Riding out the fear

When I first learnt to turn my dreams into reality, cook up ideas and then bring them alive, it was like learning magic. But when you first do it,  it really is f**ing terrifying. Having always followed the rules and kept with the pack, when you first strike out on your own, decide to live to your own rules and shake things up a bit, you’re gripped with fear. Fear as you embark on change, as you let go of old dreams, create new ones and then dare to try and make them happen.

Every cell in your body wants you to give it up, run for cover, dive under the duvet and not come up until your hair-brained idea has passed. When you’re gripped in that kind of fear and anxiety it’s hard to imagine there being any break from it other than to give the whole idea up.

But if you have the courage to stand your ground while wild winds of anxiety, doubt and fear blow through you. If you face the fears, really face them, and let the dead wood, the parts of you that are holding you back, drop away, then eventually the storm passes, and you’re all in one piece, with a few skins shedded, calm again,  and so is your dream. Right on track, still alive and kicking.

The first time that happens it takes all your strength to keep going.

But here’s the news…no matter how many times you do it. No matter how much change, adventure, the new and the unknown become part of your life, that fear never subsides. I always thought I’d get better, that things would get easier, that with practice I’d learn to make big sweeping changes without ruffling a single feather.

It seems you don’t. With every change I make, the fear comes galloping over, every bit as strong as the first time. The difference is how quickly I’m able to shake it off, how quickly I turn to face the fear, because at least now I’ve learnt that there’s no way of escaping it. You have to just let it flow through you. Holding on tight. Give voice to the fear, let it speak. Let the Shitty Committe have its say. Let it all out. Find a quiet spot and cry if you have to.

Let the storm pass. It always does, that is the one thing you can count on.

It’s part of the ride. The fear doesn’t go away, you have to just become a master of riding it out.

Selina Barker