Safiya Robinson

39 Lessons - Lesson 11... Year of No Fear!

Safiya Robinson
39 Lessons - Lesson 11... Year of No Fear!

This post first appeared on my facebook page a few months ago. It was the first post I had put out there in a long time. At the end of it, I will give an update on how I am going with the fears now that I am approaching the middle of the year. And please note - I am still working on the others!!

5 Fears I plan to conquer in 2017

This is the year of no fear! I should confess that this is not quite accurate, as I have been reliably informed that courage is not about the absence of fear, but about “feeling the fear and doing it anyway” to quote a popular phrase, book etc. While it sounds good in theory, it is now February and I am realizing that I need to take a more pro-active approach, as fear is insidious. It took me a long time to realise that it is there underlying so much of what is said and done (or not said and not done) that simply trying to over ride it in those times when it is obvious may not be enough. In addition to that, some fear is necessary for protection (fear of oncoming traffic for example!)

I was listening to something yesterday about goal setting, and it was revealed that fear is one of the big reasons that we do not set goals for certain things. Fear of failure, fear of the unknown etc. It made me realise that I didn’t really set any goals this year, mostly out of fear. In addition, some fears are so ingrained that I have completely shut my mind to them.

In order to really start conquering some of my fears this year I am exercising one of my recent pledges to myself – one of full disclosure. I am going to list 5 of these fears, and why I am fearful of them, as the first step towards dealing with them. Then the journey begins as I look to conquering them. I will not allow the fear of failure or of not completing them to stop me from starting down this road. NO FEAR!!!

1. Fear of technology. Those who know me may (or may not) find this surprising – I am not a huge fan of technology. Somehow I always worry about something going wrong, and I like to know the outcome before I even begin, and in truth I am self-taught on most computer and technology related things. My fear and dislike of technology isn’t helped by the fact that I am pretty sure that my phone is listening to me!!! This is not paranoia – the other day a friend came to dinner and she and I were having a conversation when my phone said “I’m sorry – I did not hear you” totally unprompted!!! (I later discovered that when I was telling her that I used google for something this woke up the phone… However it didn’t help my paranoid big brother beliefs one bit!!!). But there are other things that I find it hard to cope with – using Word properly, using Excel (at all), and many of Office’s other offerings that I am sure would be useful. Using youtube and google (I am always overwhelmed by the amount of information that comes when I search and nothing annoys me more than clicking and watching videos which don’t quite help). And the fact that most of the assistance out there seems to be geared towards those who already have some innate technical knowledge, as opposed to being aimed at us novices. But all of this needs to change – I have big plans for personal projects (blog, podcast etc) and all of them are on pause due to technical issues. It is time to overcome some of these and enter the 20th century (I guess I should probably enter the 21st century as well!!!) When the AI takes over the world I want to at least have contributed to the problem so here I go – technology your behind is mine!!

2. Fear of horse riding – by now you must realise that this is in no particular order. I should say that I rode a horse many years ago – and I fell off! Of course what made this worse is that I was on a horseriding excursion with a group of children somewhere in the middle of Oxford, and was put on one of the less tame horses. I assume that this was more to do with my age than anything else, since all of the children had ridden horses before, most of them regularly, and I had never even gotten on one. In my life!! I didn’t manage to stay on for very long before I got thrown off into a patch of wet mud, something that the children found totally hilarious. Although I wasn’t hurt, I was definitely scared, and since horse riding is not a necessity, I never did it again. A few years later, I challenged a young patient of mine to have some dental work done – which she was afraid of. She was at the time 9 years old, and I am embarrassed to say that she must be an adult by now. She was an avid horserider, and she challenged me to ride a horse again, and I agreed to do so if she got her dental work done. I should say here that I am not above shameless deal making with children when it comes to having dental work done… She did indeed have it done!! I however, never had the opportunity presented to me again, however I will definitely consider it if the opportunity presents itself. I suppose I will literally be kicking butt when it comes to horse riding so will see what happens on that front.

3. Goal setting. I mentioned this earlier. I should say that I got into the habit of setting ridiculous weightloss, health and financial goals a few years ago, as new years resolutions. Prior to this, my new years resolution habit was fierce! Resolutions were made and swiftly dispatched – one year I resolved to make at least one new recipe every month, and this was a habit that I continued for several years! Some of my current favourites were discovered this way. Another year I resolved to run the Bristol half marathon. Despite being ill on the day, I did run it and have the medal to prove it! A few years prior to that I had resolved to run a 10K and I was able to do that as well. In fact, I was pretty good at setting and reaching goals. However, the past few years, those health/weight/fitness/financial goals were not met. Things kept getting in the way – like delicious (unhealthy) food, dislike of the gym, and unplanned trips! This year I deliberately did not set any goals because I was tired of setting goals and not achieving them. I am of the belief that it is never too late to set a new year’s resolution, so I have decided to refine those goals into realistic (SMART) goals with a little help from my friends. Once I have decided on them I will share and move forward so watch this space!

4. Full Disclosure – I made this one several months ago. It was a concept that instantly resonated with me, and continues to do so. But it is way more involved than I previously thought and the truth is it was born out of my fear of being vulnerable especially with regards to my feelings and in my relationships (family/platonic/professional are my current relationships just to be clear). While some things became easy to disclose, others were more difficult. But the most difficult part of this is that sometimes I need to admit something to myself before I can fully disclose it to anyone else. Some are linked in with the goal setting for example – getting realistic about my financial position in relation to my desire to take a sabbatical (which I have had to put on hold) and curbing my spending habits, which I keep mostly hidden. Others concern being upfront with persons about how I feel towards them for fear of how it might be interpreted. There are so many persons that I value and appreciate, even love but imagine me (a single female) telling that to a male! Totally frowned upon. Or asking for help in a situation where persons think that I could (or should) be able to handle it. Fear of ridicule. Fear of being seen as less than competent. The list goes on and on. There are many reasons that full disclosure may not be full. I still intend to exercise full disclosure, and I am carefully examining my behavior and trying to make this even “fuller” by being truly vulnerable and accepting the outcomes – regardless of what they are.

5. Exposure – this is the first one I am tackling – by simply writing this post! I find its easy to fear exposure and people realizing that my life has its own struggles and chaos – especially in this age of social media and putting our best foot forward. While I still believe in focusing on my strengths, it is important for me to work through things that I am fearful of which may be holding me back from being strong in other areas. While I am not planning to become a computer programmer, jockey or goal-setting guru/coach, I hope that making improvements in these areas, as well as going through the process of realizing when fear is holding me back (even in those times when I make excuses and say it is something else) will allow me to put forward more of my best self in 2017. So if you see me riding a horse past your window this year then you know what is happening.


Ps - I have definitely worked on the first fear - of technology - and the last one of exposure - this blog is proof of that as I have been blogging twice a week now for a couple of months and am thoroughly enjoying it. And while I have not made my own podcast, I have had a few slots on the radio (a lifelong dream) and those episodes have been converted to podcasts, so I consider that a win for me!! Next on my list - goal setting!! Will keep you posted...