My intention when starting this blog was to produce a shift within myself. Each time I walk through fear I grow. Regardless of whether or not I succeed or fall on my face, I grow. Putting my thoughts down on paper and posting them for the world to see is terrifying.
My whole life I have been driven by the fear of what other people think of me. The risk of judgement when beginning down a path such as blogging is 100%. This is a practice of doing something for myself regardless of what other people think. It is an exercise in change.
When I created this site and posted my first blog last night I felt so exhilarated by the fact that I actually followed through and started something. Something that is my own, that I can do whatever I want with. I did not sleep all night as I was overcome by the possibilities of what I could create and I felt empowered. Empowered by finally taking action – an action that was different than anything I would have done in the past.
When I first got sober in 2006, one of the suggestions that was made to me was to do the opposite of what you would normally do. This made a lot of sense to me as every decision I had made prior to that time had led me to rehab. More than once. What’s interesting is that we forget those suggestions over time and as a result, fall into habits that are no longer working for us.
Sometimes life is so busy we don’t see that those habits are no longer working for us. We don’t see how unhappy we are and how much of life we are missing. That is what happened for me. I was so caught up in work, school, and being “busy” that I rarely spent much time on activities I truly enjoyed. I felt compelled to constantly be working or studying or being productive in some way.
I was unable to give myself permission to enjoy life.
I have always been motivated to do more. Compulsive really. I always felt there was something else I needed to accomplish and I could never wait to get started on that next semester of school or the next job I got. Yet nothing ever satisfied. There was always that underlying obsession of what to do next and how quickly could I get started on it. Never did I have the thought, – why don’t you take some time off, or travel to that place you always wanted to go.
The guilt would never let me. I believed I was not deserving.
There is a breaking point for everyone. A time will come that you finally let go. Living in surivial mode for years finally wore me down. The exhaustion set in and my old ideas about life and what I thought I needed to be ok were no longer working for me. It was time to make a change.
Drastic change often requires drastic action.
My old habits looked like hiding behing work and being “busy” so that I did not have to participate in real friendships or life outside of what was necessary. I was talented in creating scenarios that allowed me to say no to invitations whenever I chose. This allowed me to avoid uncomfortable situations anytime I wanted. I compulsively spent money trying to fix that broken thing inside me which, as we all know, only results in compounding the guilt and the shame.
I became isolated and imprisoned by fear. I became buried in debt, shame, and guilt.
My old habits kept me stuck and kept me sick. They allowed me to avoid accountability. They allowed me to manifest my self-fulfilling prophecies of being busier than everyone else – as if I’m a victim of some sort – yet I created the situation. They allowed me to hide so that could avoid being vulnerable or judged by others.
I created an unhappy and unfulfilling life all because of fear.
It’s astonishing what fear can do and how insidious it can be. The justifications for the lies we tell ourselves are deeply rooted and we protect them ferociously. Even though we can identify these fears we still seem to stay caught in the patterns of behavior that occur as a result. The outcome is that others are dictating how we live our lives. I am through with being stuck in the same old pattern that never works for me. .
I will no longer let others dictate how I feel or how I live my life.
The only way I have successfully made changes in my life is to walk through fear with faith and commitment. To remain aware of my motives and reasons for the actions that I take. With action, I feel empowered. The empowerment creates momentum and strength. With that momemtum and strength I will grow.
I can break free of what no longer works for me and embrace something new. So long as I remain willing.
Drastic changes often require drastic action. What is that one fear your gut keeps telling you to face? What is the worst thing that could happen if you do? What is the worst thing that could happen if you don’t?