Procrastination, Another Word for Fear

Everything you’ve ever wanted is on the other side of fear. George Addair  

fear pic

Most of my life I have been plagued with anxiety, and while suffering from it has been difficult, hiding it has been much easier. On the outside I would come off as maybe a little intense or excitable, but not anxious. However, inside, I was a wreck. My mind would be racing while my heart would follow. I would feel as if there was a storm that I couldn’t control internally shifting me for reasons I couldn’t explain. On top of the emotional chaos, anxiety has a way of playing tricks on my mind, and for a very long time, I allowed it to dictate my thoughts and ultimately my actions in this adventure called life.

While there are many reasons behind my anxiety, fear is the most profound. Fear of spiders, natural heights, massive crowds, my laundry pile, gloomy weather, unfamiliar places, losing someone I love, or one that kept me from truly living for so many years, rejection.

Rejection, not meeting up to someone’s expectation, or being left out, is/was (I’m working on it) paralyzing for me. Was it a learned thought process rather than a born one, I would answer yes, aren’t most fears learned at one time or another? When did I learn it? I may tell you that it was the 2nd grade when I was completely embarrassed for blowing my nose from a cold in front of the class and they all laughed, or because I was almost six foot tall in middle school and towered over not just the girls, but the boys as well, but honestly, I’m not sure exactly when I learned it, and maybe it was a progressive compilation of many moments, but no matter how it happened, or when it happened, it scared the hell out of me.

As with my anxiety, I learned to hide this fear by pretending all was good, life was grand, and that every decision I made I made with upmost, pigheaded confidence. I would be so convincing to others that I began to convince myself. Although I never realized it then, lying to myself became the norm and along with lying as a defense mechanism for my fear, I recently learned that procrastination was a sneaky “characteristic” that not only kept me from facing that fear, but gave me the ultimate excuse. It was part of my personality, it was who I was.

I look back and I am beside myself to think of all the times procrastination either delayed a blow to the ego, avoided frightening confrontation or kept me from rejection all together. What I wasn’t seeing back then was that eventually it all caught up with me, and if I would have just dealt with the situation in the moment it wouldn’t have been so difficult later.

I’ve only recently admitted these facts about my personality to myself, because only recently have I realized how prominent I use this mechanism in my life, and only recently did it truly click why. My revelation came when I was asking for universal guidance and then questioning my own actions in the process. As I’ve said in many of my previous posts, my true path is to inspire, and my goal is to do so as an author. Funny thing is though, to be an author, you have to write a book.

I have the ideas, I have the words, I even have the outline, but for some reason I cannot get myself to start page one. In this moment, I thought about all the reasons I haven’t begun, like I’m too busy at work, I have too many obligations, I feel blocked, I need to meditate instead, I have to binge watch Netflix, it’s too nice outside, I have to prep dinners (which I absolutely never do, but it’s been an excuse), and the list goes on and on, and then suddenly the light bulb went off in my head, it finally dinged. I am terrified.  

Being on a solid stretch of self-discovery and sharing my journey, and what helps me along the way has opened my eyes to who I really am, and to the lies that anxiety and fear have been telling me for so long. I am procrastinating. I am so afraid I either won’t finish, or I won’t succeed that I continue to make excuses to not takes steps toward my goal. This frustrates and angers me, but most of all, it saddens me.

In so many aspects of my life I have taken incredible leaps and bounds toward my truth, and encourage others to do the same, but for this, my ultimate dream, I’m so scared of it disappearing, I’m paralyzed at the notion of trying. Even right now, I should be writing Chapter One, but instead, I’m writing about how I’m not writing.

With these new-found revelations, I decided that it is time to take my own advice. While I’m nervous typing these words, I am consciously aware why I am standing still, and consciously aware that I need to get over it. I will write my book and I will start now.

As we walk our paths within our true selves understanding that we are here for a reason, we cannot let fear hold us back. I know this, and I now know more than ever that it is my choice to stay where I’m at or step toward my purpose. Today, I choose to take that step, I hope all who read this do too.

 Much Love,

Lisa J

As a side note, when I began blogging, I was also terrified, but today, I am truly grateful for this platform as without it and without the opportunity to share my thoughts, I may still be paralyzed by fear. Thank you for allowing me to share my story and thank you for reading. ❤

Breathe…through it

For one to live, we must fill our lungs with air and release the carbon dioxide from within. This is a simple and usually automatic action for every living creature. So why, when we are stressed, overwhust-realhe-just-breathe-powerofpositivity-18995027elmed or panicked do we forget to breathe.

Personally, this lapse of thought happens all too often when I run. It’s my biggest hurdle. I start off at a steady pace and if I’m feeling good, as I gain distance, I lose my mind and move faster than my body is ready for. When this happens, I start to suck air, quickly, as if I was holding it in for hours and now I’m playing catch up. My chest gets heavy and there are moments I even feel light headed. I tend to believe it’s because I suck at running, and the more strained I become, the more frustrated I get, and the more strained I become, it’s the cycle of hell. At least that’s how it feels.

At the moment when I’m about to stop, give up, just sit down on the trail and call for a ride, I hear an all too familiar voice, “breathe through it.” Just when I need it most, it’s my running partner, friend and coach, “breathe through it Lisa”. It’s funny, that when we are physically strained or uncomfortable, we have a tendency to remind ourselves, or each other that the air filling our lungs will reduce the sensation of pain. However, when it’s an emotional period in our lives, we can’t seem to remember to breathe.

While I’m sure many parents out there will tell me I’m wrong, because they reminded themselves to breathe 142 times today before their head exploded due to summer vacation only being half over, I totally get it. But, what about the time when you forgot your kindergartener’s sack lunch for the field trip at the zoo, or the night you scrambled to write your final paper for school because you spent the day consoling a friend, or the time when your boss stood over your shoulder while you finished a deadline, or facing a room full at a big interview, or the day your husband came home defeated because he just got laid off, or the call that there was an accident. While each of these scenarios are on different parts of the spectrum of stress and panic, each of them, requires a “breathe” factor to break that cycle of hell we are caught in.

Sometimes that emotional moment, self-inflicted or from another source, takes us to a place where we forget that we need to fill our lungs with air so we can keep moving forward. We forget that in order to live we must breathe.

We are faced with obstacles every day, minor ones, major ones and some catastrophic, and while there are times we want to give up and sit down on the trail, a lot of times we just need to close our eyes, slowly suck in air to fill our chest, hold it just a second and remind ourselves that we are capable of much more than we realize, and at that very moment our first step is to breathe.

When we allow ourselves this breath, amazing things occur; physically our heart rate slows, and our head stops spinning, and mentally we may get just a little more clear in our reaction, solution, or perspective. It can take a few seconds or a few hours, but you’d be surprised the strength, courage and self-awareness you can find if you just Breathe Through It…

Much Love,

Lisa