Addicted To Fear

I’ve been hearing two questions for a while now…

What do you want?

What’s stopping you?

I’ve spent my life trying to live up to everyone’s expectations.  If you asked me, ‘What do you want (to do)?’, my response would be something along the lines of, ‘Whatever you want (to do).’  I was sometimes called a ‘people pleaser’, but that never felt like it truly fit.  I’m starting to realize that doing and being what everyone else expected was completely based in fear.  I’ve been afraid that who I truly am is not good enough.  I thought that who everyone else expected me to be had to be better than who I really was.  I’ve thought that for a very long time – as long as I can remember.  Now, I’m 36, and I’m trying to strip away all of those expectations so I can see who I really am.  That’s the first answer to the first question – I want to be myself.  The answer to the second question – Fear.  There is still fear that who I really am is not good enough.

In so many areas of my life, I’m being asked, ‘What do you want?’  It is my first instinct to do what will make things easier for everyone else.  I tend to ask, ‘What do other people want/need?’  I tend to put myself last.  Sometimes, that’s a good quality, but sometimes the motivation behind it makes it a weakness.  I often put myself last because I don’t believe that I deserve what I want.

There are two main areas in which these questions and fears are showing themselves in pronounced ways.  One is work, and the other is relationships.  I won’t go into to detail, but I have a very strong desire in both areas, and fear is playing a big role in how I am responding to those desires.

I don’t believe I deserve what I want.  I am afraid to believe otherwise.  I’m afraid to hope.  I’m afraid to trust – myself or anyone else.  I’m afraid of being hurt.

I wonder what it would be like to not be driven by fear.  I actually fear what that might look like.  I am captivated by and, at times, addicted to fear.

I think that might be what ‘jumping in’ is about.  I don’t think that fear will just disappear, but I think the more that I ‘jump in’, the less fear will control me.  So I want to look for opportunities to ‘jump in’.  And maybe that starts with defining and expressing what I want and taking steps toward those things, realizing that it may not look like I expect.  And accepting that I don’t have to take on the expectations and judgments of others.

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