Facing Your Fears
Fear is defined as an unpleasant emotion caused by the threat of danger, pain or harm. Fear can manifest itself in many ways, some of us fear change, some of us fear relationships, some of us fear loss and loneliness, the list is endless yet fear is created by thoughts and thoughts alone.
I have lived most of my life in fear. Fear of failure, fear of being abandoned, fear of losing my job, fear of not having enough, fear of losing loved ones, fear of not being good enough, fear of other peoples opinions of me. I smile to myself as I sit here now writing these words because I realise that this fear was created by me and me alone.
One of my favourite quotes is this "Success can be found on the opposite side of your fears" - I have seen this quote blasted around social media for years now and it has always resonated with me. I felt uplifted if only for a moment! Now I have stepped past my fears I see and live the truth of this very quote in my every day life.
How so Jo? All of my life I have been what most would call co-dependent which is described as a behavioral condition in which one person enables another persons addictions, poor mental health, immaturity, irresponsibility, or under-achievement. Among these core characteristics of codependency is an excessive reliance on other people for approval and a sense of identity. In a nutshell I feared rejection from others in all walks of life and I was always out to please everyone else except me. I was drawn to people who would reinforce these behaviours and feed the victim within me. I was so engrossed in my own fears that I stopped living but didn't even realise this because the fear and subsequent behaviour became a way of life for me and I was blissfully unaware of the alternative.
I got myself to a place where I was so low and deflated that I had no choice but to face my fears and unfortunately this happens to the vast majority of us. In writing this I hope to enlighten others to face their fears sooner rather than later! In 2017 I walked away from my final unstable and emotionally abusive relationship. I was at my wits end and had been for some time but the fear of being alone and having to start over was more crippling somehow. Having spent many evenings sleeping on the couch being punished for talking to my friends or shaving my legs on a week day I finally found the courage to leave!
I packed a suitcase full of clothes, grabbed my beloved dog Bailey and off I trotted to my grans house where I unpacked all of my belongings in the spare room and set up camp! It was hard because I felt like a failure! Married for less than 3 months, nothing to show for my life (my step dads favourite saying for me!) and back in my grans spare room aged 38! well done Jo! but this is where my life truly started to take shape and this was the point where I truly started to face my fears. This is when I opened up to the universe and placed myself in a position to receive all that I desired.
In September some 6 months later I rented my own little house. I had a well paid job but in order to move into this house I had to pay a months rent up front £550, a bond £750 (because I had a dog), an admin fee £250 and pay for all new furniture as I walked away with nothing from my marriage. At this time I was frightened to death of money and not having enough so I did something completely out of the ordinary for me and applied for a visa card which I then loaded with £3.5 k in just 7 days later securing my new pad and furnishing the place top to bottom! I was petrified but I had made the decision that all would work out and it did! 3 months later I had cleared my card and was living peacefully on my own with my dog and for the first time in my life I wasn't frightened of being alone or fearful of being abandoned. I was confident and sure of myself, I found myself creating healthy boundaries and standing up for myself in a positive way. I was on fire in contrast to the person I had become only 12 months prior.
On June 16th 2018 I suffered a brain hemorrhage and died. I was brought back to life with a defib and went on to have major brain surgery. I left hospital 10 days later with nothing wrong with me! In the months that followed I fell into a deep depression and wow and behold all my fears came flooding back and I was lost and alone once more. I had a massive argument with my mum and step dad which resulted in the relationship being broken once more. I knew in my heart at this time that I wanted to heal and support others in their life journey but I was petrified of failing and let other peoples opinions and comments dictate my actions. To top things off my mum had given notice on my flat thinking I would need long term care so once again I found myself back at my grans in the spare room. The icing on the cake was me being made redundant from my job. What next universe!
Sat in my room feeling sorry for myself, mulling over my life, replaying all my failures, crying, swearing at the universe! I decided that I had one of two choices - let this be my lot, find a job to get by and start all over again OR go after what I wanted despite my fears, despite what people had said about my dreams (It's just a hobby you will never make a living! - If I was your age and had to show for myself what you have to show for yourself id be ashamed and embarrassed!) so I did just that. Another quote springs to mind here "If someone wants you to fit inside their box don't be afraid to shove that box up their arse!" - I secured a business loan, launched my website, found a part time job to support me and away I went! It hasn't been easy and I have had as many highs as I have lows but I definitely have not had any regrets. Well maybe just one!
So most recently I have been finding myself down in the dumps, why? Money! yes my business is growing but that isn't the issue. The issue was my part time job in the prison which I have disliked considerably since starting. I have met some lovely people but going to work twice a week in this place flattened me A LOT! I have stuck it out to the point of making myself miserable! Why? Because I have been frightened of letting go of that regular income in case my business doesn't quite go as planned! - Are there any indications that my business is failing? not in the slightest! It is the thoughts in my mind that have been fueling this fear and paralysing me into believing that I needed a part time job to support myself!
Today I gave notice on that job and I feel free for the first time since February! Can I see into the future and do I know my business will be a success? no I cannot and no I do not!! but here is the thing! I am happy and I am trying and I would rather try and fail than pass on my dreams and be miserable for the rest of my life, which, speaking from experience could come sooner than we think!
The moral of this post is that fear of any kind is created by our own thought processes. Granted we can be influenced by the behaviours of others but we do have a choice in how we react to any given person, situation or circumstance. Trust me when I say that what you are seeking is on the other side of your fears and seriously, don't be afraid to shove that conventional box up someones arse! You are not here to conform or to live a life any less than you desire but you do have to get out of your own way if you want to embrace who you are at core level, if you want to follow your passions and if you want to build your dreams.
The only way to face fear is to do what you are most afraid of doing! If you are in a job that you hate but stay out of fear of not having enough, leave! If you are in a relationship that doesn't satisfy you but are fearful of being alone, leave! If you have a dream but are frightened of pursuing it, pursue it! when you push past what you are most afraid of miracles start to happen. When I started my business I began with holistic therapies and life coaching, this quickly progressed to spiritual workshops, meditation groups and most recently a sound bath franchise with Sound As A Bell Ltd!
The day I stepped out of my comfort zone was the day my life took a turn for the better. Have my fears completely gone? Not at all but the way in which I handle them has! When I recognise fear I do the opposite of what fear would previously have made me do i.e. fear of finances quit the job I disliked! I would also like to add here that when you step past your fears avoid being rigid with your plans as the universe works in weird and wonderful ways. For example; I had made an offer on my own business premises and it was one hurdle after another and Instead of going with the flow I stuck to my plan and decided I would not start anything until my premises was secured! As it transpired I outgrew that business premises a long time before it would have been made available to me! and my stubbornness cost me a months delay in getting to work with my workshops!
Most of my life has been lived from a place of fear. I have stuck at jobs through fear of not being able to find one I enjoyed. I have stayed in unhealthy relationships through fear of being alone or being blamed for the breakup and feeling the need to defend my honour. I have been consumed by fear of what other people think about me which has caused me to maintain friendships that were damaging. I have remained quiet and submissive when under attack through fear of upsetting others. I have agreed with other peoples lies about me through fear of my own version of events not being believed! I have alienated myself, abused myself, tortured myself through fear of not being accepted for who I am. Fear is responsible for the lack you see and feel in your life but it's your own thoughts and subsequent actions that allow fear to exist in your life in the first place.
Step past your fears, let the magic flow into your life and believe in yourself because your happiness is all that matters!
Until next time ..... Jo x