Posts Tagged ‘fear’

Tattoo Clown Man In Funny Glasses
Originally uploaded by Pink Sherbet Photography

I often fear letting people see the inner me. There are so many critics out there – -and I already have plenty in my own head.  I find I have many fears; looking stupid, making a mistake that could cost me – money, friendship, or an opportunity, or missing out on something better.


Recently I started drawing again.  For me that basically means copying other people’s ideas.  I have very little drawing skill yet, and I’ve done no formal training, but I love cartoons and always wanted to draw my own.  I also loving coloring just for the sake of coloring.  The colors, the rhythm of crayons or colored pencils across the paper is relaxing to me.


I find showing people my drawings fairly embarrassing.  While I might know that I’ve already progressed bit by bit into cleaner lines, others may see my attempts as immature and weak.  I know that each day I draw I get better, but when the comments begin “What exactly is that supposed to be?” I do get a bit flushed in the face.


I also like to sing and dance although I’m not very good at either.  But since I’ve been practicing letting go of my fears I’ve found that with practice those get better too.  Not that I can leave my day job in this lifetime, but at least my voice stays in tune a little better and I only fall on my butt once instead of three times.


Honestly, I wish they taught us these things in school.  Like, it’s okay to make mistakes – it means you’re learning. And you can’t be great at something if you’ve never done it before.  It takes practice, that’s all.  And why not teach us that being different is not only okay, but possibly necessary for our sanity.


Just like different have different tastes – my husband loves pumpkin pie while I prefer cherry for instance, we all have different ways of expressing ourselves. I love to read books, meditate and watch cartoons.  Friends of mine often haven’t picked up a book in years and find cartoons childish.  That’s fine, I’m not a big fan of shopping and I don’t like math.  To each their own.


All I know is when I do all those wacky, strange, crazy things I love, it makes me smile. The smile often turns into laughter.  After a few minutes, I find I feel more energized and peaceful.  These activities entertain me and break up boredom, frustration and put me in a better mood.  You can’t ask for better than that.


So next time somebody asks you why you’re being so silly, just tell them “That’s me, that’s just how I roll.”  Enjoying your passions and having as much as you can fit in your day are the best ways I know to have a satisfying life. Being yourself is totally worth it.


Here’s a few more things I love; rock collecting (crystals and fossils), ghosts and the paranormal, movie nights, visiting the library, going to the flea market, dogs, kids playing, walking in the woods and surfing the Internet.  What DO YOU LOVE?


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Picture by revoluzzza

The fear monster is very scary. It can be overwhelming loud and insistent.  That nagging voice that says “You can’t dance.  You don’t know how to paint.  You’ll never be able to write an entire novel.”

We all doubt our abilities and talents.  We fear we don’t have enough time, determination or knowledge to accomplish our dreams.  When in doubt – do it anyway.

Our fears will always be there.  Usually they never amount to anything.  I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve hesitated to do something new because I might look foolish.  Often, I did look silly, uncoordinated or clumsy.

It’s okay to look like a fool sometimes.  It means we’re growing and learning. I took a writing course since I love books and stories and I’ve always wanted to create some of my own.  I never did any more writing after that course.  It overwhelmed with the big bad world of publishing.

I learned publishing was too intense for me right now.  But I did learn others things; punctuation, sentence structure, and other useful tips that I can use in anything I write.  I learned that I may need to tweak that dream a little to make workable for me. So even though I see the course as a failure, I did learn.

I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.
Thomas A. Edison


A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.
Albert Einstein

We’re always going to stumble and falter when we try something new.  We’ll feel uncertain and nervous, ungraceful and fumbling.  But our investigations will teach us, sometimes leading us in new, exciting directions.  It’s an adventure worth having.  So if you’re in doubt – go ahead and do it anyway.

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Surprised monkey

Why is fear so powerful and convincing? When we see or hear something that pushes our primal fears; of not having enough shelter, food, or good health, our fear center takes us over and we become powerless.

Suddenly we start to listen once again to that false voice of self-criticism inside us.  The ones that tells us we’re not enough; not smart enough, not successful enough, not dedicated enough, just not enough

Our fear can be over anything at all; fear we are not worthy of love, fear that we will never achieve our dreams, fear of not enough money, or fear of dying.  Even when these fears are totally false, still we can fall victim to them.

I remember when I was around 26 and I started thinking about death.  This lead to an irrational fear – not of dying, but of suffering.  Suddenly I started imaging all the potential ways I could be being kidnapped, tortured, beaten or worse.  These worries would pop up when I was walking to the car alone, in the dark of night, or even in a crowded store with too many strangers.

But most of this fear is irrational. It comes from our “old brain,” the one that said “Run before you’re trampled to death!” and “Look out for that snake!”  We don’t need these adrenaline-filled warnings anymore, yet our bodies are still primed to produce them.

Too much fear rewires the brain.  When we worry too much, our brains slips into a pattern, like a groove on a record, that’s hard to break out of. And since we are often surrounded by bad news – murders, disasters, illness and problems abound in the nightly news, it’s easy to believe the world is a scary place.

So what is the opposite of fear?  Joy!  Happiness, fun, laughter and love. But how do we break away from fear and into the bright light of smiles and peace?  There is no easy answer, but here are a few ideas that seem to work best for me:

1.  Distraction. One great way to get rid of fear is to distract your mind with another activity.  It could be doing the dishes, making dinner, solving a puzzle or walking the dog.  You could listen to some music, watch TV, or read a book.  Often just taking your mind off your worries for a while will help you see them in a more realistic light and this will banish the baseless fears easily.

2.  More fear. While this may sound strange, it works for me.  For instance, I love to watch horror movies, read scary books, or even try something new like white-water rafting that I am somewhat afraid of.  The over-the-top fears in the horror movies help to give perspective to my own fears – real or imagined.  Doing something I am afraid of, like navigating a rushing river in just a raft full of air builds confidence, and that too helps get rid of fears of being unworthy or no good.

3.  Building happiness skills. This one is harder and not effective in the short run, but provides greater benefits over the long haul.  Building happiness skills, like gratitude, optimism, stress relievers and other techniques help me to find the good things in my life and build on them.  Finding new ways to laugh, recognizing blessings I have overlooked, like having good health or reliable transportation help me to relax and feel more secure about my life.

4.  Attack them. Sometimes the only way to get rid of fear is to attack it head-on.  Since much of what we fear will never come to pass, this is often an effective technique.  Take a piece of paper, and write down what is bothering you.  Then list 5 steps you can take to do something about it.  Even if you can not start them right away, simply having a plan can bring peace of mind.  Seeing things in black and white also takes away the power of our imagination, and we find that we are well prepared to solve our own problems.

5.  Get reinforcements. Fear does not survive well in groups.  It thrives in loneliness and isolation.  When fear is overtaking you, get help.  It can be friends, family, a counselor, or a support group.  It could even be a blog where you give the help to others that you thought you needed yourself.  Other people can find the flaws in fear’s logic and blow a hole through it so big that it can’t survive.

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