In a matter of days, I booked a flight to New York, organised insurance, accommodation and time off work. I wanted to go to New York for years! So why did it take took me so long?
Fear that I couldn’t afford it. Fear that I’d be alone. Fear of being hurt. Fear of isolation and not fitting in. Fear of survival. Fear! Fear! Fear!
I was paralysed by fear!
Fear stopped me Living the Life I wanted.
Stuck in paralysis, like an insect caught in a web, I felt immobile, unable to move a single fiber of muscle.
It was as if an invisible field held me down, forcing me into submission.
Fear kept me living a shadowed life.
So what happened?
Well simply put I got fed up with my current state of being.
I wasn't living the Life I imagined in my mind. I wasn't the person I saw myself being.
I wanted to change.
I started digging. Digging into the fear that paralysed me for so long.
I realised that the only reason I didn't commit, couldn't commit, was because I believed the world would make fun of me.
Fear of rejection.
Rejected in an already isolated world was scary. Scary for the little insecure, afraid me that lay paralysed somewhere in the depths of my subconscious.
It was my wound. My Achilles heel. My kryptonite.
It ruled every decision I made.
And Pain cleverly hid inside it. Pain that kept me stuck! Pain that kept me from committing to anything and everything I truly wanted.
And from that pain beliefs fired like a hostile invader.
“There’s something wrong with you.”
“You don’t fit in.”
“You’re not wanted.”
“Nobody wants you.”
“You're a failure.”
Every time I felt a hint of rejection my automatic response would be to quickly withdraw, so I didn't have to feel the pain that lay underneath.
And it wasn’t just pain.
I formed alias mechanisms. Like blame.
Blaming others became a secondary coping mechanism. Strategically excusing myself from any responsibility, and avoiding pain at all costs.
But the thing was, I wasn't living. I was living a dormant, silent existence somewhere in the background while life passed by.
My Dreams and Visions lay dormant too.
I didn't want to live this kind of life. I wanted a full life. One, that was filled with connection and meaning. One, that reflected my dreams.
Something had to change. I had to change.
The fear and pain of being rejected was always going to be there, so why not go for what I wanted anyway?
It then occurred to me...I had to be real.
And by real I mean vulnerable.
You see being vulnerable isn't weak, as I believed. It is courageous and inspiring.
Think about it.
You are willing to face your fears, openly and in full view in a world that is stuck and hell-bent on conforming to a collective meme that suggests you need to stay in your box.
Being your true self is empowering and freeing.
I've also learned that commitment, fear, and vulnerability go hand in hand.
The person who lives the life you love is not the person who is currently living the life you live now. They are two different people.
One is fearful and withdrawn. The other is vulnerable and committed. Committed to living a full expression of itself.
I choose the latter.
It’s not as far as it seems.
And it sure beats living someone else’s idea of life. Societies idea of who and what you should be.
Commitment is inclusive. There are no other options available when you commit. None.
Just the decision to be the best version of yourself, doing what you love most here and now.
Life is challenging, difficult, heart wrenching at times, but compared to the alternative there really is no choice.
Will you choose to stay fearful? Or will you face your fears, and push through to the other side!
- Sotir Ivanovski
Photos by - rawpixel, pexels, genessa panainte, unsplash.