On Letting Go of Fear: Dead Weight and Pink Balloons

Earlier in the week, I shared about how I'd been having a bit of a freak out in the lead up The Artful Business Conference. I realised that I was reverting back to many of my old patterns of behaviour from when I was at University (both when I studied Teaching, and when I went to Art School) and living in constant fear.

What was I afraid of, you might ask?

Well, when I was a student, on top of my depression and anxiety I was honestly TERRIFIED of doing really well. I didn't feel as if I deserved to succeed. I carried a whole lot of guilt around the fact that I was alive when other people I'd loved were no longer here, or we facing huge challenges of their own.

While I had always been an excellent student at high school, I was suddenly failing at University - and not because I found the work difficult. On the contrary, when I actually completed my assignments, not only did I find them easy enough, but I would receive ridiculously high marks - or my tutors would be so devastated that they could only give me a pass mark due to late submission.

In all honesty, I was totally sabotaging myself - and not because I didn't want to do well - I actually LOVE studying, learning new information, and finding new ways of sharing things with people.

But every time I would sit down to type up a research essay, I would freeze up and shut down. I could sit in front of a computer in the library cafe for hours on end, and achieve literally nothing more than drinking five cups of coffee, with the occasional cigarette break in between.

And as the conference started to loom closer, I could feel myself starting to slip back into some of those old patterns - although thankfully, I've kept to my limit of two coffees a day, and I haven't taken up smoking again.

I was however, procrastinating pretty badly, and I was starting to shut everything out as it all started to feel a bit too much on top of being at work and caring for sick kids for long hours at a time.

So, how did I snap myself back out of my funk, and tell Fear to Fuck off so that I could actually start getting shit done again?

The one and only Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly, with Cat

The one and only Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly, with Cat

First of all, I went out and bought myself some comfy new pyjamas and a stack of new books, before hiding myself away for a full weekend and caught up on plenty of rest. I also made sure that I was in bed nice and early each night. Unless I really needed to be up, I was in bed - I even wrote my blog post about Finding Your Girl Gang on my phone while snuggled up with Lucy on my lap.

I accepted that I was going to have to let go of some of my hang ups.

One of my biggest triggers is living amongst clutter. I find it really stressful when the bed doesn't get made, or the house isn't vacuumed and the laundry doesn't get put away - let alone put away correctly. The reality was, that there just weren't enough waking hours in my days to catch up! I could get the laundry washed and dried, but never got around to the folding or the putting away part, and Jordan's usually still asleep when I leave for work in the mornings.

I honestly had to just let it go, and accept that until Jordan had a day off to help me catch up, that some things just weren't going to happen the way I wanted, but that the world wasn't going to end.

Marilyn Monroe

Marilyn Monroe

I made sure to keep up with my other self care practices. I made sure to take nice hot baths filled with nice smelly oils each night, and to dry my hair before bed so it was one less thing to stress about in the morning rush before work.

I did a lot of quiet thinking, and started practicing some new affirmations (modified from the ones that Elle uses) each morning in front of the mirror as I brushed my hair:

I am Beautiful.
I am Energetic.
I am Happy.
I am Successful.
I am Loved and am worth Loving.

Okay, that last one is inspired by Louise Hay.


The real shifts however, started happening once I started reaching out to those around me.

I called Jordan one day and told him I felt like I was having a mental breakdown from being too overwhelmed (Hey, I'm nothing if not a little hyperbolic!) and so we sat down and came up with some small things we could do to help me feel better right then. As usual, hugs won out.

I let The Girl Gang know that I'd been in a bit of a funk, but that things were starting to clear.

Of course the best thing possible happened, as a result of being open about where my head had been.

Stevie set aside a chunk of her Tuesday to help me clear some of the seriously urgent work I needed to get out of the way - like written blurbs for both my speech and my workshop as opposed to just the idea in my head.

Gopi also got in touch and offered me a 45 Minute EFT session to unpack and clear some of what had been holding me back from achieving the tasks I had set. Seriously, she's a total gem, and if you are looking for some guidance on EFT, I can't recommend her highly enough!

Photo by MariaDubova/iStock / Getty Images
Photo by MariaDubova/iStock / Getty Images

I also did a version of a visualisation practice which I learned at Gala Darling's Magical Soiree last year, where you imagine that you have a balloon tied to your wrist.

That balloon represents all of your stress, anxiety, fear and sadness - it's the thing which gets caught as you go through doors, or bumps into your line of vision when you're trying to focus on something important - like driving.

You take a few minutes and some deep breaths to really imagine how frustrating all of this negativity is - How much it's getting in your way, and stopping you from achieving your goals.

As you take another deep breath, you realise that you can choose to untie the ribbon that's keeping you attached to your balloon.

Then as you take the next deep breath, slowly raise your arm up to the sky before releasing the balloon.

Imagine your balloon floating up and away, carrying away all of the old, leaving you free to get on with things.

And there you have it.

How I told Fear to shove it, and got shit done!

Rizzo is by far the best character and the true star of Grease.  SOURCE     MACYOLIVIA.TUMBLR.COM

Rizzo is by far the best character and the true star of Grease. SOURCE MACYOLIVIA.TUMBLR.COM

I'd love to know, how do you beat fear when it shows up and tries to hold you back?

Let me know in the comments below!