Okay, this topic is HUGE for me. I used to think I was the most fearless human being on the face of the earth and could handle anything. My big fat ego would tell me that nothing could f**k with me and I was unstoppable. Boy was I wrong. For years my mind was running on autopilot and the only emotion controlling my brain was fear. I used substances to hide my fear, I ran from problems in relationships and I froze in situations that I couldn't handle. I was selfish, manipulative and indecisive all because I was afraid.
What was I afraid of?! I was afraid that if I chose one path it would ultimately lead to X, Y, and Z therefore meaning that I thought I could predict the future. I couldn't make a right decision if it was thrown right in front of my face all because I was scared of what would happen in the future. I was afraid of failure therefore I never put any effort in to anything I did for example, school, or jobs. By not trying in school I always had the excuse when I didn't do well that I didn't really try so it wasn't a reflection of my intelligence. My greatest fear is my parents passing away. This fear is crippling for me. I am very attached to my parents and without them protecting me and loving me unconditionally I would not be where I am today. I am so lucky that I have two people in my life that I know will always be there for me. With this comes a huge attachment to how I feel about my ability to survive without them which leads to this manifestation of fear around them. This is where my ability to stay present in the moment and not worrying about the future comes in. With all of my fears I need to remember that I am the only person holding me back. I am the master of my own mind and I am no longer going to run away from what I am afraid of. Taking charge of your thoughts is easier said then done. It has taken me years to even narrow down what I truly am afraid of. Now that I know, I work at keeping these fears in check so they don't rule my life. I still have moments, even days when these issues come up for me but now I have the self awareness to recognize when this happens. I can realize that I am procrastinating not because I am lazy but because I am afraid that if I do the work I still won't be successful. I also see that when I am being indecisive it is not because I don't know what to do but because I am scared what may come from my decision.
Trying to uncover your what you really are afraid of can be one of the most powerful tools to help you be successful in life. I am not talking about your fear of spiders, or of heights but those deep rooted fears that have been with you your whole life that hold you back. My time in sobriety has helped me figure out what my fears are. I have been given the opportunity to work on the mess hiding behind booze and drugs. I have slowly been piecing myself back together which takes time and patience. I don't think realizing your fears is just for people who have substance abuse problems, I think everyone would benefit from this. Everyone could use some self-reflection from time to time and it is important to be self-aware.
The acronyms in the title I feel are perfect for the true meanings of the word fear. I really did f**k everything and run but now I choose to face everything and recover. It is painful at times but I like to think of it as working out your brain. When you go to the gym you tear your muscles but then you rebuild even stronger muscles on top of those. It is the same as your brain, you face your fears and it may hurt at first but you get stronger because you had the courage to do so.
I would say that facing your fears would be the greatest gift you could give yourself. Honour your feelings, then accept that they are there, then move forward. Once you accept, you can let go. Letting go will give you peace of mind and you can live free from your fears!