BE BRAVE and Do What Makes You Scared

I’ve been attempting to write this for the last three weeks.
It’s a touchy subject for me and has been a little difficult.
Well, here goes nothing.

Since the new year I have spent a lot of time attempting a good look inward. I evaluate my thoughts, my intentions, and the things I say. In the trek to become a mama I kind of forgot myself – not in the way that we’re (irresponsibly) encouraged to as Christians, but in a way that was unhealthy and full of avoidance. My mind was focused on getting pregnant and how I felt when that wasn’t happening, and then once I was my focus was on Isaac. I have been continually focused outward. I forgot myself.

This shifted when we did an activity in our Bible study right after the first of the year and has been shifting and changing since then with each meeting and new topic. I am amazed and and a little heartbroken over my own condition. My love for me is something I’m discovering again. It’s weird and difficult, honestly.

During this time I have discovered that I have a strange amount of anxiety. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not anxious all the time or anything, but I am anxious over things most people would think are weird. These are things I’ve said were okay because I’m quirky and awkward. I’ve been lied to by the world and myself.. Anxiety like this is not alright. Yeah, we all get nervous. We’ve all had butterflies in our stomach – many have thrown up over the thought of standing up on a stage in front of people. But letting that anxiety stop us from doing something is wrong. Let’s face it, guys; anxiety is fear. Avoiding “scary” situations in order to stay comfortable is not alright. Really, it’s not.

Reluctantly, I’m going to share some of my fears. (because that’s scary)

I haven’t had my hair cut by someone other than myself since before Jason and I got married (nearly 4 years ago). Originally it was to save money, no biggie, but it has turned into an ordeal for me to think about going to let someone else do it. It is the thought of talking to a stranger and having to sit there while said stranger touches my hair makes small talk that really bothers me. So, I cut my hair last month by myself – again. Every time I see my cute new haircut I am reminded of my own internal struggle. It didn’t bug me until now because I thought it was for good reason and it was perfectly alright. I assure you, it’s not.

Meeting new people terrifies me. I hate doing it. Someone is bound to ask me “So, what do you do?” and I will immediately have images of myself without a shower for about 3 days covered in Isaac’s slobber and partially eaten food sitting on my couch eating dinner while he tugs on my pants leg crying. (Before I got pregnant, I was afraid people would think that I was strange because I wasn’t working and was incredibly lonely.) Everyone talks about their dreams and I can’t help but feel like mine are inadequate. I dream about a lot of things-few of which I’m sure about or sold on. None of them seem all that possible and I may even change my mind about them tomorrow. Meeting new people is an immediate look into myself. I feel awkward and like I don’t belong. Now, you may be thinking I’m just being silly and that this is an easy thing to push to the back of your mind in order to get through a dinner with strangers or people I only kind of know. You may think that it’s not a big deal – but it is, and it has kept me from being okay with me.

I don’t like to call people I don’t know on the phone.  I will if I’m required to, which is rare now that I’m married. Calling to order pizza can give me a near panic attack. My heart pounds and my hands sweat making it difficult to hold the phone at all. My first choice to do anything is online. My internet bill has gone up 3 times in the last year and I don’t want to call. I did the first time and spent a good two hours dealing with people. It was terrible and uncomfortable. This keeps me from being the independent kind of person I’ve always wanted to be. It’s easier to be dependent.

I don’t like not being in control.

I clean my house like a maniac before anyone comes over. When I watch my niece, I wake up thirty minutes early in order to pick up the same toys that are getting ready to be pulled back out onto the floor. I hate coming into my house with it dirty and unorganized – it makes me feel like I am a failure.

If a stranger rings my doorbell, my heart falls out of my butt – or at least that’s how I feel. (Even if it’s a kid trying to sell me babysitting services, cookies, and wrapping paper.)

I hate rejection. Maybe that is the root of it all. I don’t know. If you want to make me feel like I am nothing, ignore me. There is nothing else in this world that hurts me more.

Now, traditionally as a Christian, I would be lectured up one side and down the other over admitting these issues. In fact, I’d probably hear the whole thing about getting out there and talking to strangers – it’s not okay to be scared because that means you don’t love them; “how will they ever know if you don’t tell them?? Their blood will be on your hands if you let them slip away!” And if I get any of those comments, be prepared to have your comment deleted. Trying to manipulate me with fear will not work. Fear clearly doesn’t sway me into doing things. It convinces me to do nothing. And that, my friends, is where I’m going with this.

I’ve been on a mission to love myself more. To be the things I want to be simply because I want to despite being scared.
I have vowed to myself to do all those things that make me scared. (Obviously not to my own detriment. I’m not going to go jump off of a cliff with nothing to break my fall.)

Now, I know words aren’t much and that resolutions usually fail, but I’m doing something about this. Being a coward is not alright.

This month has been different.

I have attended a Bible study full of strangers (and a few friends) twice. Today would make three if circumstances were different. I still feel awkward and a little scared, but I think to myself that I am in control of the atmosphere around me.

I attended a party I was invited to. It was a new place, quite the drive, and I only knew one person, but I did it anyway because it made me nervous. I had a lot of fun.

We are attempting to rent a new house. During the working hours over the course of a day and a half, I got on the phone and left over 12 voicemails (not to mention the amount of calls I made in hopes to actually reach someone) for a crazy amount of houses. Only once did someone pick up their phone when I called; she politely informed me that the house was no longer available. I sent over 8 emails inquiring about properties with only two responses letting me know the houses were not available. I got 5 call backs – three of which said the houses weren’t available. Two available houses total. One of the agents informs me that the house we were looking to rent had an offer to purchase. So that one was out. We finally got an appointment to see a house with the other agent and sat there in the driveway for 45 minutes while I continually tried to get a hold of her. She never showed and emailed me later that the appointment was set for another day. I assure you, it was not. Clearly, after all of that I was not going to be shy and I was very clear on the phone with her and repeated the date twice, so I know for sure I wrote it down correctly.
Needless to say, I’m now less nervous about making phone calls.
Rejection still hurts, although it hurts less knowing it’s strictly business.
All those agents who just refused to call/email me back are still butt-heads in my mind.
That hurts and is unprofessional. I still do not like being ignored.

All of this to say, we’ve all got weird fears, but we can’t let them dictate to us our actions. You are in charge of you as much as I am in charge of me. Who I am is not dictated by anyone’s thoughts of me.

Now that I’ve laid all this uncomfortable stuff out there for you to see…
What makes you scared?
Are you ready to be brave?

2 Responses to “BE BRAVE and Do What Makes You Scared”
  1. Stephanie (mom) says:

    I love you! Some of this I knew, some I did not. (like the hair thing) Be brave indeed. You are awesome and you have so much to offer the world around you. I will help in any way you want or need. I cannot express how much I love and am proud of you!

  2. I like this perfect honesty. I totally get you- I have also realized recently that I have alot of fear inside of me. Alot of it stems from my fear of rejection. I have a fear of failure- its easier not to start something than to start and then fail, right? (or so I tell myself). I also have a fear of the phone- and no one gets it! They all laugh and think its a big joke- I’ve gotten to the place that I can laugh about it too now, but really, I still dislike making any phone calls or talking to anyone I don’t know on the phone. Baby steps are needed to overcome these things. Good job on being proactive about it!

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