Conquering (and accepting) fears

It’s a sunny Sunday while I’m writing this, which means I’m in a great cozy mood and also quite positive today. In that cozy mood, reflection is something I really like to do, and because I’m feeling so positive (that vitamin D tho!), I’m feeling quite proud and loving towards myself.

Day 15’s Bloganuary challenge prompt is “what is a fear you have conquered”. What an interestingly simple yet complex prompt!

As someone with anxiety, I have a LOT of fears, and many of them I would say are not conquerable in the sense that you pass them and they go away. However, I have been working quite hard in exposing myself to things that I am scared of, and to working through certain worries.

One big fear that I work on DAILY is the fear of heights. It seems dramatic to say that, but my fear of heights is challenged constantly with work and adventure. I never want to miss out on opportunities and experiences, so often I’m put in uncomfortable situations. The photos shared below are some recent moments of challenging my fear of heights in extreme ways like tree top trekking and taking a cute couple photo at the top of the Chief in Squamish BC. Don’t be fooled by the smiles in the photo, nervous me gets very giggley!

I also find myself work through the fear of heights and fear of general danger, while at work every day. Whether I’m climbing a step stool to get materials or toys (yes, a step stool does count as heights to my fear) or attempting to climb a tree or run down a high hill with my clients, each day presents my fear with a challenge. The reason I say this is a complex topic to write about for me is because regardless of constantly coming face to face with heights, it never fully goes away. Even being on an airplane, I’ve been so many times and know all the random strategies I need to stay calm until landing, yet I always feel very anxious on planes. My conquering of fear looks more like understanding it and preparing to work through it.

Another big fear that I like to think I have “conquered” truly, is the fear of missing out (aka FOMO). This, again, is something that I don’t think I’ll ever completely get rid of, but I’m actively working on it.

Recently, I learned about the term “rejection sensitive dysphoria”. (RSD) is when you experience severe emotional pain because of a failure or feeling rejected. This condition is linked to ADHD and experts suspect it happens due to differences in brain structure. Now, do I officially have this as a diagnosis? No I don’t, but I also suspect I’m missing some diagnoses here as the only reason I have anxiety medication is because I was able to recognize my own symptoms of major anxiety due to my education as an occupational therapist. Regardless, learning about this term really helped me feel validated in the fact that I really feel broken when I am left out, and have a hard time choosing to miss out even if I really don’t want to go somewhere.

30 years into my life, I’ve finally been able to realize how grumpy I get when I go somewhere I don’t want to go, and have learned to push myself to set limits. I’ve also taken time to remind myself constantly that people stay in my life not because I go to every event, but because I continue to show up in meaningful ways. On Friday I was extremely proud of myself for exercising my boundaries! The photos below are from the night out, where I purposely wore comfy boots and brought my tote bag to remind myself I left the house not wanting to go to the club after the bar. I had a delightful meal, enjoyed time with my closest humans, and then went home as everyone went clubbing. I had such a great time AND got home before I got so tired that I became grumpy at the club. That was a HUGE win for me overcoming the fear of missing out and need to impress, and following through with what is best for me!

Do you have any fears that you have fully conquered or that you’re working through each day like I am?

Published by maiiflowerr

Pronouns She/Her/they/them. I'm a millennial just trying to make a difference in the world, and create space for people to accept themselves and live their best lives. My fiancee, Sydney, and I are mothers to our two goofy cats, and the queens of creative adventures. I am an Occupational therapist, a dancer and a yoga instructor with a passion for supporting people and creating community.

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