Cutting Fear Off!
I have a fear of rollercoasters. I have a fear of spiders. I have a fear of the dark. (Yes, I am 24 years old and I still think there may or may not be a monster in the closet. I am afraid of things that quite a bit of people are scared of.
Now before I dive into what my biggest fear is, I think it is important to define fear. Fear is a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc., whether the threat is real or imagined.
For me, it is significant that this definition includes "real or imagined." Because now that I sit and write this post, I realize that the majority of my fears are imagined; however, that does not mean they are not scary.
*insert deep sigh of anguish here*
I am afraid of success. I am afraid of what will happen if I actually succeed. For the longest, I believed I was scared of failure (although I still think sometimes I am), but I realized this week that I am more scared of being successful.
That may sound stupid or crazy or even weird; however, I think this is normal. If i am successful once, then people will expect me to be successful all the time in everything I do. And that is quite a bit of pressure to be under, even if it is self-inflicted.
That is why, well partially why, I have not written in a while. The success of the last post was a lot. I mean do not get me wrong, I want to be successful but none of my previous post have gotten that much traction, so what happens if all the rest of my post are expected to be that successful. What do I have to do to make sure I write in that way again. *whew* Dis is tew much.
Back in December, I cut all my hair off. Not like into a bob or a pixie; however, I did the "big chop." I can remember the stylist asking me was I sure and I told her "just cut it." And she did and it is has now been almost 10 months since I cut my hair off, and my little afro is coming in nicely.
I cannot honestly say that when I cut my hair off that when I got up from the chair that also on the floor was all my fears; however, I cannot say that. But what I can say is that it was the beginning of the fears binding me being break loose. And that felt good.
The fear of success has been something that has always crippled me. I know that that is an odd thing to say; however, I think that more people struggle with it than is talked about. As I mentioned before, the fear of success is not the success itself but the ability to actually keep up with the it. Continually succeed. People expect it from you.
That's the problem though, success itself is not only about the Ups but it is also about the Downs. I mean we are often told about how many times it took to get the light bulb right. We hear about all the times trying to put a person into flight failed. But we also understand that we now have lightbulbs and catching a flight is a regular thing to most people.
My point is, part of success is the failure. Part of winning, is learning how to lose. Part of being who I am, is being someone who can get back up after she has been knocked down. When you succeed, its like you are no longer able to hide behind your mistakes. People can see you and that's exactly how I felt when I cut my hair off. There was no longer shoulder length strands of hair to hide my extremely round cheeks. Or to hide my oddly shaped earlobes. But instead, it was (is) just me. And I had to have confidence to pull this hair cut off.
I am learning that success and failure truly go hand in hand. And that I also need to allow my self the grace to stumble. That it doesn't matter who expects what from. But what does matter is the goals I set for myself and if I accomplish them or if I give up at the first obstacle.
That day in December, I cut just a little of my fear off and left it on the barbershop floor. I feel a little bit lighter literally and figuratively. I also learned that just like with cutting my hair and now styling it, that I had to go the extra mile to take care of myself. There are things I have to do to my hair now that it is natural that I didn't have to do when it was longer. And there things that I have to take extra care of now that I am not afraid of success that I didn't really think about when I was living in fear of my old abilities.
I have to make sure that I do not allow anyone to steal my joy (no pun intended). I have to make sure that I do not allow anyone to place their expectations or measurements on me. I try my hardest to protect my peace because that is more important to me now than it ever has been.
Cutting fear (and hair) off is freeing. And with more freedom comes more responsibilities. But these are responsibilities I am glad to have.