Achievements and aspirations 

Since I started to focus on overcoming my sometimes crippling fears around the middle of February, I have been able to celebrate some wins. Step by step, week by week I am facing something I shied away from before. Gently, lovingly, sometimes shakily but I show up. Here’s what’s happened:

At first sight they look easy and indeed, anyone can do them. What makes (made) them so terrifying to me is simple: unreasonable Fear. 

But what is fear really? 

At first sight Fear is not just a bitch but an attention-seeking one at that. It’s egotistic, consuming and burns up everything. It confines and ties me down, using the one thing I love the most about me: my imagination.

What am I actually afraid of?

  • I’m afraid of being laughed at. I don’t want people to look at me and find it ridiculous.
  • Being judged. I also don’t want to be seen and judged. “Look at that fatso.”
  • Disliked. I’m afraid if I open up, people won’t like who I am.
  • Rejected. I’m terrified of showing vulnerability, some need and getting a no in return. 

Fear warns me of the pain these situations would cause. It wants to protect me but in return it throttles me. I’m like a caged bird (no, really) and by locking me up, fear deprives me of the sunshine that would keep me alive.

Fear is protection 

I don’t doubt that fear’s got good intentions. We fear the fire because it can kill us. We fear heights because if we fall, again, it can kill us.

But then my fear tends to get overzealous. Would being laughed at kill me? Sure, it would hurt, it would be uncomfortable but I would survive. Isn’t it natural that some people will dislike me? Don’t people always make judgements at each other, fat or not?

I love fear for loving me so much that it wants to protect me from all kinds of pain. I want to use this mutual love between fear and me to give space to each other. As they say, if you really love someone, let them go. I need air, freedom to soar and not be tied into a cell, no matter how safe it is.

Fear isn’t a bitch after all: it’s an overprotective lover who wants only good for me. I just need to prove it that I can take a little pain in order to grow.

Thanks to the A to Z challenge I now have an excuse to turn my Courage Journey up a notch. During the next four weeks I will take daily challenges in real life to expand my comfort zone working with a specific type of fear every week. Hope you’ll come along, too!

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My soul breathes music and exhales words.

74 thoughts on “Achievements and aspirations 

  1. Hi Andrea, came to visit from the A-Z Challenge this month. The honesty is poignant and vulnerable. Thank you for sharing from your heart; it touched mine. It reminded me of Brene Brown’s work on vulnerability. Love that this challenge has lead me to find you and your courageous journey. I’m looking forward to reading more of your contributions. 🙂 Linda

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    1. Thank you Linda! I’ll check out Brene Brown as I don’t know them and it’s always a learning opportunity to see how others approach vulnerability. Thank you for the suggestion and for your comment!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Excellent beginning, Andi! Suggestion: add the #atozchallenge to the titles of your posts. That way, when someone posts them to Twitter or Facebook, people will find it.

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    1. Hi John, thanks for the visit! I used to that before but it broke up the layout of the page especially when viewed on the phone so I thought to try it without now. I have some near-OCD quirks when it comes to layouts lol.

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  3. Joining you on the A-Z Challenge this month. Your honesty and transparency is poignant. Thank you for allowing us to see you. It takes courage to process the fears that keep us from fulfilment. I’ll be looking for your posts in my reader. 🙂 Linda

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  4. I loved your post! You have proved to be fearless on opening up about on the same. It somehow negates the very things you mentioned and showed courage! I can relate to what you said and this made me think about my post on anxiety (My last year’s AtoZ start).
    Keep up the awesome attitude. 🙂
    Best Wishes!

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    1. Thank you Karnika, I’m trying to honour the protection fear provided instead of hating that it stops me from being me. You know, smart people say positivity works better so let’s see! 😉

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  5. Fear indeed has some good intentions for showing up. But sometimes it tends to cripple us when it is unreasonable. Loved the activities you have listed here, especially getting close to nature with flowers. How interesting!
    ———-
    Vinodini
    http://ifsbutsandsetcs.com

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  6. A lot of people seem to be overly concerned with appearances, and judgmental. Women are also expected to conform to completely impossible body shapes, among other things.

