Before Katy went off sunning herself in the Canary Islands she left us her themes for this week, for today’s theme we have to share with you all which fear we would most like to conquer.
When we think about fear most people go straight to phobias – arachnophobia, claustrophobia – after all, whichever fear you have, there’s probably going to be a name for it. Whether it’s Optophobia – Fear of opening one’s eyes, Xyrophobia – Fear of razors or even Ephebiphobia- Fear of teenagers. (http://phobialist.com/)
We all have things we’re afraid of (yes, even you who is sat there shaking their head).
Unfortunately for me the one I most want to conquer isn’t simple, nor does it really have a name.
I am claustrophobic (which isn’t as simple as being a fear of confined spaces as some would imagine, it’s more about being unable to get out of said spaces) and I really, really hate the thought of natural disasters (when our back garden flooded, instead of helping I ran upstairs and cried).
But what I’m most scared of is myself, well, I say myself, it’s more a fear of putting myself out there, allowing attention to be drawn upon me and going out there and getting what I want. I wish it was as simple as walking into a bar and talking to the first person I see, or dying my hair red and running around a train station in fancy dress, but those are just a few things which make me nervous.
I’ve been going to counselling for seven weeks now and over the course of that time I’ve come to understand that it’s not just about being awkward or lazy, these things actually leave me feeling nervous and a little scared. I find it uncomfortable to stand in a lift with someone I don’t know with neither person talking, I find it difficult to talk to people who don’t talk to me first and I find it extremely hard to do anything that will attract attention to myself.
Other people aren’t getting in my way, I don’t have someone standing over me telling me it’s a bad idea, nor do I have any medical conditions stopping me from doing what I want to.
The only thing I have to blame is…myself.
When I think about dying my hair (it’s on my list of things to do before I die to dye it a colour very different to my natural blonde) I worry about people commenting on it, I worry about people making a big deal out of it. When I think about talking to strangers I worry about whether I’ll begin a conversation and not be able to keep it going, or whether, like with some people I have met, we’ll have a really good time but it’ll never go any further than that one occasion. When I think about asking someone I do know if we can spend more time together I worry that they’ll say no or won’t want to do it, or worse still (for me) want to do something I don’t want to do (or more, something that I’m stopping myself doing).
I’m an analyst. I overthink everything.
Now feels like a really good time to share a song with you, by Delta Goodrem.
When I’m in my counselling sessions I repeatedly say things like ‘I shouldn’t be thinking that, I should just forget about that and get on with it’ because I don’t just get on with things. I think about them and I overthink about them and then I decide that actually I don’t want to do it after all because I ‘don’t want to’ but the ‘don’t want’ to actually means all of the reasons I have come up with in my head. None of which are the reasons I give to other people.
I read a book in secondary school called ‘Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway’. It’s a self-help book by a woman called Susan Jeffers who just so happens to be the author of several books and two of her quotes have stayed with me since I was about fourteen years old.
Feel the fear and do it anyway.
You’re not a failure if you don’t make it; you’re a success because you tried.
Try as I might to remember these and despite telling them to other people, sometimes I think I just need to get over myself and feel the fear and do it, regardless of what happens.
But then come the buts…