Vision, Art & Faith meet Fear
I once heard that fear stands for False. Evidence. Appearing. Real. It's just a flow of negative thoughts and stories that swirl around in our minds incessantly. A once very useful survival mechanism during our cavemen years has remained yet shifted in form. We are no longer afraid of getting eaten my tigers while in search for food (well most of us aren't) instead we're afraid of not having enough money, going after our dreams, being accepted by others, etc. But just when we've resolved to do something about it, this frenemy shows up and convinces us that the risks are way worse than the gains. So what do we do? runaway, nothing, or worse...
At least that's what I do. This delayed form of inaction is the worst because is a gap between the certainty and uncertainty of a task. You are certain about what needs to get done but uncertain about the how and that is what freaks me out. I'll know that a task has to get done and put it off a long as possible because I just don't want to deal with the weight or suffering of getting the task done. The suffering is really just a made up story with false evidence to back it up, but I've realized that the longer it sits in my mind, the more space it takes up in my thoughts and the more anxiety I feel. Pretty soon, it affects my mood and ability to focus or do anything else. It just sits there taunting me. And when I do finally sit down and say... fill out that form it ends up being easy peasy and took me only one-fifth of the time.
So what was I really afraid of? Well, within all the made up stories surrounding the task at hand I just knew that it was going to be too hard, too complicated or too this or too that. Fear is a real Picasso in this particular domain. It's so creative and persuasive that our emotions get wound up in it and we get paralyzed with fear leading us to push away that which we desire most.
Don't let fear shut you down, Let it wake you up.
I came to the realization of my response to fear a couple of years ago. I was thrown into new situations in Belgium, language-wise, work-wise, business-wise and it led to some pretty new and therefore uncomfortable experiences. I wouldn't speak a lick of French for fear that I wouldn't be able to follow conversation or I would procrastinate when my accountant requested something of me just to name a couple examples. Fear made me believe that everything is so hard and that maybe I'm not cut out for all the new stuff coming my way, which in turn changed to a lack of trust in myself. And anytime I got the balls to push past the fear, it would turn around and psyche me out.
I've now gotten so used to observing the fear and asking it questions that I allow it be but I don't let it take over. I've noticed that I have a fear of tasks or situations that seem like too much to do or take care of. Fear convinces me that I shouldn't do it, or if it's a task I know has to be completed I procrastinate because for some reason it seems better that way. But the longer I wait the worse the fear sets it. It takes over my mind to the point that I can't think of anything else. So as I'm doing one thing, that task is sitting in the corner of my mind taunting me.
Since becoming the observer of this fear I've learned that if I just sit down and allow space for it to happen, it will often be easier than I imagined it to be. Even if I can't see the result of how I'll get through, its in the present moments of completing it that tell me exactly what I need to do and how to do it. This process of letting go and just being authentic through the completion of the task keeps me rooted and confident in my abilities to see it through. So if I hit a rough patch, I can be honest about how to solve it, by recognizing my limitations and then choose to seek help outside my self because that's okay too. Overcoming my fears may feel like a Briana thing but there are some many people in my life who are there to help me if I need them and no amount of procrastination or fear can take that away from me.
Thanks for reading,
And Remember to Always have Faith, Keep a vision, and make art in everything that you do.