Don’t let fear dominate your life! Too often, I use fear as an excuse not to do things. Like I mentioned in my previous blog post, I tend to let fear set invisible limits on what I can or cannot do. I exceed those limits every single time, teaching myself that I am much more capable than I think I am. If fear gets in the way, it can potentially damage your life and the people you hold dear.
The first step in letting go of fear should be identifying the root of your fears and why those things make you anxious or worried. In my case, I will always have a fear of not being close to a bathroom. I have been conditioned to locate the nearest bathroom everywhere I go because I know that if and when I have to use it, there’s no time for delay. Other IBD patients can sympathize with this, as accidents are more common than you may think. Even now that I do not have severe symptoms of UC, I still locate the bathroom just in case.
I recently read a book called Everything Will be Okay: Life Lessons for Young Women (from a Former Young Woman) by Dana Perino (thanks Uncle Steve!). In her book, she mentions writing out a list of your fears or worries. Once you are done, you might look at the list and realize that some of your fears are actually ridiculous. You may even realize that you have a fear you didn’t know existed. Writing out what bothers us helps us face the things we are worried about and let them go. Maybe you want to save your list in a desk drawer to stay accountable or maybe you want to rip up the list to truly represent moving on. Whatever works for you.
Now that you have identified and accepted your fears, it’s time to put into action the art of letting go in your daily life. Each time you have a negative thought that brings up feelings of fear, counteract it by taking a deep breath and switching your mindset to something positive. Keep your heart and mind open to new ways you can get out of your comfort zone. Actively trying to mitigate negative thoughts and fear will make a big difference in your daily life.
My most important piece of advice is to allow others to support you. Don’t keep your fears or worries bottled up because it won’t be long until you blow. Part of the reason I continue to write this blog is to allow others to support me when I’m feeling down. Writing is like therapy for me. It helps me gather all the thoughts I have about dealing with my chronic disease. It gives me a chance to acknowledge each of my fears and let them go. There is no shame in being vulnerable. It allows a level of compassion and understanding from those around you, and that is truly the best gift.
I challenge you to make a list of your fears or worries this week and make active, small strides toward letting them go.