It’s a bright and beautiful New Year today. Not that it quite matters, because any day you can decide to start fresh, start something new–be who you want to be. But for some reason, as humans, we like having set dates and times to do something new.
Regardless, if you are a New Year’s Resolutioner or not, I want to share something that may very well be your new goal for this year.
*I recently picked up the book “Braving the Wilderness” by Brene Brown. She is one of my all-time favorite authors, So I will be using some of the terms she refers to in this book. I highly recommend this book to anyone and everyone–it’s phenomenal.
There are three ultimate things I would like to share with you today. Facing your fears head on, “braving the wilderness” of life, and ultimately discovering your true belonging.
Facing Your Fears
The more life I live the more important I realize it is to face your fears head on. I mean, the word FEAR itself can stand for “Face Everything And Rise”.
Fear is our bodies natural response to potentially threatening situations. We should be grateful for our fear to some extent, or all of us would be jumping off bridges or running into a bear’s den without having second thoughts. However, our brain can’t distinguish the difference between actual life threatening fear and giving a public presentation. It responds just the same. Your brain is simply trying to protect you and let you know of all of the “possible” outcomes (even though there is no way there will be a monster to grab your leg if you stick it on the edge of your bed tonight).
So how the heck do you deal with this fear? Well, from frequent personal experience, you must face it head on. You must embrace your fear, give it a name. Do not run from it or try to push it deep inside you. That only allows it to grow and become worse. Once we give our fear a name and face it head on, we realize what we thought we feared so much, really isn’t that bad.
This is hard to do, because it’s almost as if we naturally like to avoid fear and we push it away. The largest breakthrough moments I have had in my life are when I sit down and literally say out loud, “Tina, *insert fear here* has been really getting to me lately. I know I am not facing this as I should, I am simply avoiding things. I really need to work on this.” And it’s as if in that instance a curtain is lifted. It’s like I have given myself permission to conquer whatever fear I have at that moment. I feel powerful and confident and I am ready to face it and rise.
What can you openly confess to yourself that you need to face and work on? Try getting real with yourself and give your fear a name.
Braving the Wilderness
In Brene Brown’s book, she talks about “braving the wilderness”. The wilderness is talked about often by artists and writers. They may not actually go into a physical wilderness, but it’s more a big openness, diving into their thoughts and fears, and who they are and facing it all. At least– that’s my interpretation of it.
Think of the wilderness as the world we live in. All the chaos and noise and all of your thoughts. All of the people’s thoughts and opinions. Trying to find yourself and be yourself in all this chaos without giving in. That is the true challenge. We must do this by discovering our true belonging.
Discovering Your True Belonging
Again, going back to the idea of truly finding yourself and allowing you to be you is so important. We must not let our fears of what others think, or fear in general hold us back from being our true selves. What a great feeling it is to simply just be as a human and not feel left out or on the outside, but to just BE.
I myself, as I am sure many others can relate, have always felt different from others. I just cannot relate to a lot of others my age. My interests are different, and things always feel off in friendships and such. It made me feel very lonely a good bit of my life. I often would change my ways to cater to others, in the hopes that I could fit in. This way is a dead end. I felt just as empty as being alone and I wasn’t being my true self. Becoming who I want to truly be is something that I work on day in and day out. I am not perfect, but I am so much better than I used to be.
I am slowly learning to just be myself. That I don’t necessarily need a home. I am learning to brave the wilderness. I am learning to BECOME the wilderness. To simply live my life and not worry what others think. And I believe us humans can sense that genuineness. When someone is being 100% truly themselves. We find that inviting and we love it. So, even though you may feel lonely and left out at first–braving the wilderness is a difficult task. But in the end, the reward we get from being genuinely ourselves is great. It’s as if everything falls into place.