Fears! Who doesn’t have them? What is your fear? What makes you coil anytime you attempt to do something? Here is mine;
I was raised to be a good child. Mum never stopped telling me the need to grow to become a good person. For her, that is the ultimate goal of a man. As I was growing up and thinking about what it is to be a good person, I became scared. So many people had a different definition of what ‘Good’ is and I lived with these so many people.
I lived with an aunt who taught me never to accept a gift from strangers. She would say; that is not a good behavior! Later I moved to live with another Aunty who also said; It’s disrespectful to reject a gift from an elderly. Where lies the line? When does it become good to take a gift from someone and when does it not? I feared I was failing at the concept I was raised up with—Become a good person.
I grew up with the fear that I might not be good enough to people. I might not be good to my wife—good to my kids and good to the people I work with. So I found solace in saying yes all the time to people. I thought if I said yes to things they required of me, then they will like me. Then they will love me. Then ultimately they will tag me as the good person mum always wanted me to become.
Let’s take Helen—She has fears too! Her fears are wrapped around series of rejection she had had to go through when growing up to be a woman. She has experienced so many rejections from people who were supposed to show her love. From people who promised her love and even from people who owe her a lot of love!
She has succumbed to her fears; “I’m not lucky in love. They all reject me in the end”. When things are going so well in her love life, she begins to panic. Her fear of the ultimate rejection creeps in. She begins to hold back, not giving her all. Because the voice of her fears loudly says in each passing moment; “you’re going to be rejected very soon, enjoy whiles it last.” And truly, her fears never lie…
She ends up being rejected!
Fear itself is not something we should despise. Fear should be our friend if we know how to handle it—how to bend it to our will. It is our fear that alerts us when something has the capacity to harm us. It draws on our past sufferings and discomfort to protect us from what has harmed us in the past.
Like Helen, she’d been rejected on occasions she expected to be loved—not once, not twice. Anytime she finds herself in situations where she could have the opportunity to be loved, her fears come rumbling in this lingering voice that says; “be careful, you could be rejected—again”
Take Jeanette, she loves to dance. It gives her some kind of pleasure she hardly finds from other things. Like she puts it; “it keeps my heart racing and sets my spirit flying. Like I have nothing to lose”. The problem is, she doesn’t know how to dance! How did she know?
Because her friends tell her so!
All of a sudden, what gives her joy has been remolded into something she should fear to do. It’s no more fun. She can’t do it in front of people. They will end up laughing at her. Her spirit calls for it sometimes when the music is loud and soothing. But her fears says no! She gave up!
Our goal is not to strive to become fearless! Our goal is to turn our fears into a flower. A flower that we love and want to smell every now and then. Our ultimate goal is to find what is it that we fear. Tame it and make it work for our good.
What is your fear?
Not being good enough? However good the intentions of your heart, sometimes things go wrong. It’s not altogether your fault that things didn’t turn out the way it should be. Stop feeling guilty. Stop taking all the blame. Stop telling yourself you are the bad guy. Usually, you are not. Situations play a part all the time. Assess what went wrong. Forgive yourself genuinely and ask to be forgiven by people who were hurt. Move on!
You are not a bad person just because you were at fault this once. Grow from your faults and strive to better it all the time. Being a good person isn’t a destination. It’s something we pursue all the time. Sometimes we fail. It’s alright.
You fear rejection? Learn to love yourself first. You can’t expect people to love you when the value you place on yourself is half an inch tall. To be loved or not is a power you have in your hand.
It is when you give that power to people who don’t matter that you begin to suffer. Be around people who appreciate your value and see the light you alone can bring whenever you are around. You will be loved—then your fear of rejection begins to fade away. Then you see your worth–your true worth.
So one day at a party. The music was loud. The song playing was just the kind of song Jeanette loves to hear. The dance floor was empty. She got up to the dance floor and started dancing her heart away. Everybody was looking at her. Some were laughing at her moves. She danced like a lady possessed.
After the party she told me; “I couldn’t stand it. All of a sudden there was this urge pushing me. I would have died today if I didn’t dance.” I told her; They were laughing at you. You still have some bad dance moves you know. Then she said;
“They didn’t like it? F**k them! I don’t care how my dancing makes them feel. That’s their problem. Ask me how I felt whiles dancing. That’s all that matters”
There and then I knew she was liberated from her fears. I knew she had a flower instead of a bouquet of fears.
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