Something I have been actively working on is eliminating fear in my life. I’m not talking about my irrational, debilitating fear of snakes, but instead the fears that have come with age.
For me, one of my biggest fear that has developed over the years is a fear of not being good enough. It shows itself in a number of ways in all areas of my life.
Health: I self sabotage weight loss because what if I get thin and healthy and things still don’t happen like I want them to?
Career: I’m afraid to apply for the big job because I don’t want to be let down if I don’t get it. I’m afraid that I won’t make enough money for the lifestyle I want to live.
Love: I’m afraid I am unlovable or easily forgettable. Kirsten Dunst’s character says it best in Elisabethtown. I’m afraid that I will put everything on the line and once again be abandoned to pick up the pieces alone. When people ask me why I’m not dating I shoot off something about focusing on me and my career.
But really, what’s the point? By believing these things about myself, I am only making them true.
Seriously, why I am afraid to be physically fit? What’s the worst that could happen? My self esteem lifted. My comfort in a bathing suit restored. What am I even afraid of?
And so what if I don’t get a big job, but more importantly, what if I do? Financial security will never be a problem as long as I believe in my work.
The love part is the hardest thing to overcome. It’s not that I am afraid to love someone- I have never had a problem with that. The fear is really in letting them love me, because what if they don’t. What if they just stop loving me one day. What if their definition of love is different that mine? Being afraid of heartbreak causes a whole mess of problems and it’s not worth it. Love is truly a magical feeling, so by avoiding it, I am only hurting myself even more.
I think it is healthy to identify the fears that are built on experience and work on erasing them. Fears like mine are only holding me back from greatness and I would much rather be great than afraid.
What are you afraid of?