It all started when my husband (gently) called me out.
“You're scared and nervous about everything."
(not what I wanted to hear)
“Name the last time you weren’t afraid and nervous about the first time you did something.”
(Several long moments went by.)
I hated that he was right.
Fear. It’s been a recurring problem for me for my whole life.
Why was I so scared of everything? Of everyone?
As it usually goes, awareness is the first step to lasting change.
That conversation back in January was a catalyst to dig deeper into an incredibly natural and totally common, not at all special quality that adults share : letting fear keep us in the good enough category.
You know the one - where we’re not totally satisfied with our jobs and our boss kinda sucks but hey it’s a paycheck and it isn’t terrible.
...where we’re not really happy in a relationship – maybe with a significant other, maybe a friendship – but again, it isn’t terrible. Sure, it may lack depth. or maybe there’s a noticeable lack of passion and enthusiasm, but no one wants to acknowledge the giant elephant in the room and say anything out loud.
And so years go by. Sometimes decades.
Fear keeps us from following our heart into the territory of
“I’m scared shitless but have never felt more alive.”
Fear keeps us within a comfort zone, within a predictable radius, within a set of expectations.
Our subconscious tells us if we don’t rock the boat too much, if we don’t stray too far, that we’ll be “safe”.
Safety is a fallacy.
Here's the thing, though. There is no such thing as safe. I read recently about an acquaintance who lost her husband. He was struck and killed by a drunk driver while at work.
She’s left behind with a 7 year old.
I don’t look at stories like theirs and take away “Something bad can happen at any moment!”
on the contrary.
I look at tragedies like this and think “Holy crap. Life is so precious and short. What am I doing with mine?”
The reason I started writing about fear was to change my own behaviors.
Once I began talking about my fear, I realized how normal those fears are.
I thought that by having more conversations about fear with others, maybe I'd learn how to not be such a scaredy cat myself.
Maybe I could get comfortable with getting uncomfortable.
I don’t want to be a scared mom who holds back, nor do I want my daughter to grow up watching me be afraid of new things all the time.
I want her to live in a world where it’s okay to try, it’s okay to fail and it’s okay to be scared and do things anyway.
Life is so precious and short. What am I doing with mine? What are you doing with yours? Hit reply and let me know - let's get in the habit of supporting each other.
Here's to living a life unafraid!
Anne is also our official Container Collective photographer. So if you any of the photos on our website or social media pages- they are likely hers!