Fear – An unpleasant feeling triggered by the perception of danger, real or imagined.
First, Happy one month to Behind Her Smile! I was extremely fearful of starting and being persistent with my blog. Fear of people not being interested, me not reaching people or impacting them in even the slightest way and ultimately the backlash I thought I would receive. Although, I knew I was going to one day do it anyway, those fears still ran through me. Caring what others think is a touchy subject. Why? It’s so easy to say “I don’t care” or “It doesn’t matter” when someone, you care about, voices an opinion or statement that doesn’t settle well with you. You do care and it does matter, if it didn’t you wouldn’t perseverate on the ideas of what you could have said or done once it ended.
Let’s face it. Literally. It is a natural instinct to care about what others think. But, when it starts to prevent you from living a a healthy and productive life, that’s when it becomes a problem. Fear can rob us of a lot of things. Like, confidence, control, joy and peace. I’m going to discuss some things you can start doing to hopefully help you stay mentally healthy or to start heading down that path. But, first I want you to answer a few questions.
- Are you indecisive?
- Do you avoid having conversations because “You don’t like to be confrontational?”
- Do you think people are upset with you—but, really they aren’t?
Sound familiar? If no, good! If yes, good! You’re being honest with yourself! Is it a problem? That depends. Do these things interfere with daily tasks?
“Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric” – Bertrand Russell
Seek. Do you have a few family or friends whose opinions you value/treasure more than others? Let them be your go-to’s. I’ve noticed when people tend to be indecisive and there begins to be “too many hands in the pot” their perceptions and initial visions get cloudy, leaving them with no solution. Keeping people around you value and trust creates a sense of security. When you’re fearful you don’t feel safe. If you don’t agree with something you should always feel safe, mentally and physically asking them “Why?”. I have close friends that I know will be 100? straightforward with me, even when I know I probably will not like what they have to say. But, 9 times out of 10, they are right and only have my best interest.
One of my favorite verses: Joshua 1:9- ” Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”
There is no point in trusting Him if you constantly worry and fear. I know it’s easier said than done but knowing when it all comes down to it He has your best interest. No greater feeling. If you don’t think anyone is in your corner, He is.
Not caring. Sounds a bit harsh but it’s one of the ways I have overcome searching for validity through the opinions of others. Not caring about the outcome, if you don’t try you will never know. You are wasting more time questioning yourself and others than you are going for it. I also started actively practicing self-care. Writing down what I was thinking and feeling was a huge one. I honestly started answering my own questions once I sat down and dissected the tough choices I was so indecisive on. Also, setting out time to spend in my Bible and devotion. Self-Care is essential and it’s not optional. Self-care practices are different for everyone.
Remember, fear is natural and unavoidable but there are ways to cope and decompress from worrying about what others think.