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Thoughts on fear (and overcoming it)

Just months ago, I called off my wedding… Did I mention that to you? Probably.

I said goodbye to the castle venue we almost booked outside of Paris, the beaded white dress, and most of all, my best friend of six years—an amazing person, but not meant to be MY person. Parting ways was hard, and I left the relationship feeling incredibly vulnerable… Like an open wound…

It left me with the question: WHO am I without my security blanket?

And in order to answer this question effectively, I had to first ask myself:

What do I use as a security blanket? What do I hide behind?

My answers included my career, my relationship, my family… Everything but myself.

And in conversations with other power women in my life, their responses were often the same. We all agreed that we hide behind those polished elevator pitches, telling people how “together” we are in our careers. We all often hide behind our “amazing relationships” when things feel rocky otherwise… The list goes on.

What fascinated me the most about all of this was the realization that most people do NOT fear failure, as much as they fear being witnessed as they “fail.” 

… Isn’t that nuts? What often holds us back isn’t the fear of failure, but the fear of what other people think about our “failures.”

And this brought up my curiosity: why are we so afraid of being seen?

Where did we learn all of this fear? It fascinates me to think about who we were as kids—fearless, free and experimental. It’s as though we LEARNED to be scared, and as we grow older, this silent and invisible lacquer hardens over our hearts.

“Don’t talk to strangers.”

“Look both ways when you’re crossing the street.”

“Be careful at night.”

I guess I can’t blame all of us for randomly being afraid. But here’s what I want to leave you with:

What would be possible if you dropped the fear of everyone else seeing you “fail?” To really let yourself be vulnerable? (Listen to Brene Brown’s audio book, The Power of Vulnerability)



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