I have decided to do my first “What If Challenge” inspired by @Fitarella. As I started to write this – I realized my “what-if’s” were mostly fears and not the things I wanted to do in life, but kept putting off! I hope you enjoy, I tried to make the blog come full circle.
As excited as I am to move back to California, I do have several fears, concerns, and struggles with being completely excited and this has left me a little uneasy.
I moved across country, founded Voice in Recovery; started to build a platform for my voice, networked with individuals and groups in the Body Image, Eating disorder, self esteem, and mental health communities. I have challenged myself in finding & expressing my voice. I have met people I NEVER would have in the past. I met people I didn’t ‘know’ in real life, and only in social media. All of the success I have had in Boston I realize isn’t because I moved to Boston. The social media world can and does exist everywhere. I found out I could pay my bills (a HUGE accomplishment considering for years it paralyzed me with anxiety and I relied on my parents to help take care of them). I found out my relationship has grown with my boyfriend. It has been downright tear/heartbreaking, and also full of joy. I have learned how to recognize my behaviors in relationships, and also how these patterns do not have to be who I am. I have a CHOICE in all of my life. I found self empowerment.
Moving home, I worry that it could potentially be moving backwards. This is of course, an unfounded fear. I LOVE moving, it feels like a change, and all the things I have done here in Boston have re-affirmed my ability in not only LIVING my own life, but succeeding in following my passions. I do worry it is a fluke, that it happened because I was thrown into an environment I was unfamiliar with, and had to either sink or swim.
So here are some of my fears, concerns, worries, etc:
– What if I can’t do what I want to do?
– What if I go back to who I was then?
– What if I get sucked into the drama that I struggled with then?
– What if the focus on looks in California affects my body image?
– What if my vision for ViR fails?
– What if I have no more friends there, than I do here?
– What if California is a comfort zone, a place where I do not challenge myself?
I know all of these are fears, not realities. I often have fleeting concerns & catastrophizing of situations that have NOT yet occurred. Notice the word – fleeting. In early recovery, this was NOT the case, I would buckle under these fears, and let anxiety and panic attacks come full force because of what I thought I KNEW would happen. Fortunately, with therapy and CBT, I know how to talk the talk and get out of that thinking. The thoughts haven’t disappeared, so much as become quieter. My authentic voice has become louder than the fear voice.
So in honor of the “What-If” challenge, I have decided, what if I decided to LET GO of all the fears and worries I have with regards to the move, and continue living my life, day to day, being mindful of any new real challenges I face. Live authentic in the moment, and basically CONTINUE to do as I have been doing. Obviously something is working, and allowing my old thinking, and fears any weight in my head will do no good. I have found that what I am doing is always moving forward. I may have moments where I feel I am slipping, but I am always facing the future, and my goals, with flexibility and excitement. I am going to consider all the What-if’s are a blessing, a gift on the road in recovery and life.
Fears are simply not the deciding factor anymore in my life. Fears are blips on the radar, and I have a choice as to what weight I give to them. I choose to recognize them for what they are, and what they are not. They will not guide, nor determine the choices, or path I take in my life. I have benefited greatly from challenging each and every fear along the road in recovery, and this is simply not going to change. I will continue to fight the fears, and challenge myself. My dreams, my passions, my goals are worth it. Below is the Tattoo I got before I moved out to Boston & it is my daily reminder.
How do fears affect your life? Are you able to counter the fears?
What ‘What-If’s’ are you missing out on by listening to your fears?