I've known for a while that I have a fear of realizing my full potential/best self. It's something I've become truly aware of (and accept in order to overcome) in the last year, and have continued to explore and wonder about since. And up until a couple weeks ago, I thought that's as far as it went -- a fear of realizing my full potential, and finding out that maybe, it's not what I want it be. But it was short-sided and egotistical to think it was only that. To take it to an even deeper and further level, to the root of it all, I now realize that the real fear is in the act of trying, and discovering that perhaps I'm not enough -- good enough, smart enough, capable enough, or any of the amazing things I imagine I can be and do -- it's in the possibility of failure that my fear is found.
When I want something, I want it with a fierceness that can be surprising. When I put my mind to making something happen, I put all my energy into it, and give it everything I've got. So I suppose it's only natural to have a fear of trying for something I really want (ie. Being my best self or accomplishing everything that God has in mind for me, becoming a writer, making a living inspiring others, etc), and falling short. Or wanting something so much, and not attaining it.
I'll admit, I've been very blessed in life. I have grown up with a sense that anything I want, I can and will get. Not because that's how my parents treated my sister or I, but because I was always very active about making sure I got what I wanted. I'm a bit ashamed to admit that I have access to a fairly conniving mind, one I've taken advantage of on certain occasions. I would do what it took to get the result I wanted, to obtain what had caught my eye. But over the years, I've become more relaxed, less competitive, and through my maturing process, have lost a little bit of my fierceness and gaming way. The unexpected result of which is fear.
This fear has also become widely apparent in my life in relation to falling. I get incredibly nervous when I have to jump from a very short distance, because the probability of falling, I think, is very high. I always thought I had a fear of heights, but in reality, it's not the height that scares me, it's the chance of falling... of dying. This one is especially strange to me, because how many times have I fallen on my head while trying to do a handstand? How many times have I been hurt and survived? There are so many things I'd like to try, but am so scared of doing, because falling tends to be a big part of them.
So what's the source of these fears?
Where is it all stemming from?
And what's more, how can I overcome them?
These questions have been playing through me like a broken record on-and-off for the last months. I've overcome certain culturally-embedded fears by just saying a big "screw you" to it all and going for it (like moving to a foreign country by myself, hitchhiking, and other travel-related things), but there is a surmounting fear that keeps stopping me from doing and trying many things I'd really like to try, such as adventure sports and certain business ventures.
And then, a couple weeks ago, the answer came back to me:
I need to try more things, and make more mistakes in life. By screwing up, it makes me able to overcome my fears of not being _____ enough, of falling down, and, it also makes it easier for me to relate to more people and show sympathy in more situations.
For example: as a teacher, how many times have I made twice the amount of copies I needed for an activity, because I forgot it was a pair work activity, and just one copy was needed for each pair? More than I should have. So, when a coworker made the same mistake, instead of my thoughts going to "How wasteful can she be?" they directly turned into a vocalization of, "It happens," that was drenched in understanding instead of judgement. (Kind of a strange example, but it's the one that laid this all out to me the clearest at the time I wrote this down.)
There is a stronghold within my family of trying to be perfect. It's ludicrous, because, so long as we're human, which we are so long as we're inhabiting the Earth, is an impossibility. There is no one on the face of the planet, in any of the spheres who is perfect, aside from Christ. So why do we strive to be so, and be so hard on ourselves when we fall short?
I didn't write this post to try and solve the problem within it as I sometimes do, but mostly just to get it out there and share some of my "struggle" with you all. If you've got any ideas, I'd love to hear them! I'm currently doing some deep digging and exploring into my childhood and family ways to try and assess how/where these fears started. And, if you want to go sky diving with me, let me know! I figure one of the best ways to get over a fear of falling is by jumping (or being forced out, in my case) of an airplane! ;)
Hope that you're all having some good moments of introspection, and figuring out any strongholds and fears that are preventing you from maximizing your Earth Time! Sending my love and support to you, and wishing you an incredible week, full of positivity and growth!
Blessings, Love & Light from above