I pride myself on my ability to see the positive side of things, to learn the lessons and to be an eternal optimist. I actually wear it as a badge of honour. I like that I am able to handle adversity and challenges with dignity, positivity and a solution mindset, although can be really annoying for some people, who just like to be miserable. Well, this character trait of mine was severely tested this week, and I am surprised by what came out of it.
It is a challenging time for the whole world right now, and there is an uncertainty about how long it’s going to last. This uncertainty can lead, and has led, to fear, anxiety and an insecurity in people coming up to the surface. I have been able to hold strong to my optimistic mindset for the most part; thinking positive, looking for solutions, getting creative and having faith that everything is going to be okay. On Friday, however, things went a little pear-shaped.
After losing quite a few paid speaking gigs in schools, libraries and companies, I was still feeling optimistic. I had come up with, what I believed to be, a very creative and well thought through solution. I did some writing, developed a program, created a video and got on the phone to start talking to people about it. The response I got was positive, which fueled my optimism and motivation to keep going. To be honest, there was an underlying fear and insecurity, but I ignored it and kept on my merry way, until Friday. Cancellations, followed by rejections, followed by non-responses started chipping away at my positive and optimistic exterior. The straw that broke the camels back was the cancellation of an appointment I was relying on. which cracked through to expose my fear and insecurity.
For the rest of the day, I fell into pity-party and victim mode. My bottom lip rolled out, hit the floor and I allowed my mind to wander and start exploring worst case scenarios. For the next few hours, I lived in fear with all of those underlying insecurities about myself, bubbling up to the surface. Well, thankfully, a conversation with a great friend helped me to feel a little better, and I went to the greatest place on earth, bed, to sleep myself through into a new day!
I got up on Saturday morning, did my exercise and had my daily conversation with God. I was thanking him for the blessings in my life and I found myself thanking him for my fears and insecurities. Why, you may ask, was I thanking God for my fears and insecurities? That’s a great question, and this is what came up for me; without the fears and insecurities to face, embrace and negotiate, how can I ever become the person I want to become? I mean, if I had no fears and insecurities, life would be too easy, not challenging and therefore there would be no need to really stretch myself to see what’s possible.
I don’t know if that makes any sense to you, but the reality is, every one of us has fears and insecurities. All of the positive posts you see on social media, and all of the empowering webinar, live-streaming and video events that are available, are offered by people who, like me and you, also have fears and insecurities. They are just helping themselves face, embrace and negotiate those fears and insecurities by helping other people, as I do. My message this week is that it’s okay to feel fear and insecurity. Anyone who tells you there is no need to be fearful or insecure, is either a robot, or a liar. I want to encourage you this week to feel the fear, bring it to the surface and face it, don’t shove it down and try to ignore it. Look at it, question it, assess it and then embrace it. It is our fear and insecurities that keep us safe, which is a good thing, just don’t accept them as defining who you are. Spend some time this week facing and embracing your fears and insecurities, then, come up with some actions that will help you become stronger, better and more equipped for a life of joyful longevity.