I THINK, THEREFORE I AM – RENE DESCARTES
I recently got invited to hold a writing session. It was a short window of preparation time. It was also my first ever invitation. I was excited, I was also afraid until I remembered how grateful I was for this opportunity. I had asked the universe for this last year and this was my full-circle moment. I was grateful.
Gratitude, for the win again.
I let that gratitude become my dominant emotion and I can tell you, I loved the experience. My heart was open. I met new people and an old friend. It was a phenomenal moment and it is the first time in a long time that I am not thinking about how much I probably sucked and how I should never do it again. Instead, here I am the day after, still grateful. Let gratitude be the emotion you let win. It also does wonders for rage and anger.
I'm a guy who has problems with moderation. All or nothing. Binge and purge. Kill or be killed. Gray is not a colour I wear well. I should be dead. I know that. I should not be successful. I know that too. My daily existence is a toss of the coin - one side, fear, the other side, gratitude.
A few quick tidbits to ease the frustration of crippling fear.
Choose your environment selfishly.
You get to choose. That sounds nice, does it not? Well, if you remove the honey from that vinegar, it translates even better. It is your responsibility to curate an environment that sustains your growth at an optimal level and enables you to exist. You gotta survive to thrive and that is your responsibility. Assuming it is the role of others to act in accordance to your needs is entitled. People are who they are. Read the room and choose the space and people to interact with according to your needs at the moment.
Wait, do you know your needs right in this moment?
Take time with yourself and your thoughts.
Sit down with yourself. I am the kind of girl to set up a picnic for just me. It is not for a cutesy session of pampering alone but mostly for the case of assessment. Think of it as a meeting of minds and I am the hostess. The one who orchestrates how the events should unfold and also has a hidden agenda up her sleeve. Yes, my darlings, I am as manipulative with even myself. It is a requirement for surviving my brain. I like to believe the same for everyone else. Your mind is playing tricks on you? Play tricks right back in your favour.
You need to know how your thoughts work to understand what they are saying. For me, “Everyone hates you” translates into “You need to talk to someone who cares about you because right now you feel low on love”. Notice, I do not need to talk to someone I care about in that moment. The two are different.
Before a big meeting or presentation, I do not go to my friends for a boost. I go to strangers. Strangers who have no affection for me because my rational brain requires the hardness of human loyalty and respect.
Negotiate. Negotiate. Negotiate.
Turn your inner monologue into a dialogue so you can find a middle ground Allow yourself to stretch on both ends of the cusps till you establish where your middle ground actually lies. I question my fear. I also question my confidence. Both have the potential to be overvalued ideas, delusions of grandeur or even an inferiority complex. I have to assess and see what reality is.
I would not blame one for wondering, “Why would anyone waste that time?” Well, it gets easier with practice. The more you practice, the quicker your intuition gets as to what is a false belief.
Also, you spend every minute of existence with yourself- you gotta learn to talk back to the trash you speak in your head.
Enhance your skills.
In a world that is constantly changing, there is no one subject or set of subjects that will serve you for the foreseeable future, let alone for the rest of your life. The most important skill to acquire now is learning how to learn. John Naisbitt
Learning and gathering knowledge equips you to handle tasks that seem daunting. Sometimes, your fear is legitimate. You are trash. I have found myself to be very lacking in certain aspects of my life and I was afraid to move forward or take certain opportunities because I would honestly, be an imposter in those spaces.
I wept and fretted but eventually, I had to bite the apple of absolute truth and grow the skills I needed. Learn. Grow. Equip yourself with the amour and shield only knowledge and wisdom can provide. Besides, you never stop learning. The world is always changing and we have to find ways to adapt. Growth is a way of adapting to situations.
So, do not let scares frighten you into being stuck. Find the webs of deceit you weave from fear and untangle your way into moving forward. Even Rapunzel had to cut those golden locks to make a rope to help her escape the castle she was trapped in. Cut those ties and break free.
Good luck. Go out there and battle those fears one by one. Grow into your full whole self and thrive on!
Many of our fears are tissue-paper-thin, and a single courageous step would carry us clear through them.
Do not take counsel of your fears.
Our deepest fears are like dragons guarding our deepest treasures.
-Rainer Maria Rilke