Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Fear Itself

He's fearless.

This morning I was reading a job search article which noted some advice from the author of a book called Be Fearless.

Write out a list of all the skills and qualities that got you to where you are. Own them!

I shuddered a bit. He meant, of course, to give readers a way to shore themselves up so they could face future challenges. But, I couldn't help but see it differently.

What skills and qualities have gotten me to a point where I'm unhappy with my career, social life, finances and personal development?

You noticed, I hope, that those are some major life areas. Almost all of them, in fact. It's not good. For every step forward I feel myself sliding backward into an abyss of my own making. The key for me is always fear. It's played a major role in every decision and non-decision of my teen and adult life.

The question, as always, is how do I fight it? How, without the therapy and drugs I can't afford anyway, do I stare fear down and tell it to fuck off?

We know what Nike has been telling us for decades, but when you're racked with anxiety it's hard to even consider beginning something that freaks you out. I'm clearly more afraid of change than I am of dying with things staying the same. Why? Why do I allow it to have such a hold over my life?

Maybe it doesn't matter. Maybe I need to let go of my analytical crutch and just Do My Opposite. Say hello to that cool looking person in Panera. Make that cold call. Introduce myself via email to that author. Research that idea. Face the blank page and start writing that story down. Send that script off to agents. Go left when I'd usually go right. Say yes when I would normally say no for no good reason.

Today I'm going to begin to consciously Do My Opposite. Because, this isn't good enough.

How do you become fearless in life?


JeriWB said...

I don't think fear ever goes totally away, but by literally forcing ourselves to do what we fear, the emotion lessens. Fear can get the best of us if we let it, so I like your idea to "just do the opposite."

Bethany Lee said...

City Girl, I'm hearing ya. You asked a lot of questions, so automatically, I want to try to answer. One thing I've learned and believe (it's in the Bible where I learned it but it works no matter if you read or believe the bible or not) that LOVE overcomes fear. Think about the fear you are dealing with. Many of them are about interactions with people. If you want to interact with people, think about your LOVE for that person. Don't you want the best for the people you meet--even strangers? Let your LOVE pour out, and in love say hello to that guy at Panera. Chat a little. It just might be the thing he needs because he's struggling with loneliness. I always try to think that people need my reaching out. I always try to think that they need my friendliness, my helpfulness and my cheeriness even if I feel afraid to give it. I try to let my love for people overcome those fears. That book you want to write/publish--SOMEBODY needs to read the message in it. I don't care what it's about--somebody out there needs to hear it. I believe that with everything I have. Why else would you feel compelled to write it? So do it for that person. Reach out for the people.

Bindu said...

Hi Citygirlusa,
to console me of my fear about the darkness of the nights in the village, my brother told me. "Everybody has some kind of fear. Even the strongest looking person is afraid of something. But, they just do what is to be done, even though they are scared." He also told me, he himself was scared of darkness. But, go into the dark by feeling that fear and nothing happened.
I am glad that you are going to do the opposite of what the scared mind tells you.
So what did you did today, to be on top of the world?

Susan Cooper said...

Fear is a four letter word. If you can follow your own advice, you will find a way. There are times fear grips me in it jaws. It has the possibility of paralyzing me. But then I realize I am in control of my life, no one else than the grip eases and then fear is gone. Keep the faith in yourself. Susan Cooper


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