I’ve written about this many times before. But it seems that every time I conquer this fear, it jumps up and bites me again. And each time I’m better at recognising it and acknowledging it and thanking it for trying to keep me safe. Thanks, but no thanks.
Because staying in the comfortable and familiar isn’t safe at all. It’s restricting and suppressing and stops you from feeling brave and free.
I shared a big post recently. I know it was big because I woke up at 6:30 with the urge to write it and I’m not a morning person. I know it was big because I sat on it for 2 weeks and I was scared to share it. I knew I had to share it because it’s always the stories that I’m most scared of sharing that always seem to have the biggest impact on others.
So what was I scared of?
I was scared of what other people would think of me. Not the strangers but the people who know me and love me and live in my town and see me at the supermarket.
I sent the story to some friends to read just to make sure I didn’t sound like a crazy person. (Does it REALLY matter if I sound like a crazy person? There are worse things I could be.) Of course they said I didn’t sound like a crazy person and it was a great story. So I posted it before I could think too much about it. That’s easier for me to do these days.
But once, not so much. Once I was so scared of what people would think of me that I didn’t do much at all. If I did do something, I agonised over it for ages. This conflict raged inside my head and my heart and my stomach. What would people think? How would it affect someone else? Would they be hurt? Would they think I’m an idiot? Who does she think she is?
And then one time I decided fuck that.
I asked myself is it worth hiding who I am and not doing anything I wanted to in case someone though badly of me? Was it worth keeping still and quiet and doing nothing so that people didn’t think I was weird or too loud or a bitch?
Did it really matter?
No it does not matter.
I’ll tell you right now, people hardly think about what you’re doing in that way. They’re so busy wrapped up in their own lives that they’re not thinking about you and what you’re doing for more than 5 minutes. And if they are spending more than 5 minutes obsessing about you in a negative way, that’s their problem not yours. They probably need to go take up a hobby or something.
Anyway, so I posted this blog and the next morning I woke up at 4am. I started panicking. What the hell did I just share? What are people going to think? What if they think I’m crazy, or worse, full of myself?
And then I thought Fuck That.
I was reminded of how important it is to be yourself and show up without fear of judgment when my friend sent me a message this week.
She cried reading my post (sorry for making you cry!) She said she’s suppressing so much. That she wants to be herself and like who she is, feel free and at peace. She felt she couldn’t do this because she was so scared of what her loved ones would think.
When I look at her I see this incredible, strong woman. She’s been through so many challenges, and in all that, I see her. She has this incredible strength and courage.
I’ve been there. I didn’t know who I was and I didn’t like who I thought I was. I was tired and confused and cranky. My life was wasting away before me, being this person I thought I had to be. I peeled back the layers and unbecame who I thought I was.
It brings peace and freedom and calm.