step. For some, it may be a just taking public transport for the first time by themselves. For others, it may be standing up to speak for two minutes in front of people you don’t know.
My challenge is for you to do the above exercise this week. As for me, I’ll try Facebook Live.
Let me know how you go.
Until next time,
My first Facebook Live video.
Below: My second Facebook Live a week later.
Week 3: Think about what you're thinking about.
Disclaimer: This is not intended for clinical use. These videos and blog post are dealing with the general symptoms of fear and anxiety. It's me sharing my personal experiences and what I've learned. If necessary, seek professional help.
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