I am tired of being afraid.
That is what I definitively stated, out loud while sitting in a corner of the verandah while at home in Jamaica in November 2015. I had just completed my Master’s program in England, birthed from a longtime dream to see a side of the world that I never have before, and a fear that I may never have the opportunity to do so again. At this point, I could feel the stirrings of the anxiety and panic that I have spent the majority of my years on Earth battling with. They were fighting the good fight to bubble to the surface, and I can’t really blame them, because I was inviting them with my own negative energy and self-doubt, considering my “What’s next?”.
The fear of embarrassment. The fear of disappointing myself. The fear of making myself seen and/or heard. The fear of not being successful. The fear of disappointing others. The fear of not living up to my full potential. The fear of rejection. The fear of not living up to all the expectations that others have of me.
These were the main players playing catch with my mind, while deep at the very core of my soul, my spirit, my essence, I knew that pursuing a conventional, sit-in-a-cubicle-under-fluorescent-lights job/career was the last thing that I wanted to pursue. And that scared the daylights out of me. It made me uncomfortable to go against what has always been expected and seen as the norm, so the initial hesitation was rampant. To be honest, when I look back through the snapshots of my childhood and beyond, my life has been inundated with “supposed to”. I lived my life as a shell of myself, because I never felt that I could be more than what was expected of me.
The seeds of fear have been sprouting for far too long, taking a hold of my life while I went through the motions that it directed me to. I can’t say what the exact moment was that I made that decision, but I decided that fear was not going to be the driver of my life any longer. My life may now be in what may seem to many as a never-ending period of transition, but what is at my core, burning so brightly, just waiting to come out and show its full potential for illumination, trumps any self-doubt that may sneak its way in.
The idea of fearing less has been my most effective catalyst for growth. Admitting to myself that I was tired of being afraid, and committing myself to live a life being fulfilled by helping others to realize the greatness within themselves, has led me down a path of educational, and many times emotional, twists and turns.
Committing yourself to fearing-less will mean that sometimes (more often than not), your ways of perceiving the world, your energies, and your vision will not align with that of others, even those that you hold close.
The manifestations of fearing-less can look like any number of things on any given day, but the roots remain the same. These are some of the foundational principles of fear-less-ness:
- Create opportunities for self-fulfillment in all situations.
- Be okay with saying “No” to what does not serve you.
- Find peace in the fact that letting go is at times the greatest necessity to keep moving forward.
- Trust your gut.
Being committed to this #JourneyToFearLESS has opened up new doors to what it means to be unapologetically me. It has allowed me to overcome my tendency to shrink myself, whether figuratively or literally, to make the world more comfortable with my existence. I now understand more clearly that my space in this world is unique and necessary. I do not need to extinguish my own fire in order to help others keep their own blazing. Instead of ruminating about unanswered job applications for roles that do not serve me, I am focusing on consistently unearthing my own opportunities for growth, side-tracking self-doubt to find the greatness in all things, all paths, and all possibilities.
Being on a journey of fear-less-ness, with the journey being treasured and no destination in sight, has brought me to a place where I remind myself each day of my own greatness, which needs no definition other than the one that I give to it myself. So, would I say that I am 100% settled in a position as a leader of fear-less-ness? Maybe not. I will not say that I’m not yet where I want to be, but I will say that I am right where I am meant to be, and that is making sure I am at the forefront of my own mind, seeing me, filling my own cup, nourishing all that is within me while on this journey to living a life of purpose and fulfillment, fearlessly.
Thank you for taking the time to read the words that have been spilling from my heart onto the screen in front of you.
We get vulnerable around these parts, and it’s no easy task finding the strength it takes to reveal your truths (whether through writing or just reading a piece).