Updated: Sep 8, 2021
Recently I have been having to face some situations regarding results from choosing negative behaviors or when I allowed my fear to overtake me, dictate my confidence, and my hope in myself. Today I am faced with some challenging situations that scare me, and have struggled with invasive thoughts of "You are not good enough", "You're such a mess up", "You're going to fail". I acknowledge those thoughts as it tells me a lot about past trauma and internalized negative self perception that instead of crushing me, gives an opportunity for growth. Where did these thoughts come from? Where is my fear coming from? And what can I do to conquer it? I am fortunate to have a solid support system that all have the same advice: focus on the positive.
Can I tell you something? Sometimes just thinking of the positive is not enough, it is it ACTION you take when you work through the fear that leads to stronger confidence, self growth and healing. Lets say for example your an alcoholic in relapse, and you know that going through the withdrawals is going to be scary, your afraid. It is what you do with that fear that will dictate whether you sink or swim. I have been through withdrawal, and the fear is always intense-but if I chose to keep picking up the bottle and letting that fear prevent me from growing I would never overcome the obstacles I need to in order to heal. It is when you choose to face those fears, head on, and move forward. I doubt anyone would ever judge you for having fear, but it is when you allow that fear to keep you in bed all day, not do something that scares you, and when you allow it to completely immobilize your thoughts and actions.
When I first moved into my off grid cabin, I was very fearful of propane and fire-two main components to my survival. I had a propane leak my first week at the cabin, and damn was I scared. I felt panicked, but being isolated, I had no choice but to figure out how to handle it, through the fear, and find a solution. P.S I managed to not blow up my cabin, so that's a plus. Yesterday I got a new hot water tank put in, and as I walked into the room where it was I knew instinctively I had a leak. I was not afraid at all-I simply went to the line, sprayed and checked for the leak, tightened the line, aired out the cabin and handled it without calling everyone and panicking. The confidence I had in that moment was due to having had to face these fears already, and push through them with action and purpose (in this case survival, so I guess that is a pretty big motivator). It is because I had already faced those fears, through just having no other option but to, and as a result I educated myself which in turn empowered me and gave me more strength.
As I have been isolated, I have had many fears. Today I am afraid. However, that is OK, as knowing the challenges ahead I took care of myself this morning. Fear essentially is your unrealistic views of a situation based on previous life experiences and socialization. I could have chosen to cry in bed all morning, ignored my issues, and shut down. However, no way in hell was I about to let my fear dictate my entire day. I ate a healthy breakfast, and wrote down a list of all the things I have accomplished, all my positive qualities, and all the things I have had to navigate and came out swinging. Yes, focusing on the positive is important, but it is what you DO with that which will make a difference in whether you allow the situation to let you grow or push you down. Take a look at everything in your life that you have accomplished-relish in the small things, and write them down. Read them and revise them over and over. Fight against fear with building yourself up, and more so, with moving forward in fear and looking internally into where that fear stemmed from.
Prayer for me is a tool I use when my fear or my negative thoughts overcome me-I lean on my God for strength and know that I am never alone, and I have unconditional love that keeps my heart warm even when faced with hard situations and experiences.
We grow in fear, if we have the courage to face them, learn from them, and educate ourselves. Step away from situations and people that drag you down or do not support you. Gravitate towards love, towards compassion for yourself and others, and embrace healthy relationships and activities. Fear grows in negativity, so remove any and all sources that make you feel inferior, and take a step forward into what scares you the most. I guarantee you will walk away with a stronger sense of self, maybe a new skill, and self-growth.