What your fear is doing to you

My teacher once asked me what my biggest fear in life was and I said failure. No, I didn’t mean failing tests or grades, I meant failure as in failure to be anything or achieve anything in life. Side note, my classmates looked at me like I was crazy because ‘normal’ people are scared of snakes, heights and all that is visible and rational. Oh yeah, back to the post: I carried this for a long time and looking back, I realise that fear of failure held me back. I know I’m not the only one with a fear people think is irrational and crazy but that’s what fear is: it’s irrational and crazy.

It’s sad because I let fear of failure stop me from doing anything in life. I don’t know how to swim and I’m scared I’ll fail at it so I don’t go near any swimming pool. I’m good with people and crowds but I didn’t engage with people because I was scared that I wouldn’t sound smart or wouldn’t fit in so I became a loner. Everything I didn’t do or had fear of doing, I didn’t do because I didn’t want to be bad at it or fail at it. Looking back now I realise that I let a lot of things pass me by and I didn’t live to the fullest because I was scared I wouldn’t be good at it. I locked myself up in a prison of fear.

If you (whoever is reading this) would look at my blog record you’d see that I started this blog in 2015 but the amount of posts I have don’t show that and the reason is because I was scared no one would read my posts, no one would comment or I didn’t know what I was talking about. I was scared and writing this post now I realise that I held myself back. Truth is, had I faced my fears head on then I’d be better by now. I’d be a better writer, I’d have more followers and honestly I would’ve faced my fear a long time ago. I guess I had to see now, how this fear of failure paralysed me.

Fear, any fear is a prison. We lock ourselves up in fear of the unknown that we don’t reach our full potential and we stop living. This blog for me is just one foot out of that prison. If I didn’t fear failure maybe I would’ve achieved more than I know, maybe my life wouldn’t be the way it is and maybe a lot of things. I can’t know for sure because I gave into fear and I’m not the only one. Fear stops us from progress really, we get scared of falling in love, of having fun, of starting something because we are afraid it won’t work but the sad truth is that not doing anything is the worst form of punishment.

Fear feeds off itself. If you become too afraid to do anything then you are not going to do anything in life. You won’t know love, you won’t write anything, you won’t get to climb the highest mountain. Another thing about fear is that it leads to regrets. You end up living a life filled with bitterness and regret because you couldn’t master up the courage to just do it (I think I’m in love with the Nike slogan now more than ever). You end up resenting other people and being bitter about their success for doing what you should’ve done but didn’t because you were too afraid.

Moral of the post
We all have fears but that doesn’t mean we should let fear rule our lives. Fear stops us from living and reaching our full potential. It steals from us and if we continue to lock ourselves in the prison of fear then we stop ourselves from reaching our goals. We end up resenting others and being bitter because they are doing what we could do if we weren’t so scared. So we must find the courage to face our fears if we want to live lives without regret.

Remember live, love, learn and be happy

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Stuff it, I’m jumping without a parachute and I’m starting over.

I poured myself a cup of coffee and wondered how to start this post. So here goes: I began this blog back in varsity thinking I was a good writer and the world needed to hear what I had to say. I love writing and I’m passionate about it and in my eyes that qualified me as a good writer, boy was I wrong. The truth is I am not a good writer, I am learning to become a writer and if I become a good one then awesome and if I become a great one, even better. Honestly when I began this blog I had dreams of readers flocking to my site and reading the little nuggets of wisdom I had to offer. Isn’t that what we all want though, an audience. Someone to hear or read what we have to say, someone who trusts in what we say and believes in us. I also wanted that but I wasn’t patient enough and I was doing something very wrong.

The truth is I wasn’t being myself, I was trying to be a political analyst, a spokesperson and everything else but myself. I wasn’t using my voice. I was trying to be different, astute and I wanted to become something I was not. I realise now that by trying to be someone else I killed myself and my love for writing so I stopped blogging. After less than 10 posts I stopped blogging. I had to get back to the drawing board, I had to find myself and what I stood for. What I wanted to give to the world out there and that’s when I realised that I needed to resurrect my blog. I needed to start over as me.

