For the past several years, I have let fear control my life and dictate my choices. I constantly worry I am not good enough, people don’t actually like me, I am terrible at my job and a failure all around. The fear and anxiety I feel have slowly built to a crescendo until one day I realized I was paralyzed with indecision and deafened to any positive comments about myself.
On the topic of fear, Anne Wilson Schaef writes:
The tightening of the stomach, the sweaty palms, the increasing inability to focus, the tingling in our arms and hands, and the anxiety about looking good or having the right answer—we all know about fear.
Unfortunately, the life of the woman who does too much is controlled by fear. What if we’re not good enough? What if we’re not on time? What if nobody likes us? By the time we have worked ourselves up into a lather, we are incapable of producing anything good. Fear and our illusion of control are intimately related. It is when we believe that we can control the outcome and the responses of others that we get fearful. Our worrying is a form of pre-control.
When I stop to consider why it is I worry so, I realize that it comes from a desire to have control. Maybe if I worry enough, I think, I will be prepared for the worst. Unfortunately, this is not the case, of course. When has worrying ever prepared us for anything? Living in fear, allowing ourselves to become consumed by worry, only results in a life of misery. From my husband I have learned that we cannot control the outcomes of situations, only our own actions and how we react, so we might as well relax and enjoy the journey. It has taken a great effort, but I am slowly learning to let go of my desire for control, and as a result, my fear. We only have one life to live; we might as well take our time to enjoy it.