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Posts Tagged ‘Fear’

Quote of the Week

“The best way to gain self-confidence is to do what you are afraid to do.” ~ Author Unknown

*This is my mom, completely terrified…but doing it anyway! Way to go mom!!!*

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As part of my March Happiness Project to build friendships I had joined a book club for women ages 25-40. I stated in my posts that I really wanted to meet new friends my own age, more specifically, women my age. I have always had incredible friendships with men but I have felt this need to balance things out with a few close female friends. I thought I really wanted a good girlfriend to laugh with, do girly things with and have that deep girlfriend bond that I idolize in all the movies and tv shows I watch. 

Last night was the first book club meeting I was available to attend and I absolutely did not want to go. Not only was my body showing signs of nervousness and fear but I also felt a little angry. Now that the day had arrived, I was mad that I was committed to going. You must understand that the fear and anxiety is normal for me; I don’t like going to new places I’ve never been before, especially when it’s downtown (parallel parking – eek!) and it’s to meet new people. The anger, however, was definitely something I’ve never felt before. If it was simply the fear holding me back, I would have forced myself to go, knowing that I probably would have had a great time but instead I bailed. I gave into my fears and stayed home. 

After feeling bad about myself for giving into my fears, I started to wonder if there was more to it. Surely if it was just nerves I could have gotten over it but this anger towards this meetup was really weird. Why was I so angry for committing to this? I wanted to make new friends, didn’t I? 

The more I thought about it, the more I realized that I was angry at these women – these strangers I had never met. All my old preconceived notions about women my age came back to me. They are mean and catty and manipulative, right? Ever since the sixth grade, I have been picked on, ostracized, ignored, bullied and generally treated badly by girls. Even now, at age 28, I still have major issues with girls and their cattiness. In my experience, girls are generally not supportive and encouraging of your successes, if anything, they want to see you fail so that they can feel better about themselves and that is definitely not the kind of friendship I want. Every time I reach out to another female, I am stabbed in the back, treated poorly or thrown away like yesterdays garbage. I know that not all girls will be like this but I’ve gotten to the point, from my experiences, that I am jaded and distrustful. Frankly, I have been programmed to believe this about other girls, even if they are sweet and sincere. And this book club, with 17 women my age, scared the crap out of me! 

So why did I think I wanted to have girlfriends? Why did I join this group in the first place? Introduce preconceived notion #2 – I should have girlfriends. Some part of me thinks that it’s the right thing to do. It’s just not customary or “normal” to have all male friends. It doesn’t help that this point of view is supported by others in my life (my husband, my mom etc) plus the media certainly portrays “hanging with your girlfriends” as the ideal lifestyle. But is this belief correct? Do I really need girlfriends?  

Honestly, I don’t think I do. I believe this deep impulse to have that connection with girls my age has nothing to do with needing a friendship. I have a lot of great friends, even if they are male. I don’t miss out on any “girly” things either; my mom is eager to do a lot of crazy things with me and my best friend is more than happy to go with me to see a musical, go shopping or do any other girl-related things I’d want to do. The connection I have with my friends is also amazing; I’m definitely not missing anything there. I can talk about whatever is on my mind, even if it is girl-related, and my friends are there to listen, offer advice or just offer a sympathetic shoulder to cry on. So no, I do not think I really need a girlfriend at all. I’m doing just fine with the male friends I have.

So where do I go from here? First of all, I need to just let go of all the current beliefs and fears I have and just go with the flow. I cannot let the past dictate my future nor can I hunt for something that I really don’t necessarily need. I can’t restrict myself to male-only friendships in hopes of staying safe and comfortable but I also can’t go out there specifically pursuing only female friendships either. I need to just take it one day at a time, involve myself in the activities that I enjoy and see where life takes me.

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I recently read a fabulous post on Tiny Buddha submitted by Anastasiya Goers. I’ve been talking a lot about fears lately and this is most definitely one of the biggest fears I’m dealing with right now. This post was very inspiring and made me quite happy so I naturally wanted to share it with you!

Anastasiya says that if you want to be truly successful in life then you have to learn to believe in yourself. She offers the following tips to get over the fear of being successful and start thriving.

1. Be positive.

Negative thoughts are like MiracleGrow for fear and self-doubt. Stay away from negative people and you will decrease the amount of negativity in your life at least by half.

