I have a confession to make: I have an extreme dislike for writing.
I choose not to use the word hate, but if I did hate something, writing would be right up there on my list. You see, one of the worst symptoms I've had to deal with while overcoming Lyme disease is the brain fog which consists of memory problems, challenges concentrating, and difficulty expressing my thoughts and emotions. In school I always felt so stupid during the writing process that I would actually become nauseated from nerves when handing in papers. After many hours of hard intellectual labor, I usually ended up with decent grades on writing assignments, but writing is not something that comes naturally to me. Not even close.
Nowadays, it's not so much the act of writing I dislike so much, it's the fear I've associated with writing that has made it hard for me. The fear of being judged, of being criticized, of being rejected...
So, why in the world would someone who actually dislikes writing start a blog? It's because I have a story to share with the world. And, thanks to the Internet, I can do that fairly easily, as long as I'm willing to push past my fears!
Here is my list of 5 Simple Steps to Moving Forward in the Face of Fear:
1. Feel Your Feelings
- Allow yourself to fully feel your emotions in a healthy way, such as crying, journaling, or talking with a trusted friend. Give yourself a specific amount of time to dive into the emotions you are experiencing, and when that time is up, begin focusing on finding solutions to the current challenge you are facing. A family friend in the final stages of Multiple Sclerosis used to say, "I can feel sorry for myself, but only for five minutes per day." Feel what you're feeling, then choose to move forward.
2. Express Gratitude
- I don't want to sound like a broken record, because everyone is talking about gratitude these days, but there's a good reason why. Gratitude is one of the most powerful emotions we can consciously choose to feel at any moment. When life feels overwhelming or scary, take a moment to pause and be grateful for something, anything, in your life. It may be something small, like the sunshine on your face, or something bigger like an opportunity that came at just the right moment. By choosing to bring your conscious mind into a state of gratitude, you are allowing yourself to be open and receptive to the abundance and flow of life, giving you even more for which to be grateful.
3. Connect with People Who See Your Greatness
- One of the best things you can do for yourself and your future is to surround yourself with people who will lift you higher. Find people who believe in you and what you stand for. These people will inspire you to keep moving forward towards your dreams, even when you start to wonder what the hell you're doing with your life. Sometimes I wonder, would I have been better to just finish college, get a job, start a family and settle-in for the rest of my life? When I go into this space, I know to reach out to my friends, my chosen family, who always know just the right things to say to keep me on track.
4. Accept That Not Everyone Will Agree With You
- Whatever you're doing in life, there will always be people who will judge you. The sooner you accept this, the easier life will be. Remember, what people think about you is not your problem, it's theirs. As long as what you believe, think, say, and do are in alignment, you are living your truth and are on the right path. Don't be afraid to speak your truth. There are so many people out there who need to hear it. And the ones who judge? Well, maybe you've planted the seed in their mind that will allow them to become open to what you're doing. Or, maybe not. Who cares?
5. Trust the process
- When you stop trying to control everything and trust in yourself, life, God, the Universe, or whatever you choose to call it, you step out of the ego-centered mind and allow things to flow naturally. If you need to, go back to a time when you felt like your life was crashing down around you and you thought the world was going to end. Everything worked out in the past, didn't it? And it will again, now and in the future. Trust is simply another word for faith. So have faith that you are exactly where you need to be and be present to the current moment, because in the end, that's all you really have.