5/27/2014

My counselor recommended that I read Feel the Fear…And Do It Anyway by Susan Jeffers. I happened to be at a bookstore yesterday and decided to buy it. I am going to work through the book, possibly several times, and I will be sharing my thoughts and feelings here under the tag #feelthefear.

Yesterday I read chapter 1, and today I read chapters 2-4. Yesterday’s reading was more introductory in nature. This morning’s reading took me by surprise – my body physically reacted to reading about fear, anxiety, uncertainty, and some basic changes in thinking that are required to change the way we see, process, and handle our fears. I found myself tensing up, fidgeting, laughing nervously, and as the anxiety would increase I would breathe in and out deeply to calm myself down. It was really amazing. I never realized how deeply rooted my fears are, and how much control over me they have. As I read, I could not stop thinking about what is most likely my #1 fear right now – asking out girl #1. I really want to. But I am so afraid to do it. Even though I have done it before, it has just been awkward and I would really like to do it right. Even tell her how I feel about her. As soon as I think of doing that my mind creates a million reasons why I shouldn’t, why I can’t, why it’s not the right time, why it could lead to more heartbreak, etc. etc. So as I read I think I began to confront some of those deeply rooted fears. I’m scared to start reading again. But I know that this is an important mission to undertake. If I can feel the fear and do the things I want to do anyway, maybe that will change my life forever. Maybe I will finally be able to be comfortable. Maybe I will find some sort of long-term happiness. There were several important facts about fear to remember, but the first one is that it will always be with you. As long as I am trying to change and grow I will feel fear. Coming to terms with that reality is the first step. Then I need to repeat the following affirmations ten times a day:

  1. The fear will never go away as long as I continue to grow.
  2. The only way to get rid of the fear of doing something is to go out and do it.
  3. The only way to feel better about myself is to go out…and do it.
  4. Not only am I going to experience fear whenever I’m on unfamiliar territory, so is everyone else.
  5. Pushing through fear is less frightening than living with the underlying fear that comes from a feeling of helplessness.

So count that as my first repetition for today.

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