anxiety, mental health, opinion

Being Fearfully Fearless

I have been sitting on this idea for a while but was unsure how to put, what I consider the motivation behind all of my decisions, into words.

I am what I call fearfully fearless.

I am terrified about a lot of things but “do” anyways.

Fear holds a lot of people back from a lot of things. That has been genetically engrained into us through evolution- don’t do the terrifying thing. Doing the terrible thing feels bad for a reason. If you do the thing, you’ll die. Fear is a matter of survival.
Fear sometimes propels people to do reckless things, we refer to these people as “adrenaline junkies”. They love the feeling that the “fight or flight” response gives and put themselves in a situation to feel it.

Then there is me.

I worry and I overthink and am terrified of a lot of stuff. What ifs are a flurry almost constantly.
But I act. I do. I leap.
There is nothing that is not calculated and planned out to a T.

What differs me from the adrenaline junky is that I hate the feeling of worry and fear. There is no rush. I am fearless in spite of the fear.

I have anxiety- not the “I’m anxious or stressed about one thing” version of anxiety that covers social media. I am diagnosed as having Generalized Anxiety Disorder.

Now, I sometimes can have a high-stress job but in the moment and peak of what I do, I can make quick judgement calls, act, and come up with the best solution really quickly.
I think my anxiety, in much of my life, is my friend.

The sleepless nights, chest pains, etc. attributed with anxiety sucks- it isn’t good. It is not always my friend. However, my constant overthinking, over-planning, over-worrying has essentially trained me for contingencies, problem solving, and analyzing situations and seeing them for the entire picture- including what they aren’t yet and what they could be. When I am in a high-stress situation (be it at work or elsewhere) I have extreme focus. I am confident because I did all the worry beforehand.

I don’t believe anxiety is the handicap that much of the world has painted it to be.
Sure, I am not always at my best and I can recognize the minority of days when I know it is too much. I know myself and my condition pretty well- what I can handle and what I can’t. But I don’t think I would be nearly as successful in what I do, in school, and in my general life if it weren’t for my anxiety.

When I fear or overthink something, I come up with several plans. Contingencies on contingencies. Hypotheticals that are realistic and aren’t.
I act. I do. I jump.
Because I know there is a plan. Something will land and work out well, and if it doesn’t I already have a plan for that. With all of my ducks in a row- I choose the next duck in line.
There have been very few times in my life that I have gone forward without at least a plan B, and fewer times that I have come to a situation that I didn’t have a plan for.

I run on stress and worry. Is it the healthiest? Probably not. But this is how I know how to live. This is how I can be prepared, ready, and be able to live fearlessly despite my fears. I am always ready for the next thing, even if in the moment I don’t feel ready. In reality, I am.

I have problems sitting still. An office, 9-5, as I have said in other posts isn’t for me. I need change, movement, a place to plan for. If I don’t have an outlet to plan or organize or think that is when my anxiety becomes too much to handle. It seems backwards. It seems, on paper, wrong. Even as I write it, it doesn’t make sense.

But this is how I am.

Fearfully fearless.

“The fears we don’t face become our limits” – Robin Sharma

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