I have lived most of my life in fear.
Not paralyzing fear, but crippling. Crippling in the sense that my decisions and/or actions were always surrounded by “fears.”
Fear of the unknown.
Fear of not being liked.
Fear of never being loved.
Fear of messing up.
Fear of not being good enough.
Fear of failure.
Fear of not saying the right thing.
Fear of saying the right thing the wrong way.
And the list goes on.
I think that is why worry was such a problem for me. I worried because I was afraid.
My parents tried to solve my problems by pouring Bible verses about worry into my life. They would paste verses about worry on signs and motivational sayings around my room and on my mirrors to encourage me that worry was wrong, in fact, they would say, “Worry is a sin. Don’t do it.”
Well, that’s easier said than done isn’t it?
Today, I saw this saying on someone’s instagram post. “A strong woman looks a challenge in the eye and gives it a wink.” by Gina Carey.
It stopped me in my tracks. Today, I feel the power of that statement. Over the past fews weeks I have attacked challenges and struggles in ways that I never did in the past. And, I feel like winking at them.
Why? Why now in all my years have I suddenly felt empowered to say what I think and stand up without worry that I was going to mess situations up?
Fear is very real. It comes from an inner voice in our heads that cause us anxiety.
How do we lose fear?
1. The truth is there is one factor in overcoming fear. It’s you. We play the inner doubts in our minds and let the anxiety take over. Instead, play this. “I matter. My thoughts. My instincts. My desires. I am as important as everyone in this room.” Think about others and not so much about yourself. Just those two little mind shifts will help.
2. Work on the areas in your life that could use improvement. Ouch! I don’t like to think about my weaknesses. Face it. We all have them. I remember a specific time in my life that my teacher came and stood by my desk and said, “Something smells in here. Does everyone smell it?” She looked at me and walked on. Scarring? Yes. Inappropriate? Yes. As I grew up though, I learned to take circumstances like that and make sure I learned from them. I grew from the criticisms instead of letting the criticisms cripple me. I tried harder. Prepared more. Researched and became competitive. It is also important to know you have limits and respect them. You will never please all the people all of the time. That’s ok.
You reject yourself when you know you have more to deliever and don’t do it.
3. Understand why you are afraid. Analyzing the why will help you know if the fear has validity or if just rethinking your inner thoughts can help you overcome your fears and build your confidence.
4. Stop comparing yourself to others. Instead of looking at the best in others and telling yourself you don’t measure up– look at others and how they can inspire you to achieve the results you want.
Again, the focus shift will measure your success. Focus on the good in others and how it can help you!
5. Write down the things about yourself you are grateful for. Next, write down the things others have done for you that help you to be the person you want to be. In moments of self-doubt you can come back to this list and focus on the positive instead of the negative.
Will these tips change you overnight? No. Total freedom from worry and fear might not ever happen. But…what if? Perhaps with one baby step you could begin to experience a freedom to escape from self-doubt and enjoy a whole new world of activities? What a life it would be!
You are enough. I can see you now…winking at the day and enjoying whatever it brings!
I would love to hear if you experience fear and worry and how you have overcome it!
Until next time–this is just me–talking to you–From the Wings.