Fighting the fears of change and your own potential
Kirjoittanut: Iiris Ryhänen - tiimistä Kipinä.
I’m not alone
I realised after watching a youtube video of Hitomi Mochizuki called “Romanticizing life to the fullest,re-writing old stories & being the witness”. She was having a very open and honest interview with her father, where he explained how he has always felt that he is not good enough and that has stopped him from pursuing more in life. When asked what was stopping him for doing what he really wanted to do, the answer was simple: “Just the self-deception that I cannot do it. I’m not good enough”.
Randomly choosing this video and it stopping after her father said that. I believe I was meant to see it. Perhaps if the video did not stop, I wouldn’t have given it a second thought or at least started writing about it. I realised that my feeling of self-efficacy* is poor. Just a few weeks ago I didn’t think I would survive being a helping hand at a bar restaurant. I was so sure I was only going to be a nuisance, my mind being blank and failing at every task I was given to. After surviving the night very positively I realized I could do it. Why was I even questioning myself in the beginning. It is just the feeling deep down that I am not capable of anything but at some points also being afraid of your own potential. What if I reach it but don’t know how to keep it up? What if I try my best but fail?
Anyhow, it feels good to know that this feeling is universal. Something that I most definitely am afraid of, is growing old and regretting not doing enough things and letting my fears stop me. I suddenly do not feel unstoppable anymore. Where does it go? We have it when we are young but at some point we loose it, but I don’t want to loose it. I believe that a little bit of madness takes you far. You cannot go further than what you believe is possible, so be a little delusional and believe that everything is possible.
It could be that behind all this is a fear of change amongst other causes. I have always had this thought that I’m not afraid of change, I am good at adapting. I believe that has been the deal, but I’ve noticed a change in that. I’ve changed to be afraid of change. Now after looking at the word change so much, it appears to be just random letters next to each other, not a full word with a meaning. Kind of how I feel about my life right now. What is the meaning of it if I am stopping myself of doing what I wish to do. One thing is also being a highly sensitive person and experiencing anxiety or not succeding in situations that your friends have enjoyed full heartedly. (Ihana herkkyys, Suvi Bowellan, p.72). Experiencing these situations might create the feeling of not being good enough or being too strange. Bowell mentions how our society values high tolerance for pressure, quick decision making skills and clear delivery when communicating, these are all aspects that lots of highly sensitive people don’t have as strenghts, like me. Seeing these types of traits being praised and expected, while not having them, can create the feeling of being somehow broken or good for nothing.
Fear of change can show up in different situations. At the moment in my life, it manifests as avoiding the work towards success. What if it doesn’t work out? What if I am not as good as they are? What if I can’t handle it? What if I ruin my life? What if, what if, what if. All these what ifs are stopping me for “just doing it”. It is scary, a life you haven’t experienced, a life with expectations from others responsibilities to fill. It can also manifest as being in a toxic relationship with someone or finding comfort in depression for example. When all you know is the pain of depression, it might bring safety, so naturally life without it might be scary. Whenever I experience more depressive times in my life, I stop and think to myself if I am too comfortable with it. It requires lots of energy and braveness to heal, it is actually scary to heal. There might be a fear of healing and then something bad happening and being there once again. What if next time there’s no coming back? Adding the idea of even deserving to be happy. There could be many reasons for one to feel unworthy of happiness.
Sometimes imagining helps, feels like you’re experiencing it already. Feeling the emotions you would feel and situations you would be in if you were healthy, using the methods of law and attraction. It creates this sense of safe and something that’s known, those feelings might not be as scary anymore. This has helped me at least a little bit, since I used to be afraid of being happy. I imagined myself enjoying little things in life and being able to live a normal life.
I mentioned toxic relationships, because there is often a fear of change or the fear of unknown. If there is a person who you have been with for a long time or at least have a special connection them, (often could be a trauma bond), it is easy to ignore the red flags. All the good sides of the person makes up to the bad ones and when time passes it might become the normal. Leaving can sound scary. In this kind of situation, it could help that the people realize this themselves so they can work on it if wanted and create a better future for themselves.
of potential and that frightens me sometimes, being afraid of not living up to the potential and my own expectations.
What needs to be done to get rid of these fears and gain the confidence and the feeling of self-efficacy back again?
How can this be changed?
Depending on ones mental resources. If one is drained, maybe it is not the best time for self improvement that requires fair amount of energy and a clear mind. I feel that way, but will slowly try to move to better. Like Hitomi’s father said “Instead of being an escapionist I have to face what I’m most afraid”. Facing the reality instead of avoiding feelings. Giving the time and space for thoughts instead of filling the brain with music and Netflix 24/7. To myself and everyone else experiencing similar feeling and problems, remember small changes, baby steps. Here are some that come to my mind right now:
- Don’t look at your phone while walking outside, open your ears to the different sounds, open your eyes to what is happening aroud you, use your senses.
- Start doing things badly again to stop fearing making mistakes and get the creativity flowing. Write horrible songs and poems, think of really bad business ideas et cetera.
- Leave some space for coincidences. Don’t plan everything ahead.
- Put yourself to situations where you can fail but also succeed, nothing too difficult for the start to get the sense of capability easily.
I wrote this essay a week ago and writing it really opened my mind a lot. I became much more brave. I fought my fear of success or more like acknowledged it and told it that’s it is okay that you are here but I won’t give you any power. Instead of expecting a failure, I finally was able to write a song and poems. I have felt that I have had a creative block for a while but it’s going away now.
To finish this essay, I’d like to thank you if you read this through and I hope it created some kind of feelings. I can admit that I’ve been feeling uncapable of writing essays and didn’t think I can do it but here I am, I proved myself wrong once again and the text is not fully awful, it’s quite okay for zero planning. If there is something you can prove your doubts wrong, do it, even if you don’t manage to prove them wrong, it is ok, let’s not be too hard on ourselves. Like my old neighbour, a 86- year old grandma told me: everyone has their gifts and mistakes. We all have our special gifts and special paths, there is no reason to compare yourself to others, it is just a waste of energy. Lets try to learn to be more grateful for the gifts we were given and not become the victims of our own fears!
H. Mochizuki. 7.4.2023. Youtube. Watched 13.4.2023. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IaQO9RoYnDo&t=234s
S. Bowellan. Ihana herkkyys. 2020. Otava.