Wed, 14 September 2016
Everyone has fear. I don’t care if you’ve led a charmed life or had the emotional shit kicked out of you time and time again. Whether you have self-confidence, whether you’re Miss America or a college student. We all have it.
Let me break down the most common things people are afraid of (I’ve left out things like spiders, zombies, the dark, etc. because this is the mostly about the “being” part. Zombies are a completely valid thing to be afraid of, though.) Here we go:
Fear of failure. Fear of not making the team. Not getting that promotion. Your marriage falling apart and divorcing. Being rejected when you ask someone out. Instead, we just don’t try at all. We sit on the sidelines and watch everyone else do things we want to do, and convince ourselves they must have some kind of secret sauce or some immunity to hurt, or perhaps they’re just fearless like everyone is talking about on Pinterest.
Fear of success. Fear of being in the limelight. Having to sustain our success and keep moving forward. Shining too bright and making others uncomfortable. Showing off. So, we play small to avoid any of that.
Fear of other people’s judgments, opinions, criticism, words, opposition, breathing. We DO care what other people think of us. I truly believe NO ONE out there really gives “zero fucks.” But, the real fear is of the haters. Our parents might think we’re crazy for leaving our crap marriage. Or friends might tell us starting our own business might be too hard. And then those anonymous people on the Internet can be really, really mean, so let’s play it safe and not risk criticism from them.
Fear of “The Unknown” aka fear of change. Sounds scary, right? What I’ve come to learn about this one is that pretty much everything in life is unknown. There are no guarantees, ever. You could get hit by a bus tomorrow. So, to try our damnedest to control this Unknown, we play safe and small in order to get some crumbs from The Unknown.
Fear of feeling your feelings. Pretty sure I’m an expert here because I’ve used every vice to numb my feelings except gambling. It’s been a few years now that I’ve made an honest effort to let all the vices go and actually feel my feelings, and I will tell you– it can be downright scary. So, I get it. It can be big things or little things that get thrown our way and instead of actually dealing with it we eat, drink, shop, just plain obsess on something else until (we think) it goes away. (Truth: it never does.)
Fear of confrontation and awkward conversations. These, I don’t think, are ever easy. I’m sure we all know (or are in one) that family that will not talk about that giant elephant in the room. Or the manager that will not have that conversation with your co-worker that totally sucks. The big problem is that when this is avoided, it prevents you from setting boundaries that need to be in place. Then you end up pissed and resentful.
Here’s the thing that ALL of these fears have in common in order to overcome: They require action. Sometimes MASSIVE action.
All the people that are killing it out there in their careers, in their relationships, with their goals and dreams, their only “secret” is that they got off their ass and did something. They actually did a lot of something. And the excuses and stories that come out of your mouth are just that: excuses and stories.
So, the truth is, if you have something big that you want to do— or maybe it’s a lot of little things you want to tweak in order to change your life and actually be happier…but you keep convincing yourself your excuses are valid I challenge you to stop complaining about your situation if you are refusing to take action on it.
30 days. You’re not allowed to utter one complaint about your sucky job, your asshole partner, or whateverthefuck it is that you refuse to take action on because you’re afraid.
Because my friends, think about the alternative. Stay in your situation that sucks. Don’t take action. And look out long term. Say, 5 or 10 years. In 5 or 10 years from now think about how you’re going to feel if things are exactly the same and the way you don’t want them to be. Still. Maybe you need to deal with some shit with a therapist. (And that’s taking action, btw.) Or maybe it’s as simple as you need to get off your ass and make things happen. Only you know.