And Then the Fear Sets In

So I started my blog and posted it on Facebook for all the world to see. I finally did something I’ve been saying I was going to do for a long time. Years, really. What a sense of accomplishment! What a sense of pride! What the hell was I thinking? Just like that, the fear set in and panic ensued. How can I keep this up? How will I find things to write about on a regular basis? Do I really have anything of value to say? And on and on it goes. You know the deal…those little voices in your head grab hold of that fear and run with it. Before you know it you are completely convinced ‘they’ are right. You really don’t have what it takes and you should just cut your losses and walk away. Whew! Crisis averted!

Ok, wait…stop and think this through. Why is it that every time I get really excited about something new and daring, I have the uncanny ability to talk myself right out of it? Let’s face it…I’m afraid. Afraid I’ll fail or do something stupid or not finish what I started. And for most of my life, I’ve let fear stop me. I’ve listened to those voices as if they were real and followed their instructions to the letter. And then I kick myself because I’m not doing what I really want to do.

I used to think there were two kinds of people in the world. The kind like me, who were scared of everything and always played it safe. And the ‘other people’. You know the ones. Those amazing individuals who are able to accomplish great things and push themselves to new heights. I was convinced they weren’t afraid of anything. Then I read Susan Jeffer’s book, “Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway”. In it she says it isn’t that other people don’t feel afraid, they do. It’s just that it never occurred to them to let that fear stop them.

Wait a minute…hold the phone! You’re telling me everyone has fear? Somehow I was convinced other people don’t struggle with it the way I do. I believed ‘they’ have it easier. That somehow I’m different; it’s harder for me. I have more obstacles to overcome. Less time, energy, money. You’ve thought that, right? Don’t tell me you haven’t. I’ve played the victim often enough to know what it looks like.

Fear is a part of life and I don’t imagine the voices are going away. The only thing I can do is continue to recognize them for what they are and not let them stop me. It’s not easy, but it’s really the only way to live an authentic life. And the coolest thing is, the more you push through your fear, the less it has a hold on you. On the road to becoming me, at least for today, it’s me-1, fear-0. I’ll take that!

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On Becoming Me

For those of you who have heard me say, for longer than I care to admit, I want to start a blog…I finally did it! And yes, I’m as surprised as you are. Though it’s not my profession, I am a writer. I express myself best through written word. I love words; how they play off one another; the rhythm of putting perfectly chosen words together in a sentence and building on that to create a paragraph, a page, and beyond.

Writing is my attempt to peel back the layers and uncover my true essence. And to share what I’ve learned…my thoughts, ideas, ponderings, revelations, musings, and questions about who I am and my journey through this life. It’s an experiment of sorts. To see if I can have the courage to become more real, more honest, more me.

This is your front row seat into my life. To see who I’m discovering myself to be as it unfolds. Let the journey of authenticity begin!

Becoming Who I Am; It’s Not Like Baking a Cake

I’ve been asking myself a lot lately, “who am I, really?” Am I the me I’ve been being all these years or I am someone else entirely? Or some odd mix of who I show people and my authentic self. I know it sounds strange…we all think we know who we are. But if you really stop and question yourself, is this who you honestly want to be? I mean it…stop right now and look at who you’re being in this world. I know this is a sobering thought, but if this were the end, would you be able look back and say “I showed the world who I really was”? Or are you going through life wearing the masks of who you think you should be; trying to hide or cover up aspects of yourself you think people won’t accept?

I’m not saying it’s easy…it does take a fair amount of work. Sometimes I wish becoming myself was like baking a cake. You follow the recipe, put in the correct ingredients, mix it all together, bake for a specific amount of time and…wa-la! The timer dings and you have a cake; all sweet, warm and delicious…just the way it’s supposed to be. If you follow the directions, there is never a time you will open the oven door to find anything other than a cake. But life doesn’t work that way. There is no recipe, no specific amount of time to ‘bake’, no moment when you’re actually ‘done’. Sigh.

I remember when I did my first workshop with Debbie Ford. The Shadow Process is a weekend workshop in San Diego that changed my life in so many incredible ways. It opened me up to a whole new way of looking at myself…and it was excruciating! Don’t get me wrong…there were many highs during that weekend as I discovered I’m okay just as I am. And I connected with so many amazing souls trying to find their way in the world just as I was. But this whole new self-awareness thing was hard work. I wanted to know when I’d be done with it so I could get on with the business of living my life.  That’s when one of the coaches uttered a phrase I’ll never forget. As we waited in the hotel lobby for the shuttle to the airport she said, “You’ll be done when you’re dead…bummer!” Seriously? That was not at all the answer I was looking for. But all these years later it’s something I’ve never forgotten.

So when I’m tempted to focus on ‘getting there’…wherever I think ‘there’ is, I remember what she said that day. You will never get to a place where you’re done. The timer isn’t going to go off one day and you’ll magically be the person you think you want to be. This is a process and it changes as you grow and change. I think the trick is not to be focused on the destination, but to be in each day as much as you can. The learning is in the journey and the things you discover about yourself along the way. There is no there…there is only right here, right now.

I’ll make you a deal. As I continue to uncover the real me, I’ll share it with you. YIKES! What am I saying? Even as I write this I’m tempted to delete it. Okay…deep breath here. This is what scares me. I know it’s possible once you really know me, you won’t like me. But that’s a risk I’m willing to take. Because I’m hoping that you can use my experiences as a guide on your own authentic journey. There’s only one amazing, wonderful, unique you; with all your gifts and talents; faults and foibles. If I have the courage to be open and honest about who I am, maybe you will too. And I know THAT, more than anything else, will change the world. Are you ready? Let’s do this!