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JAN 20, 2021 | 3 MINS                                                

Written By Brandie Janay Sanders

I can remember the first time I felt real fear. I can remember the first time I felt doubt. I can remember the first time I was praised, and the first time I was criticized. I can remember every time I let my fear get in the way of me pursuing something I really wanted to do. It’s slightly funny to think that anxiety is just excessive fear. That something we feel so naturally can abruptly overpower us and leave us defeated. I was so frequently second-guessing my goals, my plans, and my dreams because of the possible outcome of imperfection. I was always striving for the power to control my own outcomes. 

I was so concerned with making sure I was prepared for the future, I feared my own present. 

The need to control is so deeply rooted in feelings of inadequacy. Is where we are really that bad compared to where we want to be? Where we are is necessary. It's vital, in its messiness and mistakes. What if it’s the mistakes and the flaws that create success? What if we stopped fearing the possibility of failing and welcomed it with open arms? IMAGINE... A world without limits. A world where fear of failure and negative perceptions don’t exist. Overthinking small things kills big dreams. If we are constantly seeking restoration from our fears by receiving affirmations from others, we hand over all of our power. What if we didn’t care how people responded to our plans? What if we stopped taking advice from people who are just as scared? What if we stopped trying to pattern ourselves after the work of others and listened to our own creative spirit? I challenged myself to stop being my biggest critic and holding back on my plans just because I wasn’t sure how they would turn out. I stop letting my fear prevent me from my peace.

What if the real restoration is finding out our biggest enemy is ourselves, requiring self-reflection and accountability for release.

Rather than asking ourselves what’s in the store for the present, or which pieces of our current reality are meant to evolve with us into future endeavors, ask yourself what’s in store for right now. It’s not the future that scares us. It’s the fragments of the past that we wish could follow us into a future we have attempted to plan and prepare for. It’s what we have been told we are supposed to do and have that prevents us from enjoying where we are. Ultimately, there is no preparation for the future. So we have no choice but to smile despite unforeseen circumstances. We do not have total control of the things unseen, experienced, or felt.  The idea that we can plan and create an outcome that will produce according to our plans is the cause of disappointment and anxiety. 

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