Day 23: The 5 Step Cycle Kicking the Fear and Getting Back to Me
I’d always been a brave, free-spirited, goofy girl. In general, I’ve always been someone who has a deep love and respect for living the good life. I got second place in high school for “Most Likely to Brighten Your Day” (the girl who won must have paid people off!).
What I’m trying to say, is I never thought I’d ever hit a rock bottom.
And then about a year back I did hit rock bottom, looking in the mirror and feeling I didn’t recognize the girl I was staring at, resting my head to bed at night not wanting to start the day over again come morning, and feeling so far out of touch with myself. I’d wake up and cry in frustration as I realized that yet another day was about to begin where I felt an unwavering sense of a pit in my stomach that was a constant reminder I was feeling lost, sad, mad, numb.
How does rock bottom happen?
Today, a little over a year since I went through that period of letting my fears cast a shadow over who I am, I’m able to say that I got through that time, that I wouldn’t trade it for a damn thing, and that it was the best and most important ass kicking I could haver ever received from myself.
Today, I’m going to share with you the 5 step cycle of how I went full circle by telling my story.
Before I get into the 5 steps, let me tell you a bit about myself and who I am at my root, so you can see specifically what was going on with me in my own personal experience throughout each step. As soon as you stray from your root, the cycle begins.
The Root of Lauren Rains:
If I could pick one word to describe me it would be “explorer”. I’m a free-spirit with high expectations for myself, and if I feel restricted
1.) The Beginning: Realizing Something Isn’t Quite Right (and not doing anything about it)
As I said, as soon as you stray away from who you are at your root, the course of your life becomes off balance, and the stars soon no longer know how to align for you. And as soon as you stray from your values, your dreams for yourself, your big ideas that get you excited – your root and your gut will know it immediately.
It’s sort of like making the decision to go out for a few too many drinks on a weeknight when you have a big day at work the next day, or taking a wrong turn on a darker road in a strange city you’re traveling in. You just know you shouldn’t be doing it, yet sometimes you keep going anyway.
2.) The Turning Point: I Was In Denial I Had to Change
I’d say to myself, “There’s nothing wrong with my situation, I just need to change my outlook. Why would I have put myself in this situation or made these decisions if they weren’t right? I’d never do that!” But the truth was, I had.
- I had stayed in a relationship that was bringing me down on a daily basis
- I had surrounded myself with negative people whom were toxic in my life
I also was at a crossroads in my business: Things were going really great. I was making my living as a website designer and running my magazine outdoor minded mag. Then suddenly, fear crept in. “What if I can’t grow these to my ultimate vision? What if they fail? What if business goes down? What if I suck even though things are going well?”
- I was letting these fears get to me so much, that I stopped loving what I was doing
- I was letting these fears get to me so much, that I stopped loving myself, for being an entrepreneur has always been a huge part of my identity.
But I didn’t change anything. I told myself that I was being overly sensitive, that it was just a phase, that I should be able to mentally get myself through this.
3.) The Bottom: When I Finally Hit Rock Bottom
Well, let me tell you. While much of this is a mental game, even more of this is a physical came. What I mean by that is the physical actions that come after you make a mental decision to change. The question becomes, “What will you DO to make a change.” Because you can’t just think your problems away my friends.
Trust me, I’ve tried.
I hit rock bottom when I didn’t make a change. I stayed in that relationship, lived in that house, avoided the questions for myself I had to answer month after month after month.
Until one day, I was no longer me. I was no longer a free-spirited, life-loving, laughing-out