This past weekend seems to have been a time of monumental shift for a lot of people including me. Stories of epiphanies and ah-ha’s, endings and beginnings, breakdowns and breakthroughs filled my Monday morning and my inbox. For me, there was a head-on collision with my own deep-rooted fear of success in relationships as well as business. You see, my beloved has given me both the encouragement and the wherewithal to write full time, something I claim has been a life-long dream, and what did I feel? Knee-buckling fear.
As a little girl, I was full of probing questions, but grown-ups would say things like “Nice girls don’t ask such questions” instead of trying to answer. I was terrified. What if I asked the wrong questions? What if I got the answers wrong? Would the grownups still love me?
To my child’s mind, the grownups' attitude made the questions seem even more important. Worse, it felt like a setup to conditional love and that was very scary. It felt unsafe. I felt afraid. What I stored inside was that it was not OK to ask questions so it was not OK to be ME because I like to ask questions, and that meant if people knew what I was really like, they wouldn’t like me. From there, was a short slide into “I am defective” with a thudding stop at “I am not worthy.”
What if your Number 1 fear is the fear of just being Yourself?
Monday morning, a dear friend was relating a story of being falsely accused of acting out of integrity when it hit me – If I am afraid to fully be myself (integrity) no matter what, then I am also afraid to be fully authentic. If I am afraid to be fully authentic, others will pick up on that holding back. If I am holding back, then I am not fully embracing my life. If I am afraid to fully embrace my life warts and all, others will sense I'm hiding something and will step away from me. Many won’t recognize it as fear, especially if I appear to be confident on the outside. Plus if I appear confident on the outside and lack confidence on the inside, others will suspect a lack of congruence. Some will even think it means an underlying lack of integrity. And that puts a massive barrier between me and my soulmate family.
It gets quite tangled.
My known fears had mostly been classified as external things and that made it easy. As long as they were outside of me, there was nothing I could do. But did you notice something? This fear was really about how someone else might perceive me. Was it OK to just be Me or was I afraid to be myself?
Monday morning, I looked into the Face of Fear and saw only myself staring back. All those fears came down to a fear of how I might be received for simply being myself, but the real issue hiding behind the fear I was aware of was I couldn’t quite accept myself. The fears weren’t outside me at all. There was no one else to “blame,” nowhere else to point, no excuse to be made. It all came down to me accepting Me.
What does all this have to do with success? Success at the heart and soul level means being a good steward of your Life. It’s the only place we will find everything we are seeking from financial success to love to friendship to health and beyond. The only way to fulfill your Life is to fully be yourself - after all, this Life was given to your soul and only your soul with all your talents, skills, quirks, and challenges. Are you willing to show up? Are you willing to take a leap of faith and just be Yourself, warts and all?
Look into the Face of Fear and see who is looking back. I’m willing to bet you will see only yourself and that’s good news. You are a grown-up now and can give that child the hugs and sense of safety she needs. When you do, your own adult fears will also begin to melt away. And THAT feels like fearless soul-based success.
Anne Wade is Teacher, Writer, Mentor, and Coach for courageous women in midlife and beyond who want to disrupt their own status quo and design life on their own terms, even in turbulent times. She has developed the Becoming Found process of going within to find and address the inner barriers we have all inadvertently built up against love, happiness, health, wealth and any other desires of our hearts. Teaching women to unapologetically shine like a superstar and live their legacy is Anne’s mission.
You can follow her on her Facebook page “Anne Wade – Becoming found” or join her “Becoming Found” Facebook group.