I had to change my approach. I had to give birth to a blog that is mine. A blog that resembled me and what I stand for. I had to give it my voice, give it a new life.
It’s like having a baby in a way. You want that child to succeed, to be adored by the masses, to be understood, to be the best. You want that child to resemble you, to have your qualities. Your smile, your brown eyes because you identify yourself in that child and you want the world to see that that’s your baby. In the same way, I want my blog to have my personality, my mind, simplicity and yet be engaging. I just want people to read it and identify the realness. So I had to start over, better this time.

We all get that moment when we realise that we need to just stop and start over. To find ourselves first and our place in the universe before we can venture off into any project. The method in Hollywood movies it to take your napsack, run away from it all, find a secluded place (usually a village or a jungle, I don’t know why the jungle but hey it works for some), find others on the same journey as you, share stories of life and sing Kumbaya till the Sun rises but the truth is that doesn’t work for everyone. You don’t have to run away to find yourself. Sometimes you can just switch your phone off (hha and how will you read my blog?), I’m kidding, switch it off or not, be alone for sometime, stare at yourself in the mirror, ask yourself questions, be true to yourself, try to find who you are and just take that one step to a journey of self discovery and if need be, start over.

Don’t forget your past, there are some very valuable lessons there and some scary skeletons that you have to face but that’s the whole idea, face your past and you will face yourself. However saying that you should not forget your past doesn’t mean you should hang onto it and re-live it. The past is there to teach not to hold you back and hold you hostage in your future.
That’s the reason I didn’t remove my previous posts. They are a part of my journey into this cyber world. They serve as a teacher and a reminder that sometimes a formula that works for others might not work for you. What’s good for the goose might not be good for the gander.

I realise that starting over is not easy. There can be certain things holding you back on life. It can be fear of letting go of what you are used to or just fear of the unknown. We get held back by our circumstances, what will people say, what will I do now? We marry all negativity and harbour the ‘What if’ syndrome and we don’t realise that by doing so we hinder ourselves from living to our fullest potential. What if I’m not good enough, what if someone has already written about this, what if I don’t get an audience, what if, what if, what if? However here is the thing, what if I am good enough, what if I succeed and I become a better writer and grow as a human being. Sometimes the only thing standing in our way is the man in the mirror. We need to believe in ourselves so much that we are not afraid to start, to fail or to let go.

I won’t lie I’m scared of falling again or failing or even losing myself as I go along but that’s just the thing about starting a new journey, it be blogging or starting afresh as a single woman or even being a first time mother. Nothing is guaranteed and life doesn’t come with a manual but as we go along we learn. We stumble, we fall, we hurt, we let go, we fail or we achieve greatness, the idea is to just keep moving on and keep starting. We learn that in failure there are lessons, in success we gather the methods and structures of how to continue and when we fall we get back up and we believe ourselves to be stronger.

There is no manual on how to be the best writer, if there was trust me all bloggers would have the Pulitzer prize in writing. There is no manual on how to become the best there ever was. It’s the same way in life, there is no manual on how to be the perfect human being. There is the bible, the Qur’an, other religious books and self help books on how to be good and noble but there isn’t a proven method on how to be perfect. We would have no sinners at all , we would be perfect but the truth is we are all human and somewhere along the road we lose ourselves and we fall. It’s just the way life is. I fell and now I’m getting back up again.
This is my start and I might stumble or fall somewhere down the line or learn and become good at writing, the idea is to keep moving on.

So with my cold cup of coffee, as I stare at this screen and wonder if this is good enough to post, I hope someone somewhere will also say “stuff it, I’m jumping without a parachute and I’m starting over”. See a new day as a blank page and write your own story but for you to do that you have to start somewhere. So when I post this and venture again into this world with my eyes shut, I hope that you will also start something. Here goes everything…