On fear, overthinking, and a work in progress.

Let’s face it, fear can be crippling. I find that I cower to fear far more often than I’d like to think. My first reaction when I am afraid of something, or to do something, or to face something, is to take a step back, away from it. Not towards it.

It’s always been my battle. It bleeds into most everything that I do and I hate to even admit that. Because it makes me feel weak. It makes me feel as though I still have a long way to go until I feel I am ‘healed’ of my poor self-image and self-doubting ways. As a matter of fact, I know I have a long way to go.

I am still such a work in progress, when I want to be the me that screamed happily throughout this post. And I am her sometimes. But I am more often the overthinking, afraid, comparing, negative thinking side of me. The side I so badly want to fix and make go away forever.

I feel inadequate sometimes. As a runner (slow, unnatural, struggles at times. <–see, there I go again…). As a lover (yes, I said it. And fear creeps in here too, but more on that later…). As myself. I want to be motivational. I want to be inspiring. I want to be seen as a survivor and thriver in all things life, love, and fitness. I also want to be real. And this is me, being real. Letting you into the negative head space that occupies me to the core sometimes.

But I feel completely the opposite of this positive side of me often, under the happy facade. There is a side of me that feels like I don’t measure up. That I am a follower and a wannabe. The unpopular kid. It’s fear. It’s the overthinking, comparing side of me that I stomp down and try to push away, but she’s still there. She still compares. She still lets it get the best of her. And she hurts. She undoes all the good I have strived to fix and make myself stronger against.

So, why, then, does it keep happening? How do I fix it…except to keep reminding myself to stomp it down before it happens? Before I start overthinking and tearing myself down needlessly?

I don’t really have the answer. Except that maybe I need to accept that I still am a work in progress, most certainly mentally. Perhaps physically. But making myself feel worse by needlessly tearing myself apart for no reason other than because it’s what I’ve always done out of habit is certainly not helping either.

So if that’s the answer – accepting myself for who I am, not for who I am not…well, I have some work to do there. I wish I wasn’t falling back on this negative space in my head right now. I was feeling great. I thought I’d overcome these moments. But I guess they are still there. They still exist. And only I can dig deep and fix them. Nobody else can do it for me.

This time, I need to harness the fear and face it. Use it against itself instead of against me.

This time, fear needs to be my motivator, not my crippler.

This time, fear will be what helps me overcome.

It simply has to.

38 thoughts on “On fear, overthinking, and a work in progress.

  1. You and I are on the same wavelength today. 😉

    I think the important thing for you to see is that we ALL feel fear sometimes. We ALL struggle with it. We ALL have those times when we feel weak and unworthy. And we are ALL “works in progress”. The people who don’t see that are either in denial or completely blind. Life is about living and learning and taking the lessons that we are given and doing something good with them. Which is exactly what you’re doing.

    The difference between the people who are truly brave and the ones who aren’t has nothing to do with the prescence of fear, it’s about the ability to feel the fear and do it anyway. And you, my friend, are doing it. Don’t judge yourself based on how well or how quickly you’re doing it, give yourself props for simply showing up. That takes guts.

    1. Wow, we really are! Just read your post, after writing mine no less, weiiiird!! You bring up a great point – we all fear things, I am not the only one, even when I feel like I am. Showing up does take guts…giving up does not. Thank you for this.

    1. THANK YOU Alicia, for sharing this, I read it and totally agree with what he has to say. And I think verbally saying ‘stop’ is actually a great way of combating it. I will start doing that too.

  2. I do not like “her” at all. It pains me every time “she” crops up and all I want to do is slap “her” away and hug you tight. I wish I could take it all away, erase the fear, erase the self-doubt, all of it. I see you, my sister and I am so proud of you. I think you easily forget where you were just a couple of years ago – feeling broken, heart-heavy, alone, unsure of “who” you were anymore. And today? You have flourished into an amazing person who got through the heartache that is divorce and didn’t let it break you. All barely before even hitting 30. I think you forget that “that” side of you, that history of yours, even though it doesn’t define you (as “divorced”), it *does* define you in that you’ve overcome some really tough stuff. That’s the key – you overcame. I have no doubt you will overcome these fears – I think a part of that is truly embracing where you “came from” to where you’ve grown into today. Huge leaps and bounds. Incredibly inspiring. THAT is who you are, not this other girl who picks herself apart at a moment’s notice. Kick her to the curb and embrace YOU – strong, fit, beautiful, confident, inspiring, amazing. My sister.

    1. Thank you sis, for reminding me of where I have been and where I am now. Two different people. Work in progress, sure, but we all are. I will have my moments where I feel weak and insignificant, but rising above it will help me move past it…at least I hope. I don’ like these funks at all and they look ugly on me.

      1. I am in your shoes, where you were a couple years ago. Just finalized my divorce a couple of weeks ago, and I’m trying very hard to learn who I am. But Jess is right – you are unbroken (from what I can tell anyway!), and you’ve come down a very hard, difficult road.

        The self-doubt, and negative talk, it comes up for me, very often. It’s part of the reason I announce my goals to the world (or the like 7 people who read my blog?). Because I know deep, deep down, I can do what I set my heart to, but my brain doesn’t seem to think so. I know I’ve already improved so much, but I’m constantly looking for more places I can improve.

        You’re strong, you’ve overcome something so terribly hard. You’re going to continue to improve and be great (greater than you already are – greater every day!), I’m convinced of it.

