The fear I have when I’m doing anything new is just funny. It’s ridiculous. It’s hard for me to even believe. I used to avoid doing new things because of that fear. Now I look at that fear, acknowledge it and go forward in the things that feel right.
For example, the other day I got a massage. I get a massage once a week at Massage Envy and I got a massage with a therapist I never had before and I was afraid. I wasn’t terrified in the sense of I’m going to die afraid, but I had the same baseline fear just not as heartfelt. I had the fear that she wouldn’t do a good job, be rough. I was afraid that I would not like it and that she might talk during the whole experience. I was surprised to see how much of fear of this unknown was there.
That fear is normal for most of us in life that most people have a lot of fear of doing anything new. A lot of us keep doing the same thing over and over. Why do you think I keep using this same red curtain back here and wearing these same Disney shirts? I am afraid of trying a new color or trying new shirts or doing my hair different and having people not like them. Fear is a big part of our lives and what most of us do is not go there and stay away from things.
I got into the habit of trying to go into fearful situations to feel like I could conquer fear. The problem was I kept trying to conquer fear in places where fear was set up in a healthy way. The fear of getting your hand burned stops you from putting your hand on a stove. The fear of dying stops you from jumping out in front of a car and getting hit by it. The fear of being a bad husband or a bad wife will stop you from going around and messing with someone else. I know about that fear. The fear of being a bad parent will stop you from hurting your child. The fear of being a bad child will stop you from doing a lot of things. I had a big fear of being a bad child and I was a pretty good child because I was afraid of doing something bad. I was afraid of hurting my parents. I was afraid of doing things as a teenager like going out and drinking or not coming home from school. I was afraid of doing a lot of things normal teenagers do and being a bad child.
The problem is fear also pervades into anything new you try to do. You can numb yourself to fear. You can drink or you can get used to fear or you can get an adrenaline rush for going into fear. The normal reaction to new things seems to be to just avoid doing new things so you don’t have to face that fear. One of the most unproductive things is to have fears that stop me from doing anything new. Doing new things often will get you better results than what you’re doing now. When I was trying to quit drinking, one day I had to face how much fear I had about being a different person.
I finally had to see that I had more fear about being the person I had been than being a new person. I had a gigantic amount of fear of the unknown. If I didn’t deal with my problems by drinking, if I don’t numb the pain in my life with drinking, what was I going to do?
One of the first things I tried that worked well was getting a massage. I was looking at the liquor store I used to go to and looking at Massage Envy on the other side and realized I was terrified of going in both of them. I was afraid of the liquor store because I knew all the bad things that were likely to happen by going in there. I was afraid of the Massage Envy because I had no idea what went on in there. I was scared I had never been in a place to get a massage before and I was scared of being a new person. If I don’t go in the liquor store, who am I? I don’t know who I am anymore. I’ve lost myself if I don’t behave in a manner that’s predictable.
The idea I have of myself was knowable. I knew what I did in certain situations, I knew that when I felt in a lot of pain and frustration I would act out. After enough time of acting out I would go get a drink and then I would feel better. Since I was a teenager, that was all I knew how to do – act out when I didn’t like how things were. When I got into late teens I found out I could drink and things didn’t hurt so much. Then, when I would drink sometimes I would act out much worse.
If I don’t behave that way, who am I? I had this huge fear of being someone I don’t understand. I had this huge fear of being someone new. Of not being a known quantity to myself. When I walked in that Massage Envy the idea of me kind of died. When I walked in there I realized I don’t know who I am anymore. I could have this huge craving for a drink and walk in this Massage Envy instead. I don’t know what they do in there. It was nice and now I go every week.
I had that fear of being anything that I’ve been before or doing anything new that I haven’t done before. Even in playing a new video game I’m afraid to try a new weapon. I’m afraid to try a new character out because maybe I won’t play as well. I’m afraid of creating these videos or creating a new course on a subject that I don’t have any proof that I know how to do. I’m afraid to try all kinds of new things in life. That fear is usually unhealthy one. There are lots of illegal drugs I’m afraid to try and it’s healthy in that sense. For having a new massage therapist, that’s not a productive fear. That’s a fear that I want to look at and ask why is it there? I’m scared of the unknown.