    The A-Z is a great way to celebrate your personal journey.

    Best wishes,
    Nilanjana.
    Madly-in-Verse
    Theme : Arabiana

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    1. That’s sadly true Nilanjana, it’s a way to cope with our perceived deficiencies I think. It doesn’t make it right of course, just explains it a little bit, making it easier to accept.

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  7. Great kick off for the challenge! Having been driven (or maybe crippled is more accurate) by fear, this post really resonates with me. As I read your list I was already thinking that while those goals looked quite possible and non-threatening, they could be a challenge for me.

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    1. Hi Kat, thanks for stopping by! They were a challenge for me too. I believe in gentleness so I didn’t push myself too hard but I’ve a feeling that it’ll change now this month lol

      Liked by 1 person

  8. That’s a lot to overcome and I admire you for taking steps to do so. We all have fears, some worse than others. My biggest phobia is insects. When it comes to personal judgement, though, an old saying comes to mind: “What you think of me is none of my business.” It’s their issue, not yours. 🙂 We should all revel in our individuality!
    Debbie @ THE DOGLADY’S DEN
    Latest post: Azzurro: Going AWOL in Switzerland

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  9. Looks like you met it head on and overcame. A great way for you to kick off the challenge, and potentially inspiring for the rest of us.

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  10. I’m so proud of you Andi! Not only is this post amazing but it’s so brave of you to face your fears and share that with others! I’m sure you will inspire people in your life to do the same!

    So many people can relate to how you feel, so voicing it let’s them know they aren’t alone! I’ve recently learned to embrace myself. The fatso comment reminded me of how many things I missed out on in my life because I didn’t like how overweight I was. I’m missing in so many of my daughter’s early photos because I was embarrassed about my weight- as if everyone that saw me didn’t know I was overweight!! It’s taken me years to get comfortable with myself, I haven’t lost the weight yet but I feel beautiful and comfortable in my own skin.

    Just last week I met up with an old friend of the family I hadn’t seen in almost 10 years and he asked why I was SOOOOOO overweight. The question caught me off guard, I obviously knew I was overweight but had never had anyone ask. He went on to say how beautiful my face was and what a shame such a pretty girl would let herself go like that. I told him I knew I was a bit fuller than he remembered but that I loved myself no matter what. I told him I did yoga naked in front of my mirror every morning just to love and appreciate my body because even though it’s curvier it’s healthy. He didn’t know what to say. The person I was a couple of years ago would have been mortified and gone home and cried myself to sleep.

    So yes, it’s important to face your fears.It’s important to worry less about what others will think or say and focus more on what you want and love and what will build you up! Sorry for such a long comment, these A-Z posts have a way of connecting me with the blogger 🙂

    I’m glad to run into you on here. Have a great rest of your weekend ❤

    Niki Meadows
    Worthiness & Authenticity Coach| Inspirational Blogger | Kindness Ambassador

    A to Z Challenge Post
    2017 Kindness Challenge

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    1. Thank you Nikki! I’m happy we can reconnect! To be honest, I’m angry that your old family acquintance talked to you like that 😐 why do people think they have the right to make those kinds of remarks? But your response was perfect – you stopped the hurt and didn’t let it get to you. I applaud you for it!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It caught me off guard. Once I got home and told my husband he couldn’t believe it. So glad my self-worth isn’t tired to how I feel about my body anymore. Had that been a few years ago… in the end I celebrated how far I’ve come on my journey of self-love and acceptance.

        I hope you had a great weekend!

