Two F Words: Fear and the Future

I hate to say it, but I’d call myself an expert when it comes to worry, fear, and oftentimes being unwilling to take risks. It definitely complicates things in my life far more than necessary, so thankfully I’ve gotten better over the years at maintaining a healthy dose of these emotions, instead of letting them consume me. However, as I prepare for my move to NYC, worry and fear have crept into my daily life and thoughts more than I’d care for them to.

I am ecstatic about my decision to move to NYC, yet I still have fear. I can’t accurately explain it. It will just all of the sudden hit me and take my breath away like I’ve just been hit square in the chest, I feel hot, nauseous, my heart pounds and I start to shake. This fear comes from the unknown. I constantly worry about things I will never know. Below is an excerpt from an article that I read today which resonates perfectly with what I am trying to grasp.

The fact is, we are all terrible at imagining how we will feel in the future. We exaggerate how much the future will be like the present. We underestimate the power of temperament to gradually pull us up from the lowest lows. And if our capacities for imagining the future are bad in normal times, they are horrible in moments of stress and suffering.

Given these weaknesses, it seems wrong to make a decision that will foreclose future thinking. It seems wrong to imagine that you have mastery over everything you will feel and believe. It’s better to respect the future, to remain humbly open to your own unfolding.

This is what I am constantly trying to remind myself of. Worrying about the future is unnecessary and useless. I’m clearly exaggerating my worries. I worry about what I am giving up by leaving Oklahoma. I worry about the reality of maintaining the relationships I desperately desire to maintain. I worry about what my life is going to be like, who I will meet, what I will do, where I will live, how I will afford everything (or anything for that matter), and on and on. I am constantly needing to remind myself that sometimes you have to give up something good for something great. But the catch is, you won’t always know. And that’s why life is so damn hard and complicated. It will kick you down and tear you up time and time again — yet it’s YOUR responsibility to get back up, brush off the dirt, and move on.

Someone close to my heart recently shared a quote with me. This is what I am working towards when it comes to the fear in my life.

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we’re liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others. — Marianne Williamson

Why do I look at the unknown as scary? The unknown holds all the possibilities for my life – and that my friend, that is REALLY exciting. The unknown holds the potential for everything I could ever imagine, for everything I am meant to become. I need to “remain humbly open to [my] own unfolding.”

One last quote for this post, one that really does say it all.

There comes a time when you’re going to have to choose between turning the page and closing the book.

I am closing the book on my Oklahoma life, and starting a brand new volume with NYC.

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2 thoughts on “Two F Words: Fear and the Future

  1. thecoloradan says:

    i hope that eventually you are able to worry a little bit less. i know how much easier it is to say that we’ll stop worrying than it is to actually do so. i constantly worry about money- literally everyday i go through my accounts, what i’ve spent, etc etc.

    i’m really glad my mom shared that quote with you and it is making a difference in your thinking 🙂

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