I’ve got something I’ve been meaning to share with you for sometime now. It’s taken me awhile because I’ve been dealing with a little something I call the ‘fear freeze response’. I’ve just started trying out how it feels to record a couple of video blogs! My fear response has kicked in big time.
My little tango dance with this thing called fear
Eeek!…I have now opened up my own youtube channel and started a couple of video blogs. I’m really not sure how I’m going to pull this off, as I’m more of a writer than a talker. Every time I sit down to do one, I cringe with fear…but I’m learning to feel the fear and do it anyway.
Each month I am evolving, growing and learning. I’m discovering new things everyday and weaving this into the tapestry of my own life, into my own personal philosophies and into my role as a multidimensional health and wellbeing practitioner. I’ve been thinking I should try and put some of these things that I have been learning into some brief videos. I’m facing my fear. It’s a hard one for me. But I’m doing it anyway. Just before I ‘press publish’ I do a fierce and intimate dance with this inner voice of doubt and fear. Sometime I press publish, sometime I don’t.
I always find it tricky (and extremely nerve racking) to talk in front of people, to be on screen, or god forbid talk about myself or what I do in front of people. I’m an inherently shy person, growing up with a lot of fears and worries as a child, and struggling with a deep profound feeling of inner terror about being seen, being judged and being in the spotlight.
But something deep inside me always tugs on my heart strings and taps me on my shoulder and says, ‘suck it up Jess’, and ‘do it anyway’. Even during my years of high school I was a sucker for punishment. When I look back at how I pushed myself, and stepped out of my comfort zones time and time again, I really don’t know how I did it. But, I realise now it is because I cared. I cared deeply about the stuff that mattered most, and I wanted to make a difference, even as a young teenager.
In my high school years I found my voice and wanted to share what truly mattered to me with my peers and those around me, even if it left me shaking in my boots. I signed up to the debating team, was elected to President of the Student Rep Counsel for three years running, volunteered for many community service projects, and went on to become school captain in my final year of high school. Whenever I had to get up and do a speech in front of everyone, I would appear confident and strong on the outside but shaking like a leaf on the inside. Sometimes I would get so nervous before a big talking event, I would go vomit in the toilet just before I had to go on stage. It had always been this way for me, for as long as I can remember.
But, I’m getting bored. I’m tiring of the wrestle, tiring of the tug of war with my fear stories, and sick of the constant dance I have with this thing called fear. I’m ready to make friends and put this boring old scratched record to bed.
Each time I set up my camera, set up my environment, and sit down to share my message, I have a little freak out moment. A moment where my mind takes over and I think…what the f*ck am I doing? Who is going to watch this? What the hell am I going to say? and my good ol’ favourite…Who really cares anyway?
And the questions continue…What if I completely stuff it up? What if its not perfect (it’s never perfect, so I don’t even know why this question even comes up…but I still ask it). It’s the same old scratched record, and I’m getting bored of the tune.
Whenever I get the opportunity to find my voice and share my message my mind says a resounding ‘nooooo’ and tries to bring everything to a grinding halt. But my heart says “Yesssss, share your self, push away those fears, wrestle that inner panic to the ground, hide your anxieties, share your learnings and JUST FREAKIN DO IT!” I take a deep breath in, swear under my breath and I turn the record button to on mode. As soon as I begin, I start to relax, I find my groove and I talk. It flows, not perfectly, but it flows.
I struggle with exposure and recoil about being in the spotlight
Being on camera is not easy for me. I cringe every time. I struggle with exposure and recoil about being in the spotlight. Even in the safety of my own lounge room with not another soul in sight, I feel sick every time I get in front of the camera to share a blog. So, why do I do it? Why do I put myself through this torture and fear and squeamish uncomfortableness? Because, I care. Because I have soul that wants to share, wants to serve, wants to make a difference, wants to dance to its own tune and wants to give more. I have a message that resides deep from within, and it’s just hankering to come out. My mind and body aren’t quite as cooperative to the cause, but I’m working on this.
Lately I’ve been reading a lot about courage. Courage to live your dreams, courage to follow your heart, courage to be the person you want to be, courage to step out and step up to your creative desires and heartfelt aspirations. Books have been showing up for me…falling off shelves, handed to me by random people, and making themselves known in all sorts of uncanny ways. Maybe the Universe is trying to tell me something…??
For me, I use to think that courage was about hiding your fears, putting on a brave face and surging ahead against the waves of terror and messy confusion of panic. I use to think courage was about pushing away the fearful thoughts and anxieties, wrestling them to the ground until they gave up, and detesting them like they were your own worst enemy.
I use to think fear was something to be ashamed of, something to hide, something to cover up like an erupting pimple on the end of your nose. But, this, apparently, is not the case. This, apparently, is a sure fire recipe for disaster, for burn out, for self-implosion, for self-aversion and for an exhausting and extremely bumpy ride to living a tiring miserable life and self-sabotaging your dreams. It’s time to change these old subconscious records and find a different way to live out our soul’s desires.
I am learning a new relationship with fear.
Fear, my friends, is something to cherish and to LOVE like your new best friend. To take along this wild ride with you, to embrace, to hold dear, and to thank and kiss on the forehead like it was your guardian angel or your fairy god mother who just showed up. I know. It sounds counter-intuitive, but its the Truth.
Fear is your constant companion, your inbuilt messenger system, like a friendly air hostess ‘safety talk’ playing in the background of your mind. It’s your warning light, it keeps you safe, out of harms way, and it may even save your life one day. It’s time to honour this gift, this messenger angel in your life. There is no need to wrestle with it, to hide it, to be ashamed of it or to resist it anymore. What we resist, only persists, and grows stronger. Let fear be there, and let fear ‘just be’.
Fear is your new best friend on this wild ride called LIFE. It’s time to embrace your right-hand angel, and honour its sacred gift. The only rules are, it’s not allowed to sit in the driver’s seat, it’s not allowed to drive the bus. It’s not even allowed to hold the map or toggle with the radio station dials.
Fear may give you some gentle nudges, and guiding messages to do something or to not to do something, but YOU have the choice of whether to listen to it or not, or turn the volume down.
Number one rule with fear is, that YOU are always the driver of the vehicle, and YOU have control of the switches and dials, and the volume button. Sometimes we might just need to kindly thank it and say, “you know what, thank you, but I’ve got this”.
Fear is merely a beautiful passenger, coming along for the ride, JUST IN CASE you need a helping hand to keep you out of harm’s way. But, it’s not the boss. You are.
This, I am still learning. I’m guessing this might take a little more practise to master.
Wishing you a beautiful reshuffling of your relationship with fear. Embrace your fear angels, listen to their messages, but don’t let them sit in the driver’s seat. This is only reserved for you.