Learning to be a little less fearful

Sometimes I find myself in awe of the person that I am becoming. Little by little doing the things I once dreamed about. Progress is often slow and we rarely notice it’s happening until it’s already happened. Suddenly you’re doing all the things you’ve longed to do, slowly becoming the person that you want to be.

I’ve been an anxious person from quite a young age and it’s only now that I’m in my twenties that I’m really starting to tackle it. It’s been a long process of what they call ‘doing the work’. However, I now understand the anxious part of me much more than I used to and I know that it doesn’t have to dictate my life.

I know the type of person that I’d be without the constant fear and that is who I’m working towards becoming.

My anxiousness has led to a life of limitations but I’ve always wanted more than that. I’m now at a point where I know that more is possible. I’m free to live a fulfilled life.

From thoughts to actions

[bctt tweet=”I never really understood that it was me, blocking myself, standing in my own way.” username=”@wordsbygemm”]

Knowing what you want is pretty easy but putting that into action is a whole other ball game. In the past I’d use other people to ease my anxiousness. Having a familiar person with me in a new space always made things easier. I became reliant on other people and avoided things where I didn’t know anyone else even if it was what I really wanted to do. I once wrote something where I compared my reliance on people to a child and their comfort blanket. I actually got to the point where I’d even feel a sense of resentment towards the people that didn’t share my interests as it meant I ended up missing out. At the time I never really understood that it was me, blocking myself, standing in my own way.

So over the past 6+ months, in spite of fear, I’ve been doing things by myself. The joy it’s brought me along with the sense of freedom is like nothing I’ve experienced.

There’s a Ralph Waldo Emerson quote that goes:

[bctt tweet=”“…but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude.” ” username=”@wordsbygemm”]

It’s easy to be yourself in solitude, the challenge is maintaining when you go out into the world, especially when you’re trying to keep the fear at bay. There’s part of me that feels silly and a bit lame for being anxious but it’s an unhelpful judgement that adds no value so I’m learning not to feed it or believe it.

So, now I go places that I once could never have gone alone and I no longer need a ‘blanket’. To some this may seem completely insignificant, meaningless even but for me it’s progress. I’m learning how to overcome my anxieties.

Don’t get me wrong I still fidget with my hands and I still know exactly what panic feels like. But I can now settle that feeling of panic (or at least try to) and I’ve learnt to always remind myself that I’ll be okay.

This particular piece was written focusing on how I’ve learnt to overcome the issues I’ve always had with doing things alone. The anxieties I had came from things such as being self-conscious and feeling unsafe.

I challenged myself to a sort of exposure therapy where I put myself in situations I’d usually avoid. Initially it uncomfortable (and scary), I was walking right into the danger zone. The panic siren would go off in my head, my body would tense up, I’d get shallow breaths, I’d freeze or zone out etc.

But after it was over I was able to accept that I had made it through a ‘life and death’ situation. I also realised that maybe there was a little less to be fearful of than I once thought.

Further reading

31 habits of people with anxiety

Top 10 list of Feelings social anxiety causes

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