How do I overcome my fears so that I can stop from sabotaging myself again? This is a question I have never directly asked myself before, and now that I have it is time to explore it, and find some answers.
The first step is to identify my fears. As mentioned previously, I have an equal fear of failure and success. However, even knowing that these are the two greatest fears that cause me to sabotage myself, they are not the root fears. No, the root fears are, I believe, more primal than this.
What do I fear about failing or succeeding? That’s the question I have to ask now. What will happen if I succeed or fail, and why do I fear that?
I lose comfort. I lose the baseline I have established for my life. I lose the things that are familiar, that are safe, that make up my everyday contentment. Despite being dissatisfied with aspects of my life, there is a primal fear that if I pull the thread, the tapestry will entirely unravel. If I go after the dissatisfaction and succeed or fail to change it, what if I destroy in the process something I am comfortable and at least moderately satisfied with?
This may be the crux of my self-sabotage. Failure and success are not the real fear, they are the gateway to the real fear. The real fear, ultimately, is loss. I fear I will lose what I have already fought to create for my life, and I fear that I may lose myself, and as such the people I have drawn to my life whom I care for and who care for me.
Why do I have this fear? Where does it come from? I am not about to go into an in depth analysis of my childhood or my parents or any of that stuff, because while that is where these roots were planted it is myself as an adult who has cultivated them. But in discovering that this is the real fear, that this is the root of my self-sabotage, I can now empower myself to take actions in order to overcome this fear.
The first action is for me to realize that this fear is wholly and completely intangible. No matter the people, places and things I have in my life, at the heart of it all I will always have myself. I know who I am, I know who I have been and whom I wish to be as I move forward in my life, and that is really what matters. There is no tiger preparing to pounce on me, this is a deep fear that is in all reality a mere phantom.
Loss is a powerful fear, and it feels pretty damned tangible. But it’s not. The premise of loss is often larger and more powerful than the actual loss will be. It is so easy to believe that with loss will be pain, hurt and suffering, and we will do nearly anything to avoid this kind of pain.
I believe that emotional, spiritual and even intellectual pain can be far more devastating to us than physical pain. And when you consider that this is an intangible, like many fears the have power over us, it makes perfect sense. It is all a perfect storm of intangibles that can be more paralyzing than any physical damages.
Why do I fear loss so much? There are any number of reasons, but the main one is the pain it will make me feel. I don’t want to feel alone, abandoned, discarded, disregarded, empty, ignored, forgotten or any other related negative emotion. I don’t want to lose the people and things I have in my life because of success or failure, because I fear how that loss will make me feel.
Even choosing to walk my own path, I have established a certain amount of comfort I am unwilling to risk losing. As such, I am not entirely walking a chosen path, and find myself at the point where I have to either truly face the why and how and take it on, or I need to declare defeat and decide that Pathwalking is not for me.
Three years I have discussed, analyzed and explored this idea, this notion. I have worked in a lot of abstract concepts, but when all is said and done I have only scratched the surface of what it will take for me to walk MY path, and make my own way. I am not at a crossroads this time, I am on the verge of either taking the leap that will get me to my goals…or play it safe and be a hypocrite towards my own ideal I have created in this philosophy.
Sabotage myself again, or realize that my fear of any possible loss is far worse than the losses themselves might be? Failure and success may lead to loss…but on the other hand what they might lead to is gain. Isn’t that what I want?
This of course raises the next question before me. What is it I want from my life? Where do I want to take this path to? Who do I really want to be?
I will take the leap and face my fear head on. What would you do faced with the same choices?
This is the one-hundred sixty-fifth entry in my series. These weekly posts are specifically about walking along the path of life, and my personal desire to make a difference in this world along the way. Feel free to re-blog and share. Thank you for joining me.