I sing my song of words written alone in my bedroom.
I tentatively walk down the stairs ready to share my words with anyone who will listen. As I reach the bottom, my voice seizes, my heart skips a beat and I freeze. I cannot do it. I cannot do that which I desire so much to do. I am paralyzed in fear of judgment, disapproval, failure.
Formica covered the counters in the kitchen in which I stood, frozen in my own mind’s creation. I was a child of the 70’s. I was a conglomerate of two very different parents living in a time where a child’s voice was nothing more than a confirmation of procreation.
Years later I walk down the street, silently judging the girl with the frivolous hat on. She is only seeking attention wearing such a hat. I would never wear that hat.
Then it dawns on me.
I made an unwarranted judgment. My judgment was really a reflection of my fear. Not fear that really has anything to do with this girl, but of my own personal fear of self-expression. In my mind, I find fault with this girl when really I feel threatened by her comfort in self-expression, which in some way is an attack on my inability to self-express.
What is this fear thing and who invented it? I mean come on, none of us want it in our lives so let’s all join together, tie it up, and throw it to the sharks.
Fear is part of our self-preservation. We’re supposed to know fear so we can protect ourselves from the jaw crushing teeth of said shark. Imagine Jaws leaping up out of the water, inches away from you and having no fear, no inclination to back away to flee the jaws of death.
Fear is our ego’s way of protecting us from dangers, both seen and unseen. But what are all those fears we experience that aren’t for self-protection?
The sub fears are what I like to call them:
-fear of being disliked
-fear of not having enough money
-fear of not being the “right” weight
-fear of not being good enough
-fear of failure
-fear of not being loved
Fear plays like movies in our mind.
Scene 1 : The people are sitting at their kitchen tables with a cup of coffee in their hands, laughing at us, insulting us, threatening our self-worth.
Scene 2: There is a poster advertising a luxurious vacation, a vacation we will never be able to enjoy. We don’t even know where the money will come from to pay current bills.
Scene 3: We reach up to touch the top of our head where there is a mild ache. There is a twitch in our gut. It must be cancer.
Fear sticks with us like the formica on the kitchen counter. We must rip it free and rebuild a life with beliefs stronger than our fear. We must change our beliefs in order to change our lives.
How do we eradicate unnecessary fear?
1. By becoming conscious of our thoughts.
This is an act of Mindfulness. Start to notice the thoughts that visit your day-to-day activities. What are your thoughts surrounding your job, relationships, money, love, etc.?
2. Acknowledgement of the specific fear.
This step sounds easier than it actually is. Much of what we do is based around fear, but we don’t see it as fear. Everyone has fears individual to them. You must first become conscious of your thoughts (up above). If they stem from a negative thought, that is the first indication that thought is based in fear.
It is now time to accept thoughts and fears for what they are. Please don’t use this as a chance to beat yourself up. You are doing exactly what your mind has directed you to do. Just by acknowledging your thoughts and fears you have already come far.
4. Changing fear-based thoughts to love and positivity.
Now that you are conscious of your thoughts and can acknowledge and accept them, use your powers to re-define these thoughts. See the power your thoughts have when turned toward love.
I walk on stage, hundreds of strange eyes look up to me. They have the power to judge. I am conscious of this possibility. I am willing to see these thoughts as fear. I fear not being liked. I fear being laughed at.
I accept these feelings as natural to being human. I choose to love the strength I had to walk up on stage. I choose to see my desire and dream to sing. I find the energy of the audience below me sending me good vibrations. I open my mouth and sing the words I wrote so long ago.
Take a step in love and acceptance and watch fear fade away.
Author: Rebecca Mckown
Apprentice Editor: Melissa Scavetta / Editor: Renee Picard
Photo: Holly Lay via Flickr