I’ve started to realise recently that the only thing that stops us from achieving what we want to in this life is fear. Fear to me is like a volcano; it surfaces when I least expect it to and lies dormant for the rest of the time, waiting for an opportunity to sabotage any self-belief I might have. If we didn’t fear the future, we would appreciate the present moment. If we didn’t fear change, we would always try something new and if we didn’t fear ourselves, we would be the people we want to be.
When I look back on my life so far, I see the many times that fear has influenced my life in a negative way. It’s normal to be scared about the uncertainty of life, but for too long I have let crippling fear take over my thoughts and my life. As a person who needs change, I tend to fear it a lot. I’m like a butterfly that has to fly to different flowers because I get bored of the one I am currently on. I’m a person who goes through different phases and I struggle to reach completion. I always want to put on a new mask and be a different version of myself and I have noticed how restless I can become when I have nothing new to aim for.
Life is full of lessons. We have to overcome obstacles to learn how to be stronger and we sometimes have to experience sadness to find happiness. The lesson I am currently learning is how to reach the other side of fear, how to ignore the negative voice in my head and achieve what I want in my life. It’s difficult. It might take me a long time to learn how to fully believe in hope instead of fear. It’s hard to ignore the natural feeling of self-doubt and actually believe that you can do something.
An example of this in my life was creating my own magazine Zest For Life. I woke up one day with an idea; I wanted to make something happen for myself, so I decided to plan my own positive lifestyle magazine. All big ideas start small and I couldn’t predict how far the journey would take me. I decided to ignore my fears and do it anyway. Some days were harder than others, of course. I had many moments of doubt, low self-esteem and negative thinking. I often asked myself, why am I even doing this?
The answer I came up with was this – I was proving to myself that I can make any of my dreams come true. I was on the other side of fear. I had made it. When I was finally holding my very own printed magazine in my hands, I understood what it was to not only be successful but free from self-doubt. I believed in myself and that belief took me much further than my unhelpful thoughts of fear and anxiety.
I am currently in cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and I believe that it is actually working for me and had a big influence on this particular situation in my life. I’m starting to discover how to catch negative thoughts as they enter my mind and change them to positive ones. I now know how the negative thoughts influence my behaviour and reactions to everyday situations. I am starting to pull back the layers in my mind and reveal the positive and happy person that was there all along. If anybody is struggling with negative thinking or an anxiety disorder like me, I recommend CBT therapy. It is not only changing the way I think; it’s starting to change my life.