        Liked by 1 person

  11. What a great post to kick off the challenge. For me personally, those fears were so easy to relate to and I congratulate you on making some big jumps to overcoming them. I love the way you describe fear too: “I love fear for loving me so much that it wants to protect me from all kinds of pain”. That kind of takes the fear out of fear and makes it easier to approach. Looking forward to reading more from you! 🙂
    ———-
    *Kim*
    *Ramblings of K*

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  12. This was lovely. I am so glad I randomly came here, as this is my first A to Z year. I am tied down by fear often also. Great thoughts shared here. Facing fears really is worth it.

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  13. Fear can be so overpowering can’t it but then someone famous said “We have nothing to fear but fear itself” but they were probably talking bunk… but the fear is sometimes more powerful than the thing we fear. And the truth is much of the time when we are worrying about what others are thinking about us is that they aren’t thinking about us at all… which could actually be more worrying!

    All the best with the rest of your blogging challenge. I hope that it brings you the insights and stretching that you would like

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    1. Thank you for your visit and your thoughts on this, I totally agree. As I’ve been doing these challenges what I’ve found is that thinking about them was always much worse than doing them.

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  14. Very well expressed indeed, Andi. Irrational Fear does keep us from doing a lot of things we yearn to do. I am sure most people will relate to your article. Looking forward to more….wish you luck!!!!

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  15. “Fear isn’t a bitch after all: it’s an overprotective lover who wants only good for me. I just need to prove it that I can take a little pain in order to grow.”

    That just hit home. As someone who suffers from anxiety, I know how fear can cripple you. Fear has its friends – negativity, sadness and frustration. Fear can be my worst best friend.

    I can’t wait to read more, Andi.

    Cheers,
    Anjali
    Day-dreamer, occasional writer, guitar-hobbyist, dog-lover.
    https://akprowling.wordpress.com/2017/04/01/a-is-for-airplanes/

    Like

    1. Hi Anjali, thank you for your comment. Yes, fear unfortunately doesn’t come alone! I’m trying to welcome them all with live and acceptance. Not always easy or possible though.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. An amazing start to the A-Z Challenge. Very inspiring. Best of luck with the challenge and your journey. Looking forward to your future posts! Stay positive and keep moving forward 😀 -Marie

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  17. So glad to have found your blog through#AtoZChallenge. Loved your post, very inspiring! Looking forward to reading your four week journey.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. How wonderful!! I could connect with you on so many levels. Fear is indeed overprotective- what a great way to turn something fearful in positive! Kudos on such a delightful start to the challenge. You made a good decision on trying to change for the better. I wish you all the best. Thanks a lot for stopping by my blog, I’ll follow you through out! 😊😊

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  19. Fear can be overprotective and wanting to keep us safe.

    One of my favorite signs I have seen in the past year stated “Fear is a Liar” and I’ve been trying to live by that. Fear has crippled me at times, then I discovered my fears were mostly irrational.

    Visiting from your link on the A to Z Challenge

    onceuponatimeinhaz.blogspot.com

    Like

  20. What a great post!! I admire your determination and courage sharing here and setting goals. Sometimes it really helps to share them with friends and sharing here at WordPress, well, I find it is such a supportive community!! I tend so worry a lot and try to shut my brain from spinning by keeping busy reading, writing or working but it is not facing fears…You gave me food for thought.

    I love that song…I have Alanis Morissette’s original version…That is a great song to sing on a road trip really LOUD! (Chuckles)

    Like

  21. That’s some interesting Introvert insight there. I’m not one, but I know people who are, and enjoy learning ways to better support them.
    The video won’t play.
    And today I learned about the dispute between this version and the Alanis Morissette version. Interesting.

    J — Co-host the #AtoZchallenge, Debut Author Interviewer, Reference and Speculative Fiction Writer
    2017 THEME = Speculative fiction story featuring telepathy.
    http://jlennidornerblog.what-are-they.com

    Like

    1. Oops, accidentally sent the above haha. So trying not to give TMI but I’m at a place where I’d rather err on the too much side than on the too little ☺

      Like

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