I really wanted to join in the talk about mental health this week with my fellow eAmbassadors to stress the importance of realizing and taking care of the state of your mind. And, when better to talk about mental health than on #BellLetsTalk day!? Though I’m probably not qualified to talk about serious mental health concerns – I do know a thing or two about one particular mental state that can take from your peace of mind at one point or another. It’s what we all know to be fear.
“Fear is the Devil’s greatest illusion.” – R.M Drake
Some fears don’t involve spiders, heights, natural disasters, or Donald Trump’s hair – some involve us purely and what holds us back from being our best selves. I believe our most underlying fears actually physically prevent us from living our lives in perfect harmony with the universe.
A fear from spiders only threatens you in the moment (omg I make it sound like the spider is as big as me).
However, being scared of asking for help, for example – whether it’d be asking for directions or asking for help in figuring out why you’re sad – is something internal we often ignore and push under the rug as if it’s not an actual fear.
I hate to break it to you, but not wanting to ask for help is a fear. It’s a low-key fear of feeling inadequate. Here’s a list of things we’re subconsciously scared of everyday:
- Asking for help
- Feeling embarrassed
- Being alone
- Stepping out of our comfort zone
We may not like these things we’re afraid of, but notice how even though we don’t like whole wheat bread, for example, we’re not scared of it. That’s because it only threatens our physical state in the moment, or our taste in this case…
Most of the things that scare us and prevent us from living are all in our head, and mental battles are the worst kind. This fear comes from the possibility of awakening internal feelings that make us uncomfortable. But here’s one thing I’ve learned over the course of my life: growth has never taken place in a space of comfort. I’ve never had epiphanies, valuable lessons, or meaningful insights in comfortable situations.
When I founded the French club in my final year of high school, I wasn’t comfortable – heck, not once in the span of a year did I walk into the club meeting without feeling afraid, legs trembling, and anxious that it would be a total flop. Nevertheless, I recognized why I was so fearful, I accepted those reasons, and then I pushed those feelings aside and gave the people what they wanted. The members of the club came hoping to gain something out of the meeting, and I wasn’t going to let them leave with lowered expectations for the next time.
The fear of being embarrassed, alone, rejected, etc… are only what try to stop us from delivering our full potential in anything we’re involved in whether it’d be career, relationships, or life in general. They’re inevitable, but the more we stop to recognize them and accept them, the easier it is to live despite them. I learned that by not allowing fear to lead my life, I am capable of far more than I thought I was capable of.
As soon as we learn how to be less afraid of inadequacy and turn our focus on our goals (while lowering our pride – one of the most overlooked issues of mankind), we’ll start to enjoy taking risk and living life despite any negative feelings.
Nobody said courage is, “Do it when everything and everyone is on your side.”
Courage is, “Do it afraid.”
Let your walls down while you’re afraid and uncomfortable, not when the odds are in your favour. You won’t believe where life will take you if you carry this attitude. And, I can guarantee wherever you’re going isn’t looking too shabby.
So do it afraid lovely, do life afraid!
PS. If you have 2 minutes, check out the video the eAmbassadors put together in honor of Mental Health Week below. And you can find the wide range of topics we’re all talking about this week at #SantéGL!