What if one of the most effective things you could do was to take the risk to share your fears with another person? This kind of action may bring you relief and closure. Ask yourself about the processes you have gone through to reveal what is eating you. How can this enable you to grow?
As a child, I recall the fear I felt about the impact of one of my first cassette tapes. It was the soundtrack from the musical Grease. I was just at the phase where I was hearing curse words. The energy and excitement of this music caused me to blurt out forbidden words. It gave me goose-bumps, at the same time as made me feel guilty about things I didn’t think I should say. When I invited a girlfriend over, we played the music and she was just as affected by the intensity of the lyrics as I was. She enabled me to feel better about expressing these things. She also encouraged me to remember a time and a place for everything. I sensed a kind of relief, as well as accepted my impulsive self as I was.
At age 12, I recall the fear of going out for the school basketball team. It was a personal dare of sorts and a peer pressure stunt. At the time, I knew very little about this game. I didn’t feel comfortable telling anyone about my fears since I didn’t wish to be “a wimp.” I joined the other girls who prepped for tryouts. When the coach asked us all to perform a ‘lay-up,’ I actually didn’t know what that was. So, I watched the girls ahead of me and gathered the courage to do the best I could. As it turned out, I didn’t exactly make a fool of myself. Yet, I didn’t make the cut either. I stood my ground. The rest was worth it.
During high school, I recall a fear about making a trial for the cross country running team. At the time, a guy I liked was trying out and his presence motivated me to give it a go. Although I had ice skated, I had never run before. A spark of doubt in my mind nearly caused me to reconsider, telling me I wasn’t capable. Luckily, a stronger side of me was more determined. I decided I could run with the best of them. Although that guy decided not to join, I did. Running became like meditation for me. I learned value in being alone with myself. Admittedly, I certainly didn’t win many races, but my peers voted me “most valuable team player” for other team contributions. To connect with people became a way to stop and take note of what mattered. You might say running pursuits led me to embrace other life challenges and I stretched more than my hamstrings.
As I got older, I have experienced fear in regard to moving to different countries and adapting to my surroundings. Funny, it is precisely deep feelings of discomfort that have prompted me to embrace the benefits of transitions. Why not open new doors and redefine meaning and satisfaction in life? I’ve learned denial of some opportunities isn’t necessarily negative. Each time I identify a sense of rejection, I re-orient and take a risk to define other pursuits which may be better for me. Or, I rethink how I see where I am.