This exploration of fear started with an Instagram photo. On a day when I posted a “this is me tired” selfie, a client said it was nice to know I am human.
What? I started to ponder my online image. Do I appear “super human”? I hope not because I can assure you I have challenges just like everyone else. I get tired, cranky and have mornings were I don’t want to get out of bed. I have dreams and fears just like anyone else.
Then last week while I was working out, I was listening to a “very special episode” of the WYCWYC podcast on FEAR. Roni and Carla bared their souls about their fears and challenged ME (as in anyone listening) to do the same. It seemed like the perfect time to get real about my fears.
The Not So Serious Things I Fear:
- Wasps and bees
- Losing my teeth (this may be tied to old anxiety dreams and a lack of good dental care as a child)
- Not being able to touch the bottom of the pool with my feet (probably why I’ve never learned to swim)
My Deep and Dark Fears:
Not Being Good Enough
I have worked hard to educate myself but I don’t have a degree in exercise. I’ve learned by doing, from other personal trainers and by listening to experts in my field as well as my clients. For some people that isn’t enough. I crave the respect of my peers and often feel “less than” in a group fitness professionals. I feel like I am less of a blogger because Brian does most of the technical work while I do the writing. I feel like I should know more and be able to do it all. Personally, I feel like I never learned how to be a good daughter or friend.
I am introvert. I need my restorative niches but I hate the long weekends when Brian is gone. I’ve learned to navigate the time by myself but it can be a struggle. The days are usually fine. I fill them with clients, workouts and writing. It’s the nights that get me. This is when I am most likely to struggle with emotional eating. This is when I struggle with my insecurities, lying awake in the dark. I fear something will happen and he won’t come back to me (completely irrational, I know). I fear that something might happen to me and no one would notice until I miss my first client session.
Losing My Eyesight
I’ve had this fear since I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when I was 10. Thankfully I have no diabetic retinopathy but I did have a detached retina in 2009. I came so close to going blind in my right eye, not knowing what was happening to me until after four days of watching the shadow over my eye getting bigger. I can see just fine now thanks to an amazing doctor and my ability to strictly follow instructions. I do have a small cataract, big enough to qualify me for surgery but not big enough to really impair my vision.
Not Having Enough Money
No matter what you achieve or far you’ve come, growing up poor leaves its mark you on you. I have a tendency to over buy food because I have a fear off running out. I tie this back to my childhood and the times when the food stamps had run out and my father was late with the child support (again). I have an emergency savings account but never feel it is enough. I never want to have a garage sale to raise money to replace a household appliance (like when the water heater went out when I was in junior high) or to raid the change jar for gas money. Brian has a great job but nothing is secure in Corporate America. I fear that he’ll someday be laid off and then what will we do?
Who Will Take Care of Me When I Am Old
I’ve never heard the ticking of my biological clock. We are childless by choice. Brian and I like our life together and have no desire to add offspring to the mix. I do worry what this means as we get older. I joke that we need to be REALLY nice to our nephews so they will take care of us in our old age. I hope we can take care of each other. I realize neither of these options are the best strategies.
Here’s the good news. Despite all of these fears within me, I don’t let them hold me back. Quitting a high paying job with a 401K and awesome insurance flew right in the face my fear of poverty. I don’t regret it for moment because I get to do what I love every day. My clients don’t care about degrees, they care about the fact that I listen to them and I help them achieve their goals. I snorkel with a floatation belt. I hiked in Sedona despite the rattlesnakes in residence.
In spite of all my fears, I feel more confident now then I probably ever have in my life. Taking inventory of things like fears and dreams really gives you a good sense of who you are. I know what I want from life and I am NOT afraid to ask for it. If you can’t say the same, then it’s time to face your fears, to take time to dream and to get in touch with you are really are.
No comments necessary. Just go out and do something that scares you today.