When it’s dark and you’re alone with your thoughts, maybe the soft sounds of your partner sleeping next to you, maybe with the rain hammering the roof, we tend to reflect.
We think deeper into things than we normally would, as if we are in a trance, led by shamans through the jungles of our relaxed mind. We look at things that change, things that have changed and for me in particular; I think about things that are changing. A lot.
Every second of every minute of every hour of every day of every year we are a dynamic creature, whether the changes are subtle or drastic, we are the clay on a potter’s wheel, willing to change, welcoming it.
We are molded by external forces, gravity, light, heat, wind, pain and trauma. This often changes our external shell, the sun burning and killing a few layers of our skin on a particularly hot day, or the impact from falling off a trampoline and breaking your arm. We are constant, non-stationary and ever changing.
We are created, built, strengthened, attacked, damaged and swept back up by internal forces. The constant dance of death and rebirth of cells, the emotional scarring from a bad breakup, the pride and momentary “immortality complex” you feel when you do something you once thought was beyond your ability.
We are a social canvas, a canvas left on the street in New York with paints and a brush next to it, people are invited to pick the brush up and alter it. You have no idea today what the final painting will look like and it will be radically different , either for better or worse, to anything you would imagine.
With this constant pressure of internal and external forces, not to mention the past leering at you from the crowd or the future waiting in a darkened alley, why do we fear change?
For me, my biggest fears are failure and rejection. I am paralysed with it at times. I spent years just avoiding women because I knew rejection would come all too soon, I stopped one of the things I love more than anything, writing out of fear of both. I am afraid someone reading this now won’t like it and stop being my friend. My rational mind knows this isn’t true, but fear is irrational, we all know this.
Daredevils, entrepreneurs, risk takers; these are the people who seem to have conquered fear but if you ask any of them, they are still terrified when they make that jump, or that aggressive push into a new market. They just deal with fear differently. Where I shut down and curl into a ball like an armadillo, they use it as high-octane fuel to push them beyond limits like a high-performance car.
My goals in life in the last year have been focused on self-help, looking inwards and fixing things that are wrong. I smile at my reflection every day so that I walk out the door not hating myself. I eat better food now to help fuel my exercise regime and I exercise to improve my horrible body image issues. My mental health is better now that it has ever been and it’s all due to this mature, rational, patient examination of self.
The next thing I need to do is tackle some of my fears. Whether it’s sky-diving to try and shake my fear of heights or write something that I’m not afraid to publish, I need to try and use this fear to fuel me to break the laws set out in my own head.
What do you fear? Why do you fear it? How can you change it?