I remember being in college at parties in dark basements. Being 6’6” tall, I would tend to clean the rafters of spider webs, sometimes having the fortune of having brief meet-and-greets with these little 8-legged terrorists.
I first became afraid of them when I was around 6 years old. I put my pajamas on while getting ready for bed. I was brushing my teeth when I completely froze as the tickle of tiny, hairy legs worked up my chest as the demon-seed went for comfort in my mouth.
After swatting my new nemesis across the room to protect my valued mouth I shook with adrenaline and terror. This was the first strong memory I have of fear. I’ve waited a long time to send out my first blog because of fear.
I realized that I’ve worked as a therapist for over a decade yet I continue to have anxiety about my ability. This is not to say I lack ability in anything or everything. I am fully capable of performing my role as a therapist or helping people while being a life coach. I can play guitar with fellow musicians. I can help my kids with homework and later make sure they brush their teeth and say their prayers of gratitude. I can cook, clean, change the oil, and pick out my daughter’s clothes (which is not always my best skill if you ask my wife).
The fear that I have is not about my abilities. It is about being seen and heard. About being judged. I choose to share this as I recognize I am not alone. I see it every day with my clients. I see it with friends and family.
We make excuses to avoid things we fear. Our brains tell us to run away from the fear. Pema Chadron, an American Buddhist nun, wrote about the need to become familiar with fear…to embrace it. Therefore, stop running. Stand in it, whatever “it” is.
People base their fears on times when things fell apart. I avoided so many experiences because of pain or rejection that resulted in a conditioned response of fearing anything that looked or felt similar to these experiences. But if we continue to live in fear we fail to live.
We fail to experience. We fail to reach the maximum benefits that life has to offer. We have to recognize the fear is real when we try something new or, worse yet, something that reminds us of our past pain. If we don’t try sometimes we will lose that which is most important to us. We lose freedom. Possibly love. We lose courage to experience life and excitement.
In anything we do there can fear of being judged, confronted, mocked, or rejected. There is fear of committing to something that will take more time in an already busy schedule. Yet, I choose to be seen and heard. It’s time to swat this nemesis. If I let my fears run my life, inherently I am no longer running my life (but I still may be a little afraid of spiders…just saying!).
In anything we do there can be fear of being judged, confronted, mocked, or rejected.
There is fear of committing to something that will take more time in an already busy schedule. Yet, I choose to be seen and heard. It’s time to swat this nemesis. If I let my fears run my life, inherently I am no longer running my life – but I still may be a little afraid of spiders…just saying -.
- Choose to face your fears: Our fears are only as strong as we allow them to be. If I would have never gotten on stage to play my first gig, I would never have had the joy that followed time and time again. The fears shrink and the joy takes over. Our brain, more specifically our amygdala, learns that we got this and it is time to chill.
- It is worth it: We often fail to try to retrain the brain out of fear that it won’t ever change. We stay sensitive to spiders, heights, public speaking, leaving the house. I often tell people that the more you try to control things, the more you manifest that which we try to avoid. This is so true of anxiety. I have been so afraid of my wife being upset that I repeatedly will ask her what is wrong. The problem is that she was fine until I asked her 652 times if she was upset about something – it was like I was trying to convince her she was upset – nice move. It worked and she got mad. So, face the fear instead of feeding it.
I was afraid to launch my first blog.
Why? What was the worst that could happen? Probably me choosing not to launch it and staying stuck in a cycle of wondering what could have been if I had only faced my fears and launched a blog. I did face them. I wrote this and now you are reading it. Looks like the plan worked.
If we live in fear of people judging us, we will never truly live. We can’t please everyone all the time no matter how badly we want to. We all have different beliefs and preferences. Therefore, we have to live for what we want while extending love to those who see things a different way.
Love this post! and love that you’ve chosen to ‘come out’ of the blogging closet! Looking forward to future posts.
I love seeing and hearing you!
I love seeing and hearing you too! Right now you are in the living room and I am on the computer, but I can see you if I lean over…can you see me? I’m leaning? I love you for believing in me! Thank you for being you, my best friend!
Nice work Bradford! 😉
Thank you Alicia! I really appreciate your support! Say hi to that hubby of yours. Hope all is well with you!!
Great start! Both you and Kerry are doing a fabulous job!
Thank you for your support Kathy! Means so much to both of us!
How true this is Brad! I’ve always wanted to go on a family genealogy/vacation to New York area, but was “afraid”. My fellow vacationers backed out on me and it looked like if I really wanted to do this I either go by myself or always wonder “what if?” So I decided to just do it and planned every step of the way with directions, maps, brochures and my family history notebook. The more I planned and learned, the easier it seemed to get! I was gone for 12 days and learned something every single day about myself and the places I went. I am so glad I overcame my fear of going to New York by myself and in the end it wasn’t as scary as I thought it was! I now have many wonderful memories & photos to keep & share!
Laurie – absolutely love this! That is exactly what I am talking about. I remember the first time I traveled internationally and had the same feelings. The more you travel, the easier it is. Thank you for sharing and for your support here!
I’m enjoying reading this ! Thank u so much for sharing your insight …. I think this one really helped me today ❤️ I know your wife but have not met you personally! I admire both of you . Keep it up