Rambling after too little sleep the past few nights…
How many times in life have you postponed joy because of fear?
This doesn’t have to do with weight loss or fitness necessarily – it can be anything. Going for some goal, talking to someone you admire, throwing your name in the hat for an amazing experience – they’re all things that I’ve noticed that I postpone (or avoid all together) because of fear.
Just a few of the notes of fear I’ve had this past week:
- I’m not a good enough writer.
- I’m not cool enough to hang out with those people.
- I’m going to screw this up somehow.
- I shouldn’t even ask because I know she’ll say no.
- This is just a waste of time.
- One of these days someone will laugh me out of the building.
- I’m not philosophical enough to participate in this discussion.
You don’t have to know the circumstances behind them (and there are multiple). They’re not unique situations. In many instances, they’re not even situations that exist in real life yet – they’re all hypothetical things I dream about in my head that I’ve stopped myself from doing by repeating these negative affirmations.
You would think that someone who has all of these thoughts must have failed miserably multiple times or been beat down for trying too many things. This simply isn’t the case for me, and I’m sure it’s not the case for most of you. Yet somehow we can trick our minds into thinking that we’re so awful that we shouldn’t even reach for the joy that we want to experience. We end up harboring secret dreams and wishes that we will talk ourselves out of, and no one will ever know about.
Sidebar: As I’m writing this I was thinking of the following example to demonstrate that fear holds us back, and I just said to myself “this is dumb, no one cares about this. Find a better example.” The insanity never stops, even when you’re writing about it!
I sent out my first email newsletter this week and held my breath. I’m not sure why it was so scary – I wasn’t telling secrets or revealing anything more than what I do here on my blog. The anticipation of a negative reaction was so strong in my mind because I put it off for two years. The fear? No one would want to read it.
You know what happened? People read it. People replied to me. No one has unsubscribed from the list. I put off this joy of making a newsletter (seriously, I know it’s nerdy <– see? negative.) for two.whole.years. And you know what? If I sent the newsletter out this past week and no one read it and no one responded and everyone unsubscribed, would it be the end of the world? Hell, no. I’d abandon ship and move onto the next thing. (If you didn’t get the email newsletter, you can view it here and subscribe from that page as well)
Like many things in this weight loss journey, I’m finding that it’s ME that’s holding me back, and I’m holding myself back in tons of ways even beyond the realm of fitness.