Facing Your Fears

Around February of last year, I posted a topic on my blog titled Fear. In it I discussed the idea of living a life where you are consumed with fear, to the point that the fictitious concept begins to take control of your life. After experiencing many bouts of health issues related to my heart, I was too anxious and honestly, paranoid to live.

During that time, my fears were holding me captive and I was too afraid to do everyday things, including driving far away from my home. Instead, I played it safe by being close to home or near a hospital, just in case something were to happen. Now just imagine how I would feel about traveling by plane or any other mode of transportation. Terrified! Just the thought of getting on a plane raised my anxiety level, so I told myself that would be impossible for me. However, I always dreamed of traveling to countries or at the very least going to the West Coast. Meanwhile, I was struggling with making a three and a half hour trip back home to visit family and friends!

I knew the day was going to come when I would have to get on a plane and that day occurred over the weekend. I had to go Georgia for a wedding, which I was not going to miss for the world. However, when I booked the ticket, something came over me. All of those feelings and past experiences tried to flood my memory, but I did not allow them to. Once it was time to go to the airport, it happened again, except this time my heart felt like it was racing (it wasn’t though) and my palms began to sweat. When I was finally seated I could not sit still. I kept fidgeting with my headphones, my purse, and I think I had to take a couple of deep breaths. Then I looked around at everyone else and I noticed how calm they were and I suddenly wanted to be like them. Calm.

After some time I was able to talk myself down and I began to think that God has me. I knew I was going to be at the wedding so nothing was going to happen. Although unexpected incidences occur, something just told me “Not today”. Eventually, I was able to calm myself down and coincidentally, we were about to land! However, I was able to make the process a lot smoother on my return flight. If you are reading this and thinking to yourself, my fear (one of a few) does not apply you, that is okay because this is definitely not about a plane ride. This is about an example of me making the decision to face my fear and say, “Not today”.

Your fear may be of heights, public speaking, living alone, or just stepping out on faith with something new. You can’t allow your fear to take over no matter how scary it may feel. The enemy wants you to become so afraid that you will be unable to reach your highest potential, which includes living in your purpose. Although traveling may be a small matter, I have to think that it is only apart of something bigger. What if my dream job is in California or an opportunity of a lifetime is presented to me where I will have to visit another country? It may seem far-fetched, but nothing is ever unthinkable when it comes to faith. With faith you are able to move forward even if uncertainties try to hold you back. In the end, it is best to face your fears, whatever they may be and remind yourself that your fears will not be able to control your today.

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Keep Pushing

As an educator, it is as if my new year begins when the school year begins, which can explain my minimal activity on my blog throughout the summer. However, I had to prepare for the new year during my down time and I also had to hold myself accountable for the goals I set for myself. Going into the new year, I became full of expectations. I had plans of the role I wanted to fulfill at work and I could almost imagine how my regular routine would be. However, my dreams of working in that role came to an abrupt end.

Unfortunately, I was not afforded the opportunity to move into the new position and although I was very dismayed, what made things worse was that I absolutely believed that I was the most qualified for the position and that I had a chance to work in that role! For me, this was a stepping stone. After all, I am the one who often sees the glass as half empty and for once I saw it half full, but it backfired. After taking such a major blow, I felt defeated and disappointed. Even though the feeling of disappointment still lingers (because I hold onto things a little too long), I know that I have to focus on the right now and eventually what will be ahead for me.

I am sure you have experienced setbacks and disappointments in your life, but what about the ones that hurt the most. You are constantly reminded of them because you have to live with them everyday. I am living with mine as I write this and it is a lot to get adjusted to. However, I was reminded that, Moments of beauty are birthed from pain. Embrace each step in your journey as a prerequisite for your breakthrough. Even though you may not see it, something beautiful will come out of all of those situations that cause you sorrow. I constantly have to remind myself that I have to continue to move forward because those situations do not define me. Ultimately, I know I have to keep pushing.

Now, I am not the typical “grab myself by my bootstraps” and keep it pushing type of girl. I have to do a serious pep talk along with prayer, writing, thinking, planning, and whatever else I think would be beneficial to me. The crazy thing is, while I am “preparing” myself to move forward, I have already begun the process. It is actually a subconscious effort and I believe this is the most important part of it all. However, there are times when I just do not feel like writing or praying about whatever my disappointment may be. I just want to stay mad and when it came to work, mad I was! However, I knew I could not stay in that negative space. After all, I did not want to lash out on my students or be cold towards my coworkers. So, that was where it began. Even though I had no plan or strategies to get over the disappointment, I knew what I did not want to do.

I think we can agree that when we are upset, we tend to hurt others unintentionally and often times, intentionally and let’s face it, it never helps nor does it solve the dilemma. In since I knew that being mad and staying stagnant in that negative space was not going to work, I decided to take it one day at a time. Each day, I tried to not think about how I felt about not getting the position and focused on doing what I did best. Besides, I figured my work would speak for itself and it did. My coworker noticed positive changes in my attitude and she pointed out that I was even smiling more! That, I could not believe considering the devastating news I, at the time, was trying to process. And if that was not confirmation, the department head said the same thing too! Imagine the shocked looked I had on my face. On two separate occasions, I was informed on how great a job I was doing. In that moment, I realized I had been living in the moment, something I find to be difficult for me because my mind is always focused on something that already occurred or something I cannot fix.

Yet, this process was new for me and it felt good. Actually, it still feels good. Instead of staying in that place of hurt, envy, and upset, I learned how to move forward and kept pushing. If you are currently in that space now, decide on what you do not want to do and realize if you cannot control the situation, take your mind off of it. Be in the moment because life continues, even if you are not there mentally and emotionally. So focus on the right now and don’t forget to keep pushing.