The other night I found myself sitting home alone flicking through the TV channels trying to find something to watch. I don’t generally watch much TV. If anything, I tend to watch it when I’m at a friend’s house or when someone has it on at home as I would rather read – or write. But this particular night I had finished reading my book and was bored, so decided to give the TV a shot. As I was flicking through I came across the movie Green Lantern with Ryan Reynolds and decided to watch that because, well, Ryan Reynolds was in it. Enough said. Plus I like comics and the superhero movies, so it was a no brainer. I hadn’t seen Green Lantern before and actually found myself rather interested in the storyline and the concept of ‘will’ and ‘fear’ they explored. Basically, the good aliens had a superpower where they could summon up any weapon they wanted just by willing it (really, really willing it without any fear or doubt), and the bad alien had the superpower of using a persons – or aliens – fear against them and then feeding on that fear. So it essentially was about how your fear stops you from fighting back.
It got me thinking about fear. Interestingly, the notion of fear has come up a few times this last week in different settings and forums, so it was already on my mind, the movie just gave me another angle to look at it from. Fear at its worst can be paralyzing. Whether it is a fear of a real danger coming your way, or a mental or emotional fear, it can stop you in your tracks and keep you from moving in the right direction. I’ve spoken to people who have lived their lives in fear of disappointing their family. Others have lived in fear of failure and have made sure to play things super safely to avoid any potential failures. I knew someone who was so scared of being hurt that they sabotaged every relationship they had and at last check in, they were alone and miserable. The list goes on and on. All these thoughts about fear made me stop and ask myself if there was any fear in my life that was holding me back in any way and sadly for me, the answer was yes.
As I lay in bed that night thinking about it, I realised that I was holding back in certain areas of my life out of fear of being judged, which is interesting considering I generally don’t take notice of people’s opinion of me, especially when it’s negative. I long ago stopped caring about what people thought of me. Outside of my family and a handful of friends, I didn’t take much notice. Or so I thought. Turns out I was wrong and I have been holding back, mainly with my writing. I realised that there was so much I wanted to say, but there was this little voice in the back of my head telling me that no one wanted to hear what I had to say, or that people would think that what I was saying is stupid, or judgemental, or arrogant, or any number of things. I had this little voice scaring the heck of me and not letting me be completely honest with how I felt or what I thought about certain things out of fear of people not liking what I had to say. The realisation made me sad, and a little angry at myself. Mostly, it left me feeling disappointed with myself for not seeing the fear that was holding me back sooner. I have a voice and instead of using it to its full potential, I was turning the volume down on it out of fear that some people may not like what I have to say, or may not agree with it. Instead of focusing on the people who were championing me and encouraging me to speak my truth, I was focused on those that I thought wouldn’t approve of what I had to say.
I don’t mean to sound full of myself, but I honestly feel I have been given a talent to write, and I want to use it well. Not everyone likes my style of writing, I know that, but I also know that plenty do. Either way, I want to use the gift I’ve been given well and share the things that are most important to me. I want to share my heart completely in the hopes that what I think and feel will encourage and empower others. I want to be able to use my words to connect with people in a way that let’s them know they are not alone in this world. And that means that I can’t hold back. As scary as this is, from here on in I’ll be taking the same approach to my writing that I take in my relationships; I’m all in. The close people in my life – family and friends – get all of me. The good, bad, ugly, beautiful and at times mediocre. They get the drama queen and the quirky chic that’s scared of penguins (long story, don’t ask). They get the person that will fight for them til the end and the person that will tell them what they need to hear, not what they want to hear. I don’t hold back in my relationships and to be honest, my opinions and thoughts and words have at times gotten me in trouble. They haven’t always been what people have wanted to hear, but I believe that in relationships, you need to speak truth. I plan to be the same with my writing and give it everything. I have no doubt that at times it will get me in trouble. But it’s worth the risk.
Because here’s the thing: I don’t want to be held back by fear in any area of my life. I don’t want to look back and regret not saying what I really felt, or sharing something that could change someone’s life. I don’t want to look back and realise that I missed out on joy and happiness because I was too afraid to act. I’m not just talking about my writing, I’m talking about every area of my life. I don’t want fear to get in the way of my life because fear is a liar that wants to strip me of joy. I don’t believe that I was created to live a mediocre life – I may have some mediocre moments but I don’t want a mediocre life. I want to live a life of abundance, that’s why Jesus went to the cross for me, and I want to honor that. I want to look back and see that I took chances and had abundant faith and courage. I don’t want fear to stop me from flying because I want to soar as high as I can. I want to be able to tell my grandkids of all the times that I stepped outside of my fear and took a chance to say or do something that I believed would count and make a difference.
We all have fear of some sort. What’s yours? What little voice do you have inside your head telling you that you can’t do something? Or is it telling you that you can’t be something? Is the voice telling you that you are not good enough? Worthy enough? That you’re not deserving of love. What ever lie fear is shouting in your ear, let me tell you that it is just that: a LIE. You are worthy. You are capable. You are deserving. You were created by a heavenly Father that thinks you’re amazing and worthy and valuable. Own that. Belive it and belive that you are deserving of a good life. Belive that you are deserving of love and joy. Don’t settle for the mediocre but aim for the amazing. Reach for the stars and don’t be afraid to fly. Because when you are on your deathbed reflecting on your life, you want as minimal regrets as possible. You want to be able to look back at your life and say, ‘yeah, I kicked fear in the teeth and kept going!” That’s my aim from here on, to look fear in the face and say, ‘you’re a liar, so get out of the way.’ My aim is to take that fear and use it to help others. I’m going to be vulnerable and raw and put it out there for the world to either accept or reject. Either way, I’m putting it out there. So, will you do the same?