"Why won't you say you are afraid, Toby..."
My therapist asked me this a couple of months ago and it sparked what have been some of the most monumental breakthroughs of a journey which started for me three Thanksgivings ago... talking to someone outside of my circle who's job it is... is to help me... understand me.
"Define fear, I asked her. Am I scared of whatever we might find out? Am I afraid of screwing up? Failing at a relationship? Work?"
That's when she got real with me, and I got real with myself.
"I think you are afraid to just be happy with now. You are afraid something else will come along that is better and that you might hurt someone's feelings because you might want to break this off and go after that. You are afraid to try something new because you feel like you are already really good at what you do, but why are you afraid to try something new..."
From that revelation... we jumped into fears. Fear of making a boss or a parent upset. Fear of hurting someone's feelings so I stayed in relationships or situations which should have ended. Fear of a process which seems overwhelming to me so I just choose not to do it, like buying a house. Fear that I might upset someone or that taking a break might cause a hindrance for people whom I want to know they can count on me... so I just choose not to take any time off.
When I read the article above, I was like YES... there are other people like me. This FEAR of.... this FOBO... it's real. I struggle with it every day... and I wrestle with it every day. Fear of speaking up about how I feel about this or that. Fear of saying what I REALLY think because it might be taken wrong or incorrectly by whomever. Afraid to do or say what I know based on experiences... life, work, as a parent... as a person.
I'm learning through my journey that FEAR is the root of all sorts of other issues. Depression. Anxiety. They all have a root. A basic feeling...
And the key to overcoming it... is not writing it off as irrational... No, the key to overcoming... is facing it. Taking it on. And owning it.
You know, like jumping off the side of a mountain... because you want to do so, and not because "work needs me to do it..." Not because "something better may come along..."
So now you know something about me that you may not have known. There are things I'm afraid of. Telling you about this is one of 'em... because I think it may not be as happy-go-lucky-free-wheeling as maybe I've wanted to seem on the surface. The truth is, yeah, I've got fears... and they've been the cause of a bunch of things which may have actually held me back in this life.
But now, I'm not afraid to face 'em anymore. And so begins the adventure of me overcoming... one step, one day, one choice, one conversation... at a time.
Thanks for being here. You are so important and knowing you are reading means the world to me...