Generally speaking, I’m not a big fan of New Year’s Resolutions for myself. They tend to not work out so great for me (meaning, like nearly everyone else, I give up on them within a short time and then use them as another stick with which to beat myself).
So I haven’t done resolutions in a long time. I do use a Word of the Year, though, which feels entirely different for me. Maybe I’ll write about my word for this year soon.
Just this morning, though, I realized that even though I hadn’t named or declared it as such, I do have a new resolution for this year.
I resolve to make fewer choices out of fear.
That sounds so easy, doesn’t it? It always has to me in the past when I’d read blog posts or otherwise hear someone talking about it. I mean, of course… who wants to make choices out of fear? Choose from love instead (did you just hear blah blah blah in your head like I did?!).
And then just within the last 2-3 weeks, I’ve started to see myself more clearly (let me just say here that – for me – 2017 was a year of learning to see myself in ways that I never have before. It’s been a bit disconcerting, to say the least!). And I quietly became more aware of how many decisions I was making out of fear. Some part of me had to have known all along, but it never made it into my conscious awareness until just then.
As an example… I started working on this website in early September of 2017. I kept telling myself that I was going to publish it soon. I was just. going. to do it! Any day now…. [insert cricket sounds here].
I just wasn’t doing it.
Felt like I couldn’t. I had good ‘reasons’, you know… It had zero design or anything to pull it together as a cohesive & well thought out website (obviously this was a problem since I used to design & build WordPress websites… my own site had to be great!). I didn’t really have anything ready to talk about specifically. Hell, I didn’t even know for sure what the thing was going to be about at the root of it all!
These are all good reasons, and honestly, if I’d been building a site with a client, I would’ve suggested they have all these things thought out & planned before coming to me to discuss building the thing!
So I waited. And waited. And then waited some more.
Then just this past week I realized why I was really waiting.
I was afraid. Full stop.
I was afraid that it wasn’t going to be good enough (and by extension, I was going to be shown to be not good enough). I was afraid that I’d get mean comments and feedback (internet trolls are real, folks). And the biggest thing was (and this is the really hard one to admit) I was afraid that people I’d grown up with, and others who actually have known me in real life, would see it and think or say not-nice things about me and about who I really am. (That sounds ludicrous now that it’s in black & white… but how often is that the real truth of our fears… that once we truly see them, they feel silly?!)
I have always been different. Always the outlier. The one who didn’t quite share the same religious / spiritual beliefs. The one who never quite accepted how society works. The one who never wanted to hear that this is just how things are. Just always a little bit different. And I didn’t want to be. I wanted to fit in, like most of us do. I wanted to have a pack. Wanted to be judged as worthy and acceptable (if I was to be judged at all). But then I also resisted fitting in. There were times that I was proud of being & feeling different. As you can imagine, a bit of a tug-of-war ensued.
To make a very long story shorter, this all led me to become a bit of a chameleon. I’d let certain parts of myself out, depending on who I was around. I never really thought of that as being two-faced, per se… because these were all aspects of my own (real) personality… but years of chameleon-style living are what led me here.
To being afraid to let myself actually be seen as who I am. By everyone. All the time.
There’s been so much fear around that, to the point that I’ve been finding that the box just kept getting smaller & smaller.
This is just one example. There are many.
The bottom line now is that I see it. I see it and I don’t want to hide anymore. I want to actually live, despite my fears. Otherwise, what’s the point of being here at all? If we’re just pretending… if we’re just kind of half-assing it at life, what is the point?
Wouldn’t it be better to live, full out, and make mistakes along the way… than to live curled up inside, afraid?
I have to think it would be better. I have to try. Don’t we all owe that to ourselves? To our lives?