Spoiler alert: none of these strategies worked.
The more I learn about fear, the more I realise it's a universal experience, but different people respond to it in different ways. Being a super self-aware Scorpio I've been doing an inventory of how fear has affected so many of my life choices and behaviours. I believe that recognising a pattern is the first step to breaking it. This list of ways I have tried to keep myself safe is by no means exhaustive, but it is cringe-inducingly accurate.
- Clung onto rigid routines in my day-to-day life (predictability is a safety net).
- Tried to be less visible, less noticeable, less me at school in a bid to escape bullying (it didn’t work).
- Bullied other girls so I could feel higher up the food chain.
- Tried to be less me (often, and sometimes still).
- Kept close friends at arm’s length (I can’t be rejected from a distance).
- Ran away from relationships and rejected guys on flimsy grounds.
- Dropped out of uni after my first year (a pre-emptive strike against failure; you’ll be pleased to know I went back in the end).
- Actively avoided pitching ideas at work (over and over again).
- Slowly withdrew from a toxic friendship (I understand the young people call this ghosting) rather than call her out on her bad behaviour and stand up for myself.
- Swallowed my opinions when confronted by domineering relatives, rather than insisting my voice be heard (to be fair, this is a necessary strategy for many of us when it comes to families).
- Participated in, or at least condoned, bitchy gossip sessions in workplaces (a somewhat futile bid to avoid being a target myself).
- Avoided utilising or sharing my abilities as a lightworker for many years (the ‘spiritual closet’ was a very comfortable place to stay).
- Preached or lectured to friends – quite aggressively, in some cases – who were making different life choices to me (converting or influencing others shores up our ‘rightness’ and confidence in our own path).
- Ostracised people who didn’t behave as I did or as I thought they should.
- Left the country, then returned home knowing full well this was the wrong decision for me. (It took me seven years to correct that mistake.)
- Threw myself at unavailable guys (if they’re not available, there’s no chance of a relationship… yeah, I know, I know…).
- Applied for (and sometimes got) jobs that bored me, because they were easy to get and do. (Big mistake. HUGE.)
- Blamed my unhappiness on the Universe, accusing it of dealing me a bad hand (blaming others meant I didn’t have to use my own power and make scary decisions).
- Dismissed or avoided conversing with new acquaintances instead of getting to know them.
- Put up with borderline sexual harassment at work because I wanted to look ‘cool’ and not ‘difficult’.
- Didn’t try (everything everything).
Ways I am trying to feel safe in an uncontrollable, unpredictable world, so I can show up fully in spite of ever-present fear.
- Telling myself every day (usually during meditation, sometimes just at random times when I feel fear rising) that I am enough and that I have enough of what I need.
- Learning to trust that nothing will be given to me that I can’t handle.
- Working at being OK with failure (still working on this).