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I, like so many of you, struggle with that nasty little beast called FEAR.  It has been my companion, more times than I’d rather count.  It tends to sit in my head and on my chest to the point that some days I almost can’t catch a deep breath to ensure my continued success and health. (One can’t be successful nor healthy if one ceases to breathe last time I checked).

People often give me praise for the things that I’ve done in my life, but what they don’t realize or seem to see is the tremendous levels of fear that generally accompany the things that I have done in my life.  They also are spared the constant self –  defeating chatter that seems to run like sports commentators through my mind.  They are the chatter that keep me up overnight, keep me on edge at work, or unsure of the things that others conquer what seems to be effortlessly. Most recently, it helped me to draw the circles under my eyes, as I feared that a small mistake at work would be fatal to my tenure there.

I literally didn’t sleep for more than four hours at a time for a week and a half.  Not a pretty picture (I’ll spare you).  Needless to say, I worked myself up to a good little frenzy.  I didn’t want to go to work for fear of it being “that day” that would be my last.  I avoided talking to my boss, for I had convinced myself that he was just thinking of the right way to phrase my send off.  Finally, it was too much and I had to talk to my boss about the situation and how badly I felt.  I told him that I felt horrible about the mix up and was worried for my job.  He said, “You are still worried about that? It’s long gone for me.  You shouldn’t worry so much.  It’s not a healthy trait.”  I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry in relief, but either way, I’m pretty sure that I looked a bit like a crazy person stretched in my relief.   In that moment, the universe showed me, just because you make a mistake doesn’t mean you won’t be forgiven.

Fear is a Choice

I stumbled into the above “After Earth” quote and find it to be so true, no matter how sad it makes me that it is.  WAY too often and without even realizing it, I choose fear.  It seems to be my default.  In conversation, my bestie just lovingly reminded me “remember your fear is actually a lack of faith”.  Instantly, I am in fight stance, ready to defend myself and my belief, but even before I can start, I am struck that she is right  — most of my fears revolve around a lack of faith for sure — in MYSELF.  

Everything I fear most right now revolves around a perceived shortcoming in myself.   I know that more than one of you can relate to this.

I fear messing up at work.  it must because:

  • I am bad at my job
  • bad with people
  • can’t memorize things
  •   Can’t make more money because I can’t lead.
  • I could never be as smart as others in more senior positions
  • Is my math right? Is the invoice amount right?
  • Did I already enter this?

I fear forgetting something at home.

  • Did I turn off the stove?
  • Turn off the heater?
  • Pay that bill?
  • Lock the door?
  • Feed the cat? (That I no longer have 🙂 )

My biggest beast of all (currently) DRIVING.  I fear that I will:

  • hit something
  • hit someone
  • forget to look over my shoulder and hit someone when changing lanes
  • not know how to get where I am trying to go
  • not being able to drive at night
  • not being able to drive in the rain

There is irony in the lack of faith in oneself.  Some of us, have no problem with having faith in things that they cannot see, taste or touch.  We know that there is God and that He, She and/or the universe loves us and roots for us.  And yet, we cannot have faith in ourselves. We see our successes as a happy and fortunate accident rather than a case for the reason while we should trust ourselves.  For a check mark in the happy “believe in yourself” column.    You see, faith doesn’t have to be reserved for the “God Only”.  The irony for me even moreso, is that I am faithful to do as the universe asks, and instill a bit of bravery and self love in you all but can struggle mightily to find it for myself.  Then again, I’ve always sworn that I write these things for both you and I as I go back and read them and get chills sometimes as the message doesn’t feel like it was written by me, but instead for me…

faith in the wrong direction

….perhaps we can all help each to move in the right direction?