When I think back to everything I've accomplished so far, I realize that fear has not affected my life as much as I think it has. Actually, fear has very little affect on my life overall yet I feel I am fighting a constant battle to stop it from defining me.
It doesn't define me at all.
What fear am I talking about? There are a million ways I could answer that but what it trickles down to is: The fear of having zero control of how people view and judge me.
In grade school, everyone is so insecure that they are searching for something, anything to lessen a threat against themselves. That's why when something embarrassing happens to someone at school, the rest of the students are likely to latch onto it. It's a distraction from their own problems.
As we get older, we look more and more within ourselves and less of the outside world. I don't mean that in a selfish way—what I mean is that we are focused on working on ourselves and who we love. We lose focus on things that don't affect our lives. We notice things, like a woman tripping on the street but we are likely to just notice it, maybe react and try to help or laugh, but then life gets in the way and we move on.
No one will care about what I do nearly as much as I care. And if they are judging me, it doesn't change the truth of who I actually am.
If I puke in the trash in the weight room, some people will notice and probably find it gross. Maybe they'll tell someone later "Oh this girl puked at the gym today" but then life goes on.
Today I had this exact fear. Midway through my banded-squat exercise, very jet-lagged and my belly full of pre-workout, I felt a little sick. The nerves kicked in making me feel sicker but I waited it out. Normally, I would've stopped where I was and left but instead I gave myself 5 minutes rest and then went at it again for another 8 reps. I got to 6 reps and wanted to give up because I was scared, but I told my fear to shut up and I did 2 more reps. On the last set, I said: Even if you just do 1 squat, that's great. You can stop anytime. I was proud of how I pushed myself. It's baby-steps, after all. I did 6 reps to complete the exercise.
I used to take the fear and spiral downward, creating decorative, nightmarish scenarios in my head I believed were reality. Now I can rationalize my fear with logic to weaken it and in most cases, make it go away.
When I was home,
I was really nervous about going to NYC with my boyfriend and would get stomach aches every afternoon because of it. I was slumped on the couch with a scowl on my face when my dad walked in. I told him how I was feeling and he suggested we go out for a drink. I didn't feel up for it, but I put my shoes on anyway and went out with him. Of course, we had a great time. My mom met us out and it ended up being one of my favorite nights I was home.