Practice daily gratitude, write down all the positive events in your life, practice mindfulness and you will notice how your negative attitude will start melting away. 

2. Continually remind yourself that you are part of something larger than you.

Fear often has to do with worrying about uncertainty, feeling out of control, and wondering what your life’s purpose is. When you realize you are part of a bigger picture, even if you don’t fully understand what that is, it’s easier to ascertain that you both deserve and need to be successful and happy. 

You do the right things, you help people around you, you make being a good person a priority, and you know that this isn’t just about you—it’s also about the bigger picture that you’re part of. These thoughts always give me the courage to try something new and believe that my life is successful because of the doing, not the outcome. 

3. Take time to find your authenticity.

Do you have a lot on you? I’m sure you do, and I know that you are doing your best at doing what you have to do. But do you know who you are? Do you know what makes you happy? Do you know your passions? 

Do you take time to reflect on your life and figure out your purpose in this world? Unfortunately, most of us get so caught up in responsibilities and goals that we forget to enjoy our lives. 

No matter how busy you are, you must make time for yourself. It can be just 10 minutes a day, but this time must belong to you. If you give yourself the luxury of free time then you will notice that the rest of your responsibilities will get easier. 

You will be a better parent. You will be able to come up with creative ideas at work (and finally get that promotion.) You will be able to take better care of your health. You will reduce your stress and experience the joy of living. 

4. Create your success library.

Sometimes when we lose trust in ourselves we just need a little bit of inspiration to push us in the right direction. There are plenty of ways to find inspiration, but we forget about them when we need them the most. 

Create a library of quotes, save articles and success stories that have inspired you, create a library of inspiring movies and videos, or create an album of your fun and happy memories. Turn to this library whenever you have self doubts. 

5. Learn.

People are always scared of what they don’t know. My first job was in a web development company. I was scared to death during my first day at work because I didn’t know anything about web and blogs and the words CSS and PHP seemed like medical terms for lethal diseases. I was forced to learn about everything and now I feel absolutely at ease online. 

If you have a fear of something you just have to educate yourself about it. It is like walking into a dark room. At first you feel scared and don’t know what to expect but once you turn the light on, everything gets clear and simple. 

6. Live in balance.

No matter how important success might seem to you, it is still important to follow it with balance; otherwise your journey towards success will turn into an obsession that will ruin everything that you truly love in life. 

Success is not a destination. It’s a journey, and it’s important that we take each step feeling grounded and balanced. Spend time with your loved ones, enjoy your hobby or follow your passion, take care of your health and grow spiritually. This is the meaning of true success, the one that you can achieve only in balance.

I think that you are able to be successful. It is your right and purpose in life to be successful in whatever you are doing. If you believe in that then nothing will ever stop you from living a balanced and joyous life.

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The Land of Fear

The Land of Fear is a very scary place indeed! It is the place that holds you back from fulfilling your dreams and doing everything you want. When existing in the Land of Fear you may experience any or all of the following symptoms: procrastination, excuses, indecision, uncertainty, hesitancy, self-doubt, insecurities, feeling unworthy, and guilt.

How do we get out of the Land of Fear? You need to pick yourself up and walk through it one step at a time. The fear of failure can immobilizes you. To overcome this fear, you must act now! Even if it’s just a baby step, one small action, you must be brave and just do it!

What happens if you fail? You simply try something different. You cannot just give up after the first try, or the second. You must keep persisting until you reach your goals. Failing on your first attempt does not mean that you personally are a failure; it just means that the action you tried wasn’t the right one.

If you’re not getting the results you want, then you must do something different; but first evaluate your previous action item and figure out why it failed. If you cannot learn from your past mistakes you are likely to make them again and again. Take the time to find out what went wrong and how it happened. Figure out what could have been done to change the outcome and decide what you can do better the next time.

Once you understand what went wrong and you have a better idea on how to succeed, simply try again. Don’t lose your momentum. Just go for it! The faster you move, the quicker you can get all the mistakes out of the way and the sooner you’ll be living the life of your dreams.

The Land of the Fear doesn’t have to cripple you. We all make mistakes; it’s a part of learning and being human. Study them, appreciate the experience and continue moving forward.

What would you do if you could overcome your fears?

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