My life is taking another pivot that I never expected. I have the opportunity to go to school and move to New York City. A place I have always wanted to live. And as excited as I am about this new chapter that I am embarking on…to be frank, I am terrified. Yes the girl who ziplined in Jamaica, moved to Paris for a year without speaking the language, and battled the hollywood landscape is scared. I am not even a little scared. I am shaking in my boots, holding on for dear life petrified. I am afraid that I will make the same mistakes I made when I lived in Los Angeles. I am afraid to be broke again unable to buy a home, I am afraid to be lonely dating one man after another, and I am afraid that I will become that cliche single girl watching her youth slowly fade away as she struggles to keep up with the pace of the city. I wish I could say that my fears were based on rational reasoning, but they are not. As a basic human emotion, fear has its purpose. It warns us when we are in danger and starts the physical mechanisms that protect our survival. However, when unwarranted, fear can be debilitating. Here are six clues that fear is holding you back.
You only see the negative. While there is positive or negative with any situation; someone who is fearful will only see the adverse effects. If you are faced with a new situation but are overly consumed with what could go wrong, there’s a chance that you are allowing fear rather than freedom dictate your action. Fear only identifies failure and pain.
You avoid anything new or unknown. If we could stay in our “comfort zone” forever, life would be much easier. Fear allows us to stay with what is familiar to us even if the situation is agonizing. It makes you think that what is recognizable is better than what is foreign. But sometimes our biggest blessings come in the form of what is unfamiliar. Anything new allows us a chance to grow and learn more about ourselves.
You don’t stop to think about it. Taking time to analyze what you are doing is a good thing. Fear influences us to act quick without weighing all the options. Take the time you need to make a decision. If you act in fear you can make a decision that you would most likely regret.
You are shrinking or staying stagnant rather than growing. We should always be growing and learning new things as we continue to go through life. Continuing to acquire knowledge has been linked to better health and longer vitality. But fear will convince us that pushing our boundaries will only lead to rejection and failure. It is often rejection and failure that become our best teachers in life.
You shut down your intuition. One of our most valuable gifts is the intuition each and every one of us are bestowed. Many great people have become successful by listening to their “gut.” Intuition is our natural compass that advises us on what is good or bad. Listening to your inner self is a way to understand what makes you happy. If you let fear rule, it will be difficult to hear the voice within.
You are unable to make a decision. Although making no decision is a choice in and of itself, fear will paralyze you to the point that you second guess yourself. It helps you to avoid moving in any direction because either would be wrong or have devastating consequences. Fear takes away your ability to choose what you want. Conversely, leaving it up to chance. Something that may not go in your favor. It is better to choose, fail, and learn from that choice than to constantly allow fear to dictate your life.
If you have been hurt, failed, or gone through any sort of trauma the fear is real. And it is very easy to allow past experiences to cloud your future. What I discovered about my fear to move to NYC is that, I am ultimately scared to fail again. It was hard for me to not only recover from my past mistakes but to forgive myself for making them in the first place. But I can either live with my fear and allow it to clip my wings or I can acknowledge that I am afraid and address the issues head on. I choose to face my fear head on. If you are feeling afraid, identify your feelings. You can talk, write, sing, journal about them. But once you have processed them, let them go. Remember this quote:
“If you want to conquer fear, don't sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy. “