I’ve been chatting quite a bit recently about fear and how it can massively hold you back in life. I know first hand how hard it can be to recognize how fear is holding you back in your own life so I’m hoping that by sharing one of my own biggest fears, how I recognized it, what I did to overcome it and how dramatically my life then changed, it might help you to do the same.
Let’s get down to it. So in my 36 years of life, the biggest and most restrictive fear I’ve ever had:
was that I would never have the life that I really wanted.
This was during my 20s/early 30s (or what I like to call my Quarter Life Crisis decade) that I lived totally and completely under the shadow of this fear. I was scared that I’d never meet ‘the one’, get married, have kids and the family life that I enjoyed growing up, find work I was passionate about and live with the sense of freedom that only exists when life just feels right.
I let this fear run my life.
I saw everyone around me all married up, doing all those adult things together that I wanted to do with someone, genuinely loving their work, where they lived and every aspect of their lives.
I was constantly wondering how they got everything they wanted and I had such an empty, meaningless life. What was wrong with me? Was I sick the day they taught some secret life lesson at school? I felt like I was waiting ever so patiently for my actual life to show up, but where the f@#$ was it already?????
I had a constant feeling of being some left out loser, looking in on the life I wanted but never actually getting it. These feelings of disappointment, frustration and confusion only made my fear worse and gave me sheer panic at the thought that what I had would be my life forever.
How I recognized it
Meeting life with the mindset I had only made things even worse. Life is a damn good teacher though and sent me someone who I was 100% convinced was my future husband.
FINALLY I thought it was my turn.
So when he totally disappeared on me 3 months later, I hit a really low point and was forced into taking a step back to really examine my approach to life.
Never was it so true that,
‘When the student is ready, the teacher appears.”
And life, along with about 100000 books, podcasts and conversations with epic people that just kept finding their way to me and popping up at the exact second I needed guidance or a particular question answered, helped me realize the error of my ways.
I had heard of all this mindfulness, woo-woo, manifestation, mumbo jumbo before but had always discounted it as crap and not for ‘normal’ people like me. At the low point of my Quarter Life Crisis I realized I could continue to live a life that felt like banging my head against a wall or I could finally listen to this rather insistent message I was getting, overhaul my mindset and live the life of my dreams.
What I did to overcome it
The biggest lesson I learned in the 6 months where I completely immerse myself in every bit of this mindfulness, woo-woo, manifestation, mumbo jumbo was acceptance, genuine acceptance of my life as it was.
This meant staring that fear that I would never have the life I really wanted square in the face and saying that I would be ok if that was the case.
I’d be ok if I never got married, I lived in my one bedroom apartment alone for the next 50 years, I worked in the same job and had the same life for all the years to come. I would be happy if all that happened.
This was HUGE for me.
I fought this tooth and nail. I got angry, frustrated, mad. I wanted to shove life right in the front teeth for making me do this.
And then I did it anyway.
I started oh so small. I wrote lists of gratitude for the stuff that happened that day. The sun, my apartment, someone smiling at me, my clothes, my friends, my family, the food I ate, the laughter I had, the people I worked with, the car I drove, the roads I drove on, the freedom I had, my computer, electricity, running water, pretty flowers I saw, a shady tree. You name it, I got grateful for it.
And slowly my mindset did change and I started to approach life with love, rather than fear.
Don’t get me wrong, I still had days where I was just plain mad that I had to learn this lesson, when everyone else seem to automatically get given what they wanted on a silver platter, no questions ask. But I persisted because I could now see the power this action could have to change my life. Not to mention the fact that I was genuinely starting to love my life as it was.
How my life changed as a result
I know it sounds all fanciful and like one of those stories you hear and don’t totally believe happens to normal people, but I am as normal as they come and by approaching my fear directly and with love, my life was totally transformed with only 6 months.
It started slowly but opportunities started to appear that had my jaw drop.
First, it was a guy I worked with who showed up in my office to tell me he was leaving and that I should apply for his job. I knew by this time to take such occurrences as a big old sign from somewhere, so applied. Obviously I was successful in getting the job and turned out I ABSOLUTELY loved it. 10 weeks into that job, the big boss pulled me aside and asked me if I want the even better (and higher paying!!) version of that job…ummmmm YES! I had scored my dream job.
I also threw myself into dating again (making sure I approached it all with my new found mindset of love, not fear) and BOOM, I met my now husband on a night out at a local bar. He also happened to be a farmer and 6 months after meeting him I moved to the country, leaving behind a city I wasn’t really loving living in. I’ve never felt more at home where we now live together with our two babies.
So yeah, my life now couldn’t be more different to the one I was living only 3 years ago. This stuff is EPIC and it works FAST.
If you’re looking for this kind of transformation, which PS is just as possible for you as it was for me, I’m no more special than you are, then take this post as a sign that now might be a good time for you to take a step back and look at the role that fear might be playing in your life and how it means you’re approaching life.
Oh and I’m happy to help you do just that if you’re interested! Let me know HERE.