When I was in high school, I had a problem with excessive armpit sweat. (Yes, we are going there.) The problem continued into College where I would sweat so badly that I actually purchased special pads that my mother stitched to the underarms of my jackets so that I would not have water rings on my jackets. Having other people see me sweating made me anxious, I would sweat and then be anxious about what other people thought about my sweatiness. I even consulted a doctor about it. He told me that I had a “Nervous Stomach.” (What the heck is that? I looked it up and it is not even a real diagnosis. If anything, I have nervous armpits! What does my stomach have to do with my pits?? I guess you can add gullible to my list of disorders). Thankfully my sweatiness has subsided because I have learned how not to be so anxious around people. It also helps that I live in Edmonton, Alberta which is -27 c for what feels like ten months of the year.
How does fear affect you? My fears have caused me to sweat profusely when asked to speak in public, stay up at night ruminating over work, avoid meeting people, avoid difficult conversations and even avoid doing things that I want to do. As I age, like cheese, my fears have aged with me. Today, I no longer fear public speaking but I still get anxious when I speak. I used to avoid meeting new people because I feared rejection, but I have learned that most of us feel the same way.
As I age, like cheese, my fears have aged with me.
Most of my fear is about things I cannot control: Falling and getting hurt (I hate pain and I don’t want to fall in a stupid and klutzy way and further embarrass myself), being overlooked for opportunities at work (I like to have something important to contribute and I want to make progress in my career), having little money saved for retirement (I want to have enough saved so that we don’t have to eat cat food and watch the Price is Right for fun), and just plain looking like an idiot (that one is pretty obvious). Thinking about what people think about me makes me anxious. What do you think about that?
The point of my neurotic rambling is to emphasize that we each have our own unique anxieties and fears. I don’t think we need to worry about getting rid of all of our fear, we just need to accept that we have some fear and then live our lives.
Go ahead, have your fear but watch that your fears does not have you!
When we let fear and anxiety go unchallenged and control us, our world shrinks to the few things we are comfortable with: our minds shrink, our souls shrink and our muscles shrink. (For me, the only thing that expanded when I was ruled by fear was my waistline!). What I have learned is that my fear needs to be faced. I cannot let fear win the day. It takes pushing back and it means effort on my part. How about you?
Keep it real