Thursday, April 29, 2004

Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway

In dealing with unraveling the chains I've always kept myself bound with, I have discovered that at the root of every chain is fear.

I'm a tough chick.  I've gone through some really tough stuff and I've always endured and survived.  If I ever got into a battle of survival, I'm pretty confident I could hold my own.  Living with Daniel back in the day taught me a lot and I think I could totally kick some butt and take some names if the need be.

Yet if I'm truly honest with myself, I live my life totally afraid of everything.  I'm petrified to meet people and talk to them, my self esteem and body esteem so low that I worry about everything from my breath to my conversational skills.  For all the words I spew here with no effort at all, I clam up when in person.  I'm so afraid of appearing stupid that I just don't say anything at all.

I walk with my head down, I rarely meet people in the eye.  I avoid situations where I have to meet new people, even when it involves going to the school for parent teacher conferences.  I hide behind Steven like I used to hide behind Dan (and Dan was just as introverted as I am).  Even in church when everyone is instructed to go around and introduce themselves, I park it quick and only speak when spoken to.

I used to be so wrapped up in fear I would hesitate going out in public at all.  I still have problems with wondering what people are saying or thinking about me where it bugs me and makes me feel self conscious.  Over on the Richard Simmons board they were all amazed I could weigh myself on a public scale - I can't even tell you how hard that was to do the first time, and how self conscious I still feel when I do it even now. 

I'm so afraid of speaking to new people that I can't do things that are important to my career as a screenwriter.  I'm afraid to call the development departments of prodcos, or call agencies, to talk about and pitch my ideas, I sit back and do stuff that requires as minimal input as possible (like the upcoming contests).  I don't meet people and network, which is also important.  I don't make "the move" to LA because I'm too afraid of competing in the job market there that we'd end up impoverished just like last time.  Interviewing or selling myself?  Forget it. 

I'm afraid of failure.  In the same respect I'm afraid of success.  I'm afraid to take risks, but I'm afraid of missed opportunities. 

I'm also a fraidy cat when it comes to tangible things like amusement parks and swimming pools.  I had a very sheltered childhood where most of my time was spent by myself.  I don't know how to skate or swim or even dance.  I never went camping.  I finally made it to Disneyland when I was 26.  I've never climbed a tree, or did a lot of the activities other kids have done.  I learned how to ride a bike primarily because I taught myself.  I got tired of waiting for anyone to teach me, and my sister had left oen behind so I got that bike, went in the alley and taught myself how to ride.

And if I ever undertake anything, that's how I learn it.  On my own and by myself.  Because of all things I'm most afraid of not being perfect.  I never want to fall on my face in front of anyone.  If I do anything I want to excel right out of the gate.  

Sounds pretty depressing doesn't it?  It's not living, that's for sure.  I'm too afraid of living that I'm holed up inside myself with only my fears to comfort me.  There's a song by Lee Ann Womack called "I Hope You Dance", and one verse really got to me:

I hope you never fear those mountains in the distance.
Never settle for the path of least resistance.
Livin' might mean takin' chances, but they're worth takin'.

I realized.  I have been sitting out on life.  You know that advice that says dance like no one is watching?  Even that doesn't apply to me because I don't even dance by myself.  No, I sit and watch the world do all the things I'm too bound by fear to even consider.  I am paralyzed by all these fears, and the condition is terminal.

Well, no more.  Dr. Martha Beck was on Oprah one day and said that we should "Feel the fear and do it anyway".  So my new goal, emotionally and spiritually, is to deliberately do things that scare me. 

The only person who has control to make me a "subhuman" living a "half life" is me.  And that's where the bondage must first break.

Toward that goal, this Sunday at church I'm going to get up and walk up to people, and introduce myself.  I won't lie to you, the very idea petrifies me.  But I'm going to feel the fear and do it anyway.

I'm also going to learn how to pitch my stories and over the next few months I'm going to purchase the directory that will tell me who to contact in H'wood so I can finally sell my stuff instead of wait around for this contest or that.

And finally, this summer I'm going to learn how to swim. 

But most importantly, I'm going to learn how to dance.

Calories: 1860 / 25% fat
Sodium: 2776mg
Calcium: 1258mg
Water: 96oz
Exercise: Still down with UTI recovery

6 comments:

cw2smom said...

I totally understand!  Having been there myself.  Once I broke the chains, life became so much more interesting!  Just jump right in there and see what happens!  I am rootin' for ya!

sonensmilinmon said...

Sonny and I were having a discussion about my fears and breaking the chains.  Seems to be we all have something that holds us back.  Let's work on breaking those chains and moving forward with life.

Smilin Mon

journey2sarah said...

Hey Ginger.  So this is how you are doing today.  I think this is an improvement--not just in dropping pounds but in loving.  In order to love best you must FIRST love Ginger.  Also, on a motivational note, as you would know we write best when we write about what we know.  So get on out there girl and rack up some experiences. And each time you do it uniquely write about your "virgin" experience with the practiced eyes of an adult and an artist and feel free to hone your craft on the appreciative hearts of us out here.  We will be witnessing something totally unique:  a soul unfolding.  A timid soul daring to be great.  A soul that was destined to be great and always had the seed for it buried within--exposed to the gentle water of the Lamb and the nourishing rays of Love with a capital L calling forth the new life within you.  God is giving you graces my friend!  He will give you more if you ask Him too!  We watch the butterfly-like person emerge and spread her wings-- with the chrysalis falling away before our very eyes.  What a delightful opportunity.  

Me:  last night I saw Mr. Perfect 4 me again.  He got a big salute when we went in the Naval academy to park the car as we walked around Annapolis.   This one is not Mr. prior Special Forces (although he keeps calling I am never home to get his call and I never gave that one my cell phone number LOL!).  Please yall pray for Mr. Perfect.  Okay now? Thank you!

sjburgess51 said...

Hey Gin!
 On Saturday nights Danny plays, "She Works Hard for the Money", and all of us girls(even old girls like me!) get up and dance together ... no men allowed.  The guys all look like deer caught in the headlights but Danny always says, "Loosen up guys!  What's wrong with a dance floor full of beautiful women"?!  We DO work hard for the money & our families, so we dance our feet off!  I can't wait until YOU come to our part of Texas to visit sometime and dance with us!  Several of we ladies have a little session called, "SoSo Sisterhood".  Kinda like the YaYa Sisterhood without the dresses & hats ...hehehe.  We are all creative & intelligent ladies, eagles surrounded by buzzards.  Yeah, I can say that, I'm a Texan!  You are an eagle, THAT woman you worked for ... a buzzard.  ;)
 Well, I seem to be wandering ... I hope you have a wonderful day!
Love you,
Jeannie

ivorygrace7 said...

Yay for you!!!  I also have a past of living in fear, and it still occasionally creeps up on me!  The best thing for me, in a way, was when my husband left me, and I couldn't hide behind him any more.  When I'm outside, I make the conscious effort to lift my head and look people in the eye.  It's still never easy...but it's definitely worth it!  And dancing...you don't know what you're missing...I love to dance!  But I have been ridiculed when dancing in public before, and it's very hard to get past.  :)  When I was recently called for jury duty, we had to stand before the court and give a bio including our hobbies, and I was very proud of myself when I said *dancing* and pushed down the fear that everyone would be thinking (or even saying)...that fat girl dances, lol!  It will be an even better victory for me when I no longer *think* it!

--Jacqueline

perryb178 said...


Dear Gin, it has been much the same in my life.  Not wanting to look in peoples faces and feeling bad about myself.  Letting oportunities slip by and playing it safe.  Hiding behind husbands and all the busyness a family brings, letting it overtake me until I finally didn't feel as if there was any me left.  Letting my husbands step all over me and transfer all their unhappiness and frustrations in their own lives on to me. Trying to be Mrs. perfect, and make everyone happy while trying to keep myself on the back burner.  I did it for so many years, and slowly over the last several years realized I was only living in some crazy half life.  That I was never going to be happy, or satisfied living that way.  The changes and choices we have to make may or may not be easy, but anything is better than the way we were.  One of  Pastor Robert Tilton favorite sayings seems to be " If you only do what you've always done,  your never going to get anything than what you've always gotten."  And thats the truth!  I'm glad you are determined to take steps to "let yourself out of the bag".  I too am working on this.  It finally dawned on me the other day, why should anyone respect me, when I obviously haven't respected myself with all this extra weight  hanging on me.  But I'm working at it, and will continue to along with my relationship with my husband and reassessing my duties as wife and mother.  There have definitely been some improvements this past year, but so many more are needed.  You continue to be a inspiration to me.  DB