The Fear of Being Found Out

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a thousand people stood in line
to hear a couple words of mine
afraid i will miss a beat
and everyone’s watching me

i don’t know why i’m still afraid
it’s not like it was yesterday
i’m the one stopping me
from all that i want to be

If Colbie Caillat sings about it I know I’m not the only one who fights the fear of being found out.

In general, on the surface there’s not a lot that scares me to the point that it holds me back. Usually the fear of “what if?” wins out for me. But recently I’ve had to own up to my fear of being found out.

Maybe you know the fear – your anxious spirit perpetually on edge waiting for your life to come crashing down around you. Your life – who you are, what you do, all of it – feels fragile.

There are moments when this fear can be all consuming & down right paralyzing.

It usually starts from a very positive thought or overwhelming gratitude – “Is this really my life? Do I actually get to live this story?” I have that thought at least once a day. But when I think about it too long doubt creeps in & starts asking me who I think I am to be living this life.

It was four years ago today that I made the move from Appleton to Nashville. Not only did that move relocate me physically but it took my life in a direction I had never ever imagined.

When your life looks so different than any story you could’ve written or any plan you could’ve constructed, it’s almost impossible not to be overwhelmed by the greatness of it. It naturally leaves you feeling like you’re living in a dream.

Most of the time I find myself living waiting to wake up from the dream – certain that the moment is going to come when the plot completely turns & I’m suddenly living in a nightmare. The moment I realize that what I’ve thought is my life really was just a dream after all.

I’ve been trying to get to the bottom of this fear & I think it has a little something to do with self-worth. Something has convinced us we aren’t worthy of or don’t deserve the life we have. And while it may be true that we don’t deserve it we live in a world of grace that doesn’t so much care if we “deserve” it or not.

One of life’s greatest gift is moments when we get to see ourselves through other’s eyes. My friends are one of life’s best mirrors – I learn more about myself by listening to them than from any self-discovery process I try to engage in. Listen to how your friends would describe you and chances are you will hear that you are completely worthy of the life you’re living even if you don’t “deserve” it.

Through other’s eyes we see that we are worthy in spite of our struggles & weaknesses & that most of the time we are our own worst critics. In those moments we’re reminded “I’m the one stopping me from all that I want to be.”

photo-2I got a new tattoo a couple of weeks ago – the emblem from the Tennessee state flag. It sits on my forearm right under the word “surrender” It’s my daily reminder of the story that has been & continues to be written for me. A story that I am worthy of living because of grace. It’s the story of a girl who, surrounded by the spirit & community that is Nashville, has learned how to be. A girl who is learning to own every bit of her story, celebrate the unimaginable, & step out of her own way.

With courage, Katie

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