When you’re a child, and you peer off into the night, the cool of the evening settled in your room, the curtains rustle, and you know that there is a monster in the corner. You know beyond a shadow of a doubt to your very core that this is the end, that monster is going to eat you and so you scream.
Then the light comes on. A parent stands in the doorway. You are coaxed out from under the covers, probably sniffing and have it revealed to you that there is nothing there. The imminent death you imagined is no longer. The fear lets go of your body, and you drift off to sleep comforted.
Being an adult can be the same sometimes.
I was afraid of being found out. Afraid people would discover that I was hiding this giant secret that I was, in fact, stupid. Imagine that. Not traditionally beautiful or good at anything much, the idea that I was also stupid was this quiet fear that lived in my chest.
My fear that I was stupid pushed me to prove myself. To myself mostly but to others as a way to keep it hidden. For it to stay private. I choose my path, committed to things and failed, in the same way, over and again all because my fear drove me. I would avoid situations and make choices based on that fear staying hidden.
But they never stay hidden for long. They can’t, not if that’s what you believe about yourself. If it is what you fear most, it has a funny way of showing up for you over and again. Over and over I found myself either looking stupid or hiding from being stupid… What a life. What life?
When I learnt to stop doing that, to ask for help when I needed it, to read for joy and learn for pleasure not to get somewhere or prove something, life changed. Everything from education, my ability to learn and the way I voice my opinion, even how I share on this blog, changed. I had the freedom to not know; to learn and make mistakes. Freedom to breathe and fail. That space was, simply, everything. The best.
Do I still look stupid sometimes? Sure. Do I feel stupid? Sure. But am I afraid that it’s something that identifies my entire self to the world? No, not at all.
When it’s all dark, and you’re alone your fears about yourself, feel big. They feel like maybe they are so big that we won’t get past them. Insurmountable and such. But fears can be broken down when you face them. When you turn on the light, gather your people to you and see what turns up with some clarity.
Fears disappear in conversation with those who don’t share the same fear as us, people who see clearly and can counsel you through. Beware though, two kids in a dark room filled to the brim with monsters are both afraid. Don’t surround yourself with people who share your fears and doubts. You might just find that your fear multiplies. In fact, I’d almost guarantee you that.
I challenge you today to stand and face those things you fear. Open your eyes and see them for what they are. Stories mostly, predictions of the worst case scenario.
What are you afraid of?
You don’t have to tell me here, but you can. Think about it for a minute and take my challenge to let it go. Too big? Maybe just loosen the reins a little.
Hi! I’m Melissa Walker Horn. Around here, they call me Suger. I’m the Chief Blogger and doer of all the things here at Suger Coat It. Blogging since 1901; I love a casual ootd, taking photos, and writing about things that irk or inspire me. I love wine and cheese, long days at the beach and spending time with my family. I make stuff for the internet over at Chalkboard Digital. You know, living the sweet life.
My biggest fear has always been a fear of failure. At the end of last year, when I was about to make the leap to work for myself, it reared its ugly head bigger than ever before. I’m lucky that I work in an environment where I was able to get the tools to help me work through it. And sure, it’s always kind of there, because we can never been fully inoculated against the feelings we feel, but I’m not failing. And even if I do, so what. I can dust myself off, and honestly say to myself ‘I gave it my best’ and move on.
You’re so right. It’s always there as a place we operate from if we don’t acknowledge it being there in the first place. You can fear failing and by extension success and what it might mean to you and those around you. I have a fear that if I was no longer ‘the same’ as those around me that they wouldn’t like me any more. That is the flip side and equally as dangerous. Thanks for sharing gorgeous. And allowing me an entry into talking more about me. Haha.
I’m scared of being alone. I know that’s crazy, I’m married, have a realitively large family who live locally and have a tight knit close of good friends that are like sisters to me. In actuality, I’m blessed when it comes to having loves ones around me. But a small part of me ‘worries’ I’m not cool enough or not fun enough to make people hang around for the long haul.
But really, the scariest thing about this confession is that I’ve never written it down before. I fear that people might know that I worry about losing them.
I’m so glad you shared this her Liv. I don’t know about the others, I’m going to assume they think like I do, but I’m in for the long haul, you’re one of my favourite people. Ever. Seriously. x
Oh lovely Liv, how could anyone NOT want to hang around for the long haul, you’re adorable, gorgeous and FUN and I get that through a screen, so I can only imagine how you are in real life sweetheart! xx
She’s exactly all those things. x
I guess one of my biggest fears with my mid 30’s here would be will I ever get the chance to be a mum before it’s too late. Or will my body and life not allow me to fulfill that need.
Oh Jade, I hear you on that one. x
Biggest fear crap even afraid of that question! But my first reaction was a fear of not being lovable! Stems from my major self love issues!
Ah yes. Most of us have some level of this fear. Unloveable has to be the most human of fears. And just quietly, I love you already for your bravery to share this with me. So there you go. x
You took the time to ask an honest question so I have you an honest answer!
Well I’m glad you did. x