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:
- The fear will never go away as long as I continue to grow.
- The only way to get rid of the fear of doing something is to go out and do it.
- The only way to feel better about myself is to go out…and do it.
- Not only am I going to experience fear whenever I’m on unfamiliar territory, so is everyone else.
- 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.