Do it scaredDecember 22, 2008
Someone significant in my personal growth mentioned he observed that I tended to “awfulize” many things in life. This simply meant that I had a tendancy to take any challenge and presume it would follow the course of maximum disaster and result in some awful outcome.
This thought pattern was the source of much anxiety for me. Much wasted emotional energy. Much depression. Yet I eventually discovered that I wasted energy being anxious and depressed over things which rarely ever came to pass. Very, very rarely did anything awful ever happen.
The pathway of thinking that I had practiced over the years became so well-worn and habitual, it felt as if it happened automatically. I immediately got right on the trail and followed the meandering pathway over the cliff. In my mind at least. So when negative things seemed to be happening, I would often just freeze up and not proceed. I would just stay in bed. Avoid. Hide. And imagine the worst. I had completely surrendered my thinking to patterns like this. It was hell in my head.
I eventually heard some teaching that said, if you are affraid to face something or do something, why don’t you just “do it scared”? This was so foreign to me. Didnt fear mean don’t do it? Didnt fear mean avoid, freeze, hide, drink, drug, call in sick, rent 10 videos and stay home? So I began stepping out in faith. Like an adventure. I was so desparate by that stage that I figured I had nothing to lose. I started doing things scared.
It did not take long to discover that the fear, while uncomfortable, never killed me and that I could be scared and still do things. In fact, I eventually discovered that the fear was lying to me and that outcomes were seldom as negative as I had imagined. In fact, they were usually more positive than I could imagine or even fabulous.
Fear lies. It tells us things will be a certain way when they are not. When I began to confront my fear, the fear lost much of its power over me. Each victory built on the last and my faith and positive experiences grew. A new pathway of thinking was being worn in.
I still battle with it somewhat, but nothing to the degree I once did. I no longer stay in bed for days at a time. I no longer think and re-think ways to kill myself. I no longer wish to be someone else. I no longer drink or drug.
The first time I ever “did it scared” was painful. Agonizing. But only for the first hour or so. By the end of the day, the task or I did scared was complete and it had gone far better than I feared it would. So I did another task scared, and another, and another.
Today, fear does not scare me. (If that make any sense). I mean that if I am scared of something, I can see past the common feelings of fear and just get on with the doing. Living is much better this way and the journey continues.