Fear paralyzes me
"Fear of the unknown is common. What makes the unknown so scary is that, well, it's unknown. We don't know what's going to happen.
But here's the thing, you don't have to know the unknown to be safe.
The unknown can actually be an awesome adventure and trying something new can change your life for the better.
So what's something you're not sure about that worries you?" -(unknown)
Fear paralyzes me daily.
People can face fear in both small and big ways in their lives.
Some people may think I have it all together. People have actually told me I am a wierdo for being able to keep it together living the busy life that I do. Every time I hear this, I quickly remind them that I don't have it together. My house isn't always clean. I don't have all the hours of photo editing done. I don't always love my kids and husband well. I suck as a friend at times, and the list of imperfections continue. I want people to know, yes I manage to do a lot, but I am not by any means perfect. I don't always have my shit together but I am striving to do well each day.
Some friends believe that I am confident, but truth be told, I have deep struggles. I fear what others think. I fear to do anything outside of what feels comfortable and I even question what feels comfortable. I get caught up in what I think people will think about what I say, what I do, what I wear, and so on and so forth.
Here's a quick story: I freaked out yesterday over doing almond shaped nails. Fear took over and I cared so much about what others would think that I tried taking them off last night. I felt panic inside (I know I must sound crazy but this is the raw truth of my struggle). My fingers ended up a mess and my thoughts were all over the place. (PS I went this morning and the nail girl fixed my nails and I have almond shaped nails and I love them!) The nails revealed a deeper issue. I became disgusted that I would choose to go through the trouble of getting the nails off because I was so consumed by fear of what others would think. I shared this via text to my sister/friend. I said how insane is it that I would care that much. She said "Life is too short for that! Everyone will always have an opinion, but who cares? It's far more fun to just be confident in what you love. If people don't like it, just laugh it off with them!" Those words penetrated my heart to the point of tears strolling down my face. Fear seeps into every aspect of my life. It even seeped in when we began to seriously talk about launching this blog (don't get me wrong, I have a lot of excitement too). Matt gently pushed me to launch. He encouraged me by letting me know that I could do whatever I wanted and that I couldn't do anything wrong. He just wanted me to start. Together we picked a date to launch, but it wasn't until two weeks later that we actually announced "No Longer Wander". Fear had crippled me which pushed the date further out. Fear causes so much anxiety and worry. The control it can have on you can even make you panic about your damn nails (seriously?!?!).
When I live out of my fear, I lose all motivation to do things I love. I don't step out of my comfort zone. I shut down and I even isolate myself from people I love. I become overwhelmed with a lack confidence and I believe I can't do anything. It may sound pathetic, but it's real. (I hate so much that this is real.)
Fear drives me and it never gets me anywhere.
I was told a month ago (by the same sister/friend) "Tish, I have never met anyone who puts themselves down as much as you do." That hit me like a ton of bricks. I knew what she said was true, but I don't think I realized that she saw this so clearly about me. My husband has been sharing this same thing with me as well, but for some reason, in that moment, it just hit me right where it needed to. My sister, Lindsey, proceeded to share how much she wants me to be confident in the giftings I have and to see me step out and do new things. She shared her excitement as I began this journey with this blog and she continues to cheer me on. She shared that I have an influence on others and I need to take that seriously so that I can continue to encourage and inspire others. I want to do me but more than that - I want to be about people. I want to see people do them. I want people to feel loved, I want people to be set free from their own fears so they can live this life to the fullest. Imagine if each of us fearlessly operated from exactly who we are. Don't you think that this world would be very different than is is?
In the last two months, I have had many conversations about fear, worry, comparison, confidence, and influence. I believe these conversations have been directed by Jesus. I believe when our lives are consumed and controlled by fear rather than Jesus, we won't experience who we really are. I believe when our eyes see our struggles clearly and we feel broken, Jesus meets us right where we are at. I believe Jesus wants to set me and you free from fear. He wants to see us live our lives doing what we love. He wants us to experience new adventures and ultimately He wants us to know that we are loved and we have freedom to live this life with so much joy!! I think Jesus wants you to do YOU. Jesus says we are loved, forgiven of our sins, fearfully and wonderfully made, and we can do what we love because He gives us the desires of our heart.
Do you struggle with fear? Does it paralyze you? I would love for you to share your heart with me.