Tag Archives: fear

The Fear of Being Found Out

photo-2 copy

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.

Fear Keeps Me in Check

“What are you afraid of right now?”

I’ve been working on a project for the last few months with three dear friends & that was the question our fearless leader in the group threw out at us the other day.

My answer? Friendships. I’m afraid that this project will eventually kill my friendships with those three individuals. But that hasn’t made me walk away yet. Because even though that is a deeply rooted fear of mine, I still believe some of the most powerful ideas come to life in community. I believe that vision born out of community is perhaps one of the most beautiful creative gifts on the planet. The synergy of relationship, heart, skill, & vision is undeniably powerful. Rooted in bold humility I believe it has the power to be truly life changing in ways we can’t even imagine.

I’ve been trying for the last several months to reconcile that fear & that deeply rooted belief of mine. And honestly, I’ve made next to zero progress. But after voicing that fear with those friends today, I’ve realized that perhaps it’s not about reconciling the fear but about pushing on in spite of it.

The truth is that with the right perspective, fear doesn’t stop me, it simply keeps me in check. 

Do you let your fears stop you? Or do you view them as guardrails to guide you on the journey? 

Squashing Creativity and Lots of Questions

When I was a child I had big dreams. I created with abandon. I didn’t care what people thought. Somewhere along the way I learned that creating & dreaming meant risk and that risk was bad. And that everyone would simply laugh at me if I failed. And they encouraged me to just do what was safe. And so I did.

I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve heard a musing similar to that in the last couple of months. It makes me kinda sad. I think it’s great that we’re aware of our society’s tendency to kill creativity and that we want to try to change that that future generations. But how?

How do we stop from simply reacting to that process and instead proactively change the process? Prevent the squashing of creativity before it happens. Can we have streamlined organizations that run efficiently and value individual creativity at the same time? Should efficiency even be something we strive for? Do organizations need to be smaller in order to accomplish this? How many generations will it take to make the change?

Clearly I have more questions that I have answers at this point. But I’d love to hear your thoughts because it seems this whole idea of creativity being squashed is a recurring theme. And I think there’s probably a reason for that.

The Fear of Success

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.  Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. ”  – Marianne Williamson

I become more convinced every day that in general that statement is true. We seem to be more afraid of success than we are of failure. We think it’s failure we are afraid of but only because it’s easier to admit. After all, people expect you to be afraid of failure, but being afraid of success seems kind of ridiculous.

I have to count myself guilty of fearing success. In an effort to be as humble as possible…to not do anything that may be mistaken as pride…to guard against ego, I stay as far away from my own success as possible. I will work to help others succeed all day long, but myself? Not so much.

With success comes accountability. With success comes the risk of bigger failures. With success comes the risk of losing control. With success comes responsibility.

But, with success also comes an opportunity for God to be glorified. I’m grateful for the voices of wisdom in my life who’ve pointed out to me that failing to act because I fear success is wasting my gifts. It’s saying to God, “sorry, I just don’t think you’re big enough to keep my heart from pride, to keep my ego in check.”

But the truth is, Christ lives in me. And through Him I can do all things. And that includes being successful without becoming prideful. So, I’m resolved to tackle my fear of succeeding. Will you join me?

Throwback Sundays…He’s Got This

When I stop and look at a sunset or up at the night sky it still amazes me that the God who created all of that…the Creator of the universe knows me by name…love me.

I wrote this post probably more for myself than anyone because I had to remind myself everyday that He had and still has it all under control. But, I promise, He’s got this!

Throwback Sundays…If I Had Courage

I wrote this post several months back. And if I’m honest most of those things are still on my “If I had courage” list. Kind of pathetic. A few things I would add…

If I had courage I would let more people in.
If I had courage I would speak my mind more often.
If I had courage I’d risk my heart.
If I had courage I would start a business.
If I had courage I wouldn’t be in America right now.

Your turn. “If I had courage….”