‘Be gentle, truthful and fearless.’ – Gandhi
What are you frightened of? Anything that stops you living your life to the full, whether it’s fear of failure, fear of rejection, fear of the future can all impact on your life. Yet it is possible to overcome that detrimental negative thinking. You may never be completely fearless but you can learn to break out of your comfort-zone and find the freedom to take your life to a new level.
‘If you can, help others; if you cannot do that, at least do not harm them.’ – Dalai Lama
Abandoned by my mother at an early age, I grew to avoid making anything other than superficial relationships. Whilst I longed for love and connection, there was the possibility that I would be discarded. Accepting this as a truth, my dread of rejection progressed to a deeper level to a fear of attachment.
Unfortunately my father reinforced an even more deep-rooted fear in me. His abusive and dysfunctional words and behaviour towards me installed the conviction that I wasn’t good enough. Not for anything or for anybody. He manipulated my perception to the point that I was not only ashamed of whom I was but of who I thought I would become.
The reality as I progressed into adulthood was that I was terrified of being ‘me’ at every level. I wanted to speak up but I was frightened of being heard. I wanted to reveal my personality but I was frightened of being seen. I wanted to love, but I was frightened of being loved.
‘Sometimes our first and greatest dare is asking for support.’ ~ Brené Brown
As the years passed, so did my spiral into depression and alcoholism. Both however reinforced my sense of blame and inadequacy. And whilst on the outside I wore a mask of happiness, confidence and fearlessness, inwardly I lived with terror that gripped my mind, body and soul.
Of course I never asked for help because I was too flawed, too damaged and too unlovable, to allow anyone into my imperfect world. Consequently it wasn’t until I hit absolute physical and mental rock-bottom that others intervened to save me from myself.
Once of the greatest challenges I faced when I started on my journey to recovery was to let other people to nurture, comfort and guide me. For me, asking for support was to reveal my complete failure as a human being. But how wrong I was. For I learned that by reaching out, I not only found the way to move on from my past insecurities but I gained courage and strength in the process. Yet really it all began with a cry for help.
‘For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.’ ~2 Timothy 1:7 (NKJV)
So if you’re battling with an inner voice that consistently criticises and demeans, be encouraged. Just as you have been brain-washed to listen only to the negative, so too can you bring those dark thoughts into the light, confront them for what they are and develop an encouraging and fearless mentality.
For me, it was easier to look to my faith to provide the support that I needed so badly. For it wasn’t simply my body and mind that were broken, but my spirit and soul. The gentle breath of faith helped me to heal from within, and remains with me today.
Recovery has taken many years and although I do still experience the sensation of fear, it no longer controls me through depression and alcoholism. I do indeed have a sound mind, a vibrant spirit and a compassionate soul. They form the basis of my ability to love and be loved. That is power.
If you’re captive of your past, living with an anxiety-filled present or dreading the future, then learning how to live fearlessly will set you free.
And if you’re afraid to do it, do it afraid!
‘Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear.’ ~ Mark Twain.
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Thank you for the mention! I appreciate that!
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I appreciate your mention. Thank you.
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Thank you for your mention Marcus. I appreciate it!
Very encouraging post. Thanks. Heila
Thank you Heila. Great to see you here 🙂
I’m blessed to have come across your blog. Recovery has taught me so much about those fears that’s at the root of my soul. Thank you!
You are very welcome. Great to see you here Vernon!
My heart is reaching for you. I was abused by my birth mother. I felt dirty and scared inside. I feared letting people get too close for fear they would see what made my mother hate me. I was on a retreat of silence. I was studying Rumi and Hazarat Inayat Khan. I had a vision of my soul and it was pure white light. No scars. Nothing repulsive. It changed my life. Some of the triggers remain but I can go back to what the universe showed me and I work through it again. Hugs, Barbara
So sorry to read that you felt your mother hated you. What a traumatic time you experienced. Yet you have found that love starts and ends within your own soul which is so powerful and so healing. Thank you for sharing your story and your strength Barbara. Hugs xx
Be blessed my dear friend. Hugs, Barbara
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Thank you Jeanne Marie for always being so supportive and reblogging. I really am grateful 🙂
It is indeed so kind of you to narrate your personal story and the challenges faced by you and how you overcame them. The message in it is powerful for all because almost everyone has some kind of fear. We learn from your example that the worst can be trounced.
Thank you Carolyn and be happy always 🙂
I will Dilip 🙂 And thank you for your encouraging comments.
For me too, it was the ‘cry for help’ that changed everything for the better. Once I admitted to myself and then actually sought help for the depression, my life turned around but not before I came to faith. Thank you as always Carolyn for sharing so much of you with us. Love Jane x
You have overcome so many different life experiences Jane and are such an inspiration to me. Thank you for all your support. xx
That’s so sweet of you Carolyn but really its the ‘other way round’…. x
This is beautiful Carolyn. I, too, was crippled by fear – and never really understood that’s what was holding me back. I love reading your posts – also so much wisdom to be found. Thank you for sharing your story!!
Thank you Lisa for your support!
This speaks to me on many levels. Thank you.
That’s good to know Anna!
You are one of the first to win..’celebrating the joy of living in God: catholic writers’ award’
Thank you! I appreciate that 🙂
Believe it or not, the fear and anxiety does completely go away once we find the source of true peace in our lives: the presence of the Holy Spirit. We must be born again into this Spirit, which means completely dying to all that we have been, believing, and taking up our cross and following Jesus. If we finally become completely willing and dependent on Him, we will find the end to our fears. Everything after that is easy! Freedom and peace at last! Praise God! 🙂
Carolyn, I think your testimony is brave and honest and heartfelt, and for that I’m very thankful! But remember…you and others don’t have to be afraid…
Love your wise words here Penny! That you for your encouraging comments and insight 🙂
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A very thought provoking post. Thank you for your reference.
Thank you, Carolyn. Action breaks the helplessness/hopelessness trap.
It certainly does Katrina!
Wow, what a powerful testimony! And how brave of you to offer it up! I’m so sorry that you were so abused as a child, but man of man did you come out of it all and gloriously bloom. Blessings and hugs, Natalie 🙂
Thank you Natalie for your inspiring words 🙂
The beautiful thing about doing something while afraid, shows that you have underlying faith. Awesome post, glad our blogs have met.
beautiful, encouraging, inspiring words, Carolyn….and just to let you know, YOU are completely and abundantly loved. xx
Love you too Kim xx