        1. First, congratulations on getting the divorce finalized, that always felt like such a huge weight, the last bit towards working on closure. And from my standpoint, I know you are strong and resilient and are already in a better place! Self-doubt is so hard, it is hard to quell, it is hard to ‘fix’ and each day I work on it. It definitely IS a battle between brain and body, I totally agree. the body is capable, the mind just needs to catch up. Thank you so much for your comment, it really made me smile:)

  3. Oh girl, I just want to hug you right now. I just sat here nodding my head b/c I can so relate. I always feel terribly inadequate. I want so badly to be more, to be better, to not have negative thoughts about myself and actions. How do you “fix” those things? Sometimes the more you think the worse it gets too. And I do find you inspiring and motivating by the way. You’ve come so far, you’ve overcome so much. In just the two years I’ve known you, I sense such a happier you. Just keep moving forward my friend. Don’t overthink. Don’t look back.

    1. ((hug)) I knew you might be able to relate, especially after our email convo this morning. You, my dear, are not inadequate at all (yeah, so easy to tell someone ELSE That, right?) but it takes a mighty mind NOT to self-doubt and no to talk your way into a hole. That’s my tendency lately, and I hate it. We need a pact…to not overthink. Are you in? 🙂

  4. We all do feel fear, just as we all feel a whole wide range of emotions. It’s what we do with those emotions that matters. You’re aware of it and that’s a great first step. No one can be UP all the time. (That was GJ’s Facebook status earlier this week.) And I don’t think it’s natural to expect anyone to be.

    Awareness counts for so much. You’re doing the work it takes to face these things. (I wrote about that today. Committing to doing something about it is everything!)

    It’s so easy to compare ourselves to others and feel less than. Trust me. I feel this comparison thing once every few hours these days. Then I have to remember that all I can expect is that I be the best ME I can be.

    Also, I GUARANTEE you that some of these feelings are due to exhaustion from yesterday’s travel. Not to disregard your feelings… I get it… but I’m also aware of when I’m not feeling my best and how it will affect me emotionally.

    Just allow yourself to be today. You’ll be balanced again soon.


    1. No one can be UP all the time…SO true (and kind of a TWSS moment, not to make light of the comment, because it is so true)…GJ is a smart man. And YOU are a smart woman. Awareness is huge, you are right. I want to fix this, because I don’t want to feel like this so often. And yes, I KNOW the exhaustion from the trip has a little to do with it, definitely. XOXO

      1. Heh, I totally missed the TWSS moment!

        And I have a suggestion, instead of “fixing” it… how about just recognizing it and allowing it to be nothing more than how you’re feeling right now. And how about realizing that how you’re feeling right now will change… like in the next hour or tomorrow. And how about understanding that you’ll probably feel like this again but that’s okay because it’s a totally human thing to feel. How about just accepting how you feel without judgment?

        It’s worth a try?


        1. You missed a TWSS?! I am shocked ;-P

          And you know…you bring up yet another good point, fixing it may not be the answer, it’s recognizing it and knowing that my feelings will change, probably daily, just as I feel better today, already. Definitely worth a try.

  5. I love what you emphasize at the end of using it for motivation instead of hindering you. i think you are AMAZING!!! I understand feeling doubt at times, but I really hope you know just how highly I think of you. Love you!

  6. You’re so not alone. The world is full of people overwhelmed by fear. Some of us battle with our insecurities. Others just lie down in defeat.

    It’s easy to think otherwise, what with so many people insisting that everything is sunshine and roses 24/7, but that’s usually just an act.

    1. Thank you Simone, for weighing in…I guess I wasn’t even looking at it that way at all, that everyone is in the same boat, for the most part. Fear is such a driver sometimes for me, and I hate it. Something I am working on, but I guess everyone is, in some way.

  7. We are ALL a work in progress. 🙂 One of the hardest things I’ve learned and am definitely still learning is that I have to stop my negative thoughts as soon as they start. It’s just too easy to walk down negativity lane for miles if I don’t turn around immediately.

    1. It REALLY is too easy. I find myself doing that a lot lately and I am going to have to mentally just tell myself to stop, or as Alicia said here too, verbally say STOP.

  8. I think your observation that every single person is a work in progress is spot-on. And honestly, I think that sometimes social media – facebook, twitter, blogs – doesn’t paint that picture accurately. A lot of what you see online is all about how perfect things are, and how HAPPY everyone is. I know that I feel inadequate when I spend a lot of time on social media…but I try to remind myself that people are only painting the picture that they want people to see. It’s hard to find balance between honesty and positivity sometimes. I definitely empathize with your reactions to fear…I hold back a lot because I’m nervous about how things will turn out. Fear coupled with just a touch of laziness can be a real struggle for me.

    1. You are SO right, social media totally amplifies all the good, but not what’s under the covers. Absolutely agree. Fear can be crippling…completely. But recognizing its effect and trying to move past that is – so far – working for me. Thanks for visiting!

  9. I’m not surprised that this post received so many comments. This is an issue that everyone faces, and you wrote about it beautifully. If people don’t see themselves as works in progress, then they haven’t done the introspective work that’s needed to grow and change. Your posts are inspiring me to explore a few topics on my blog in more depth. Thanks! xoxo

    1. Aw, thank you CG! I hope my overthinking can in some way, help inspire you to explore some similar topics! I really loved the comments and feedback on this one too!

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