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fear

Feeling Uncertain About Your Future?

I know how it is to feel like you’re immersed in nothing but question marks. Whether it happened suddenly or by stealth, your life seems to have taken a turn down a road that’s dark and thick with trees so you can’t get a glimpse of what lies ahead.

It can leave you feeling uncertain about everything and fearful about not knowing what lies ahead.

But the truth is, we never know what lies ahead, not beyond the very moment in which we are standing. We make plans and we think that they’ll turn out as we expect. Even though we know sometimes it doesn’t happen like that, usually we keep moving forward on the assumption that things will go according to plan.

And we’re shocked when they don’t. Or we’re hurt or feel like we’ve failed. Or we’re afraid because we feel like we don’t have any control over our lives.

In reality, control is an illusion. It’s really just about having a plan and believing it’s going to go as you want. But other things come into play and things happen that you hadn’t anticipated, or perhaps you had but you thought you might be able to stop them.

You have this moment, and only this moment. The only truth that exists is the one that you experience right now. 

Everything can change in the next five minutes or the next breath. Things come out of the blue; life happens and the only thing we know for sure is that change is a given.

When you feel like you can’t stand the not knowing, just remember that you never really ‘know’ anyway. You’ve only got a plan, but there’s never any guarantee that it will turn out as you want it to do. 

When you accept this and just be open to going with the flow and seeing how it will all turn out, you’ve done yourself the biggest favour in the world. Now you don’t have disappointment, because you’ve given up expectation. Now you don’t have fear of the unknown because you’re happy to see whatever comes and view it as an adventure.

 

When you feel lost, it’s all about your perspective. You don’t really know any more or less for having a plan or not - because life will continue to unfold as it’s going to do. Be at peace with this moment and the rest will take care of themselves. 

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Living Your Way to Confidence

About a million years ago, I thought affirmations were silly. They were "the latest thing" and I've never been one to follow a trend if I can possibly help it.

Plus I'd been raised in a highly damaging and toxic environment where encouraging words or "confidence boosters" were as common as three-dollar bills. I couldn't relate to hearing anything good said about me, much less say such things to myself. So listening to people sit around and repeat their various "I'm so wonderful" affirmations was beyond foreign to me. It was ridiculous.

But as my own search for healing continued, there came a point when I discovered the value in affirmations. Oh, my, in the early days it was almost physically painful to say them. And of course, that was because I didn't believe one word of them.

For example, I remember growing up immersed in self-loathing and feeling worthless. I hadn't been shown respect and therefore didn't have much of it for myself either, which was easy to see in many of my life choices and in my relationships. Telling myself how valuable I was and that I deserved respect were tough sells.

It wasn't until I understood the reasons for my choices that I began to heal, and to clean up the damage that had been done to me and that I'd done to myself. Push had come to shove. I began acting as if I believed the affirmations I was telling myself every day, even though it felt like I was wearing a gorgeous pair of shoes that were three sizes too small.

The longer I acted as though I believed the words, they more they became my reality. In time, I was living them - because I had lived into them.

I am reminded of the years I spent wishing I could paint a mural on my bedroom wall and lamenting the fact that I didn't know how to paint and I wasn't an artist. Eventually, it occurred to me that I might as well try because if it was rubbish, I could simply paint over it.

This mural was my first painting. Ummm, go big or go home?! LOL!

This mural was my first painting. Ummm, go big or go home?! LOL!

Well, to make a long story short, I ended up doing several murals in various homes. It wasn't long before I was invited to have my first of many art exhibitions. My paintings were hanging in galleries and being sold for hefty sums, even to international buyers. Somewhere in the middle of all of that, I started to see myself as an artist.

My first exhibition, Chichele College, Rushden, Northamptonshire, UK - built in the 1400s

My first exhibition, Chichele College, Rushden, Northamptonshire, UK - built in the 1400s

Now I'm tackling another new thing and this is one of the scariest things I’ve ever done. I've been a musician (keyboards) since I was four years old. I adore music. I have mucked around with composing tunes.

Only now I'm composing songs with lyrics - which means singing them. I'm good for a toddler’s lullaby, the school choir or karaoke but that's the extent of my experience or practice.

It's super scary for me to let anyone hear my untrained voice. But as I've learned from what happened with the affirmations, or becoming an author, an artist, or from many other new and uncomfortable experiences, you're not supposed to wait for confidence to show up before diving into something. It just doesn’t work like that.

Nope. You have to dive in head first to gain the experience that gives you confidence. You don't get good at something by wishing for it, talking about it, repeating affirmations about it. You get good at it by doing it over and over again. It's okay to not be perfect. It's okay to make mistakes, especially while you're learning a new skill.

The most important bit is to enjoy what you do and to be happy. Don't give a rat's @$$ about the judgement of others. They aren't perfect either.

If you can relate to this post, I'd love to hear your experiences in the comments below!

 

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