I confronted that fear looking at the fear of death. Why am I so afraid of dying? I have to die at least in this body’s form. I feel I am an immortal spirit. I already have eternal life, I always have had it, always will have it. What is there to be afraid of about dying. It’s the change. It’s the idea of me going away. The I’m known, that I know who I am and that fading. That’s what’s scary about dying because from most accounts, there is no true death. Your spirit goes on so once you die and once the body dies, you go on watching something out. You watch your body die. That’s a frequent account of near death experiences: watching your own body go through death. Many of the people that have done that get pulled back into their body after their body is revived. That’s in the idea of all the fear we face that we don’t know exactly what’s going to happen.
It’s amazing to see how much we build our lives up so we never have to do anything new. We build our lives up so there’s nothing new. Everything is predictable, especially ourselves. We are in positions where we know exactly how we will behave. We know what we will do, we know what we will say. We’ve planned out exactly what we were going to say before hand. We’ve planned out the next thing we are going to say to make sure it was correct.
Today, I am grateful to have the chance to look at my fears and see whether that fear is helping me or hurting me. Usually that fear that’s been given to me out of love is a self-protective fear and protecting the idea of me. Protecting the idea of me is an unproductive fear.
For example, I was afraid when I got my Facebook page verified. I was afraid they would say no. I didn’t do it for at least a month because I was afraid Facebook would say no. Then they did say no because I didn’t do it right using the mentions app for verified pages. I filled the wrong form out. I got hit with all those fears of you’re not good enough and you shouldn’t have done that. Then I asked a lady and she showed me the right form to fill out and I got verified.
When I see people online I keep getting the same questions, it’s about fear and confidence. The key is to acknowledge the fear you do have. To not hide from them or run from them the way I did most of my life. I ran from my fears. I lied about my fears saying I’m not afraid of anything. I’m afraid of a lot of things.
I can’t be afraid and trust god at the same time. That gives me gigantic strength everyday because if I trust god then I am happy with now. I trust that things will work out in the future. Fear is always based on not trusting the future. The belief that something bad is going to happen in the future, even if it is just a massage I don’t like.
It’s amazing to see the transformation in my life now that I look at my fears and I trust God. Not when I do have fears, it’s easier to look at them and ask why that fear is there. My wife came home from work late the other night and I was worried she had got in an accident. I looked on Google Maps and there was a car accident right about where she was coming in from work. I just focused on my trust in God and if she’s supposed to be in an accident then who am I to argue with that. If she’s not then who am I to worry about that? I felt immense gratitude when she came home. It’s easier to see in those situations, you have a loved one and you’re afraid for them, it’s easier to see the fear there. That’s easier to move into trusting God.
It’s tricky to see the fear on these little things in life like going somewhere new for the first time and to see how that little fear often goes unknown and impacts your decision making. The little fears you have often blocks you from trying things people suggest. I know people suggested to me all the time when they saw me struggling in life all kinds of things I could do.
It was suggested to me that I stop drinking a lot of times by a lot of people. My fear of being anyone different blocked out a lot of suggestions because I wouldn’t know who I was if I did. Finally, I had enough desperation. I could see the fear I had everywhere in life. I acknowledged I’m afraid to do anything and I had the courage and the need to trust God and to do something new. Now I try and bring that into every day. I don’t schedule my day out. I have the courage to trust God to plan my day out for me and to drop little suggestions throughout my day on what they best thing to do that moment is.
Today I pray to look at my fears. In looking at my fears, I pray to see which ones are there to help me and guide me away from doing something that hurts myself and which ones are there as a result of me not trusting God. Which fears are there to protect me? Which fears are there because I’m afraid of doing something new? I pray that I share this with you and you can have the same opportunity today to look at your fears without being ashamed that you have them and to look at them and admit you have these fears and it’s okay. Look at these fears and see which ones are helping you and which ones are messing things up. Thank you for sharing this with me today and I hope you have a great day today