Have you ever felt so paralyzed by fear that you wouldn’t dare do something to confront it? Have you let yourself decide ahead of time that you aren’t ever going to do something because you are afraid of what could happen to you?
Have you ever missed out on potential incredible, memorable experiences because you let fear get the best of you?
When I was in college, I had a lot of girlfriends who were beautiful, funny, and smart, and to top it off, they had great bodies as well. Together, we were all pretty outgoing, adventurous and always looking for a good time. While I had a great time running around with all my single friends, meeting boys and doing things that most college girls do, I had a constant insecurity in the forefront of my mind. I thought a lot of my value was based off of my looks and my body.
With that, I wanted to find any excuse I had to get out of any type of activity that showed my body... especially swimming. Even going to dances or activities where my girlfriends and I got dressed up was hard, because I was constantly thinking about my body and how I wasn’t as beautiful as my friends. I would double layer my shirts because I thought it would give the allusion that the extra thickness of material would hide how big I really was… (I obviously didn’t realize that just added a little more thickness). I didn’t want to wear anything tight fitting at all, otherwise, it would expose what I’ve been trying to hide from everyone.
I remember several times, all my girlfriends would plan a trip to California, Las Vegas or Mexico, and while it all sounded like a blast, I knew I would have to be in a bathing suit at the beach or the pool. So I always passed it up.
I would come up with any excuse I had… I had a big project due, I wanted to stay behind with my boyfriend, I didn’t have money, etc. To be honest, when I first started college, my mission was to find a boyfriend. Not just to have a partner in crime or to get married, but so I could use him as an excuse not to do all these activities with my single friends… ALL BECAUSE OF MY FEAR OF SHOWING MY BODY. This fear wasn’t necessarily my body. It was a fear of letting others judge me. It was a fear of being vulnerable and owning my body for what it was. It was a fear of being rejected. Mainly it was my fear of what people thought of me, after seeing that I didn’t have the best body or was even close to the washboard abs like my friends. The worst part about it is, I am such a people person, I’m always up for adventure, travel and making a fool of myself. But when it came to showing my body, I wanted nothing to do with it.
I have come to realize that there is SO MUCH I will and did miss out on because I let my fears get in the way. Over the summer, we went to the beach with my family, and while it is still hard for me to get in a swimsuit, I decided that I can’t let it paralyze me to the point of not going or enjoying time on the beach. I owned every dimple, every stretch mark and every jiggle with each step I took. While I am a constant work in progress, I can’t let my imperfections dictate my ability to be unapologetically myself and just OWN IT.
Whatever it is that’s holding you back, making you feel unworthy, anxious or paralyzed, feel the fear, face the fear and then see what happens when you come out the other side.
The fear of being transparent is just one of my many fears. I challenge you to begin facing the one that is crippling you the most and then work down the line.
Who’s with me?? 🙌🏼👯