Fear, it can control pretty much everything we do. What fearful story are you telling yourself?
Fear used to control my life, fear of failure, fear to put myself out there and fear of what people will think. I am now 47 years old and when I reflect back on my life and think about how much fear controlled my life, it amounts to almost half of my life. At a whopping 378lbs, “why try to lose weight, after all, I can’t lose 200lbs. I am beyond help”. I created that story and it controlled me for several years. I can’t get a master’s degree, I grew up in logging camps, spending many years in a two-room school even, therefore I spent most of my life telling myself I wasn’t smart enough to go back to school. The list goes on and on…. The stories we tell ourselves are so powerful, they overrule any other stories that people tell us, or what our values tell us what we want, but only if we let them. The hardest and most rewarding part of my journey so far is learning how to acknowledge the fear, reflect on why I am fearful of it and then asking myself what I could do to face that fear. This has been such a liberating shift for me. A couple years ago at a Tough Mudder I spent about 10mins standing at the top of the King of Swing obstacle, fear had taken over I turned around and started to go back down but my husband yelled up to me and said if you do that, you are going to regret not doing this later. I stopped and thought about that, what story am I telling myself? It’s only 20ft into cold muddy water, thousands of people are doing it, what am I afraid of? I turned around and ran off the blank, and you what, it was nothing. Sure, it was cold, and it was a big drop, but I felt liberated and that set the tone for the rest of the day. I used to fear change, when I was little we moved to a different logging camp, I stopped talking for months, until I said “I want a hotdog” at a sibling’s birthday party. LOL . Change has always been something I struggled with. Fear no longer controls me, in fact, I think fear is good because it makes me look inside and ask myself some tough questions. I still have fear, I believe we will always have fears, but it’s what we decide to do them that is the game changer.
It might be a small step, but if you took one step forward into what you fear, how will that story you tell yourself change? I have taken many small steps, some lead to really big accomplishments like losing that 200lbs I told myself I would never do. But even that started with one small step to lose 10lbs, and then one step, and then the next… I am halfway through a master’s that I told myself I wasn’t smart enough to do. I took the first step by doing graduate certificates to build up my confidence, it was a small step towards a really big goal. I no longer fear change, in fact sometimes I crave it. I recently changed my job after almost 7 years at my former employment, I no longer fear employment change, I love where I am now but fear won’t keep me anywhere in life.
What story are you telling yourself? How much of that story is formed out of fear? Life is short, fear less, and live more.