Don’t Allow Fear To Be Your Guide
How simple it would all be if we didn’t doubt ourselves.
Has this ever happened to you: You know what you want, you get all excited about it, you start to take steps towards it in some way and then fear starts to sneak its way in and before you know it, you have talked yourself right out of something you really, really wanted.
I cannot TELL you how much I see this play out in people’s lives.
It’s startlingly easy to bring in doubt and throw ourselves off the scent of happiness and fulfilment. All you need is one insidious doubtful thought, “Maybe this won’t work” to start off the snowball effect, “Then I will fail. How humiliating. I’d better not take the risk. It’s actually such a silly thing to do. What was I thinking? I’m not good enough. It’s much better to stay where I am and do what I’m doing. Now that I think about it, I don’t even really want to do that anyway. It’s a lot of work and effort and for what? No, I’m definitely better off and safer just leaving it. It doesn’t even interest me actually. How strange that I was SO excited about it a moment ago…”
There is something in my life currently that I’m excited about but I keep ‘checking out’ of it in this way. So yesterday I did an internal process with myself on this ‘numbing out’ pattern and found beneath it a memory of something I had loved doing when I was a teenager. Back then I had reached a peak doing it and then moved on to other things. To my recall it had just sort of faded away and I didn’t feel much about it. But yesterday there it was, alive and whole, flowing beneath this denial of my attraction to my current pursuit.
I followed the memory back to that time as a teenager when I was excited about this thing and I gave myself permission to relive it and feel it and reclaim it as something I love. It was wonderful! The feelings of joy and freedom were so strong that they lasted the whole day. I feel like I got a piece of me back. I still smile to think of it now. I see now that I had cut it off because I had reached a peak and was afraid to fail. At the time I had decided I wasn’t really interested anymore – but it wasn’t true. I was scared to go further. I doubted myself so I lost something I loved and I lived a different life than I might have.
I spoke to someone who is considering a second child. She really wants another child but she has so many doubts about how she will handle the hardships – lack of sleep, testing of patience, strain of resources, holding her first child through it… “Maybe I just shouldn’t do it. It’s probably a bad idea. I should just enjoy what I already have.”
What burst from me surprised us both, I think. “If you DECIDE you don’t want another child that’s fine. But if you choose to not have one out of FEAR, where will that leave you in life?” Both of us were silent for a while after that.
If we allow fear to guide us, where does it leave us?
When fear is what drives a choice, I can almost guarantee the result is you turning AWAY from what you really want. Your ideal life passes you by as you let fear and doubt sway you. I work with many people who are trying to untangle the unhappy mess resulting from decisions made out of fear and doubt. The simple way out of the mess is to listen only to your truth and step out of it choice by choice by choice.
The doubts are not telling you the truth.
Take a chance. Tell the doubts to #%@$* off. Turn towards what you want and keep walking.
I end off with these magnificent song lyrics from Habanot Nechama :
“Spent my life,
doubting my beliefs,
believing my doubts …
my mind was so complex,
so it remained inflexible.
So why not try to simplify…
believe your belief, doubt your doubts.”