In the Name of Fear

Here I am smack dab in the middle of my 30th year.  It seems as though turning thirty is a significant milestone these days. I’m not sure if it’s always been talked about this way because I am new to the club. Some say it is better than all of the previous, young/emerging adult birthdays because now you know more. You’re more of your own person. You’re a real adult. You are capable of shaping yourself and your world in to whatever you want. Turning 30 is like the starting point of the real grown up glow up. It is something to be touted and celebrated.

In preparation for this momentous birthday I decided that I would throw myself a birthday party. I had never planned a party for myself. The closest I had gotten was a birthday brunch a few years ago.  All I remember feeling was that my friends weren’t having a good time. That made me a little uncomfortable. But I was like screw it. I’m turning 30 I’ll do it. Only I wasn’t really like screw it. I was very apprehensive about asking my closest friends to join me for a birthday celebration. Why?!?!? These are the people I love that love me back. Why wouldn’t I be able to ask them to party with me?

I talked to a few close friends and family members about my birthday plans and the apprehension I felt. I told them how I didn’t think my friends would come out to celebrate me. Or that they might have a problem with a trip that was too expensive. My niece gave me solid 12 year old advice: if they don’t want to come, then they’re not your friends.  We had this talk in November and I waited another month to send out invites.

The birthday plans fell by the wayside and were eventually changed to housewarming plans. And guess what? I still felt a way about inviting people to celebrate this milestone with me. I was afraid that people wouldn’t show up. When it was time for me to invite people I procrastinated, yet again.

One day, not long after the party, I came across this article about high achievers on psychologytoday.com. I found this piece particularly interesting.

“Achievement motivated individuals have a strong desire to accomplish something important, and gain gratification from success in demanding tasks. Consequently they are willing to expend intense effort over long timespans in the pursuit of their goals.

 

Failure-avoiding individuals are more focused on protecting themselves from the embarrassment and sense of incompetence that can accompany failing at a valued task. Consequently they are less likely to attempt achievement-oriented tasks, and may give up quickly if success is not readily forthcoming. Where total avoidance of tasks is not possible, failure-avoiding individuals may procrastinate, give less than their best effort, or engage in other self-handicapping behaviour that provides a face-saving excuse in the event of failure (e.g. drinking heavily the night before the morning of an important exam).

 

Of course, achievement motivation versus failure avoidance motivation exist on a continuum, with most of us falling somewhere in the middle.”

 

-Carl Beuke Ph.D.

I’ve always thought of myself as the former, not the latter. So why was I self-sabotaging with all of this procrastination and whatnot? Fear. Fear of rejection and embarassment.

A friend shared a word with me one day. He said his grandmother told him that he had been procrastinating because he was afraid that he wouldn’t know what to do. And the same was true for me too. I have put off getting started on a number of things in the name of fear. Whether it  is fear of failure, inadequacy, embarrassment, etc. I’ve been in my own way. I had to ask myself, “Who are you serving? No really, who are you serving?”  If I am a slave to fear, then I’m not serving God. Even if I wasn’t a believer and I thought that doing good was all the service I needed I would still be in the wrong. Doing nothing out of fear won’t do anyone any good.

One thing that I do pretty consistently is exercise. Sometimes I exercise early in the morning, but it is more difficult for me to consistently do early morning workouts. I don’t like waking up early. I want to be in my bed for as long as possible. The only time that I have kept up with an early morning workout for longer than three weeks at a time was when I had a personal trainer. I always say it is easier for me to get up and go when I know there is someone expecting me or waiting for me.

The truth is there are always people waiting on you. There are people that need what you’ve got. It could be five or fifty people or five hundred. Even if it is only one person, they are there and they are waiting for you. God is waiting on you. He is waiting on your obedience just like the people he intends to bless with your gifts. I’m talking to myself and I’m talking to you.

Why keep them waiting? Instead of stalling in the name of fear let us move in power.

Just do it. Shoutout to Serena & Nike. Hol’ it dine.

 

Link to article referenced above: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/youre-hired/201110/how-do-high-achievers-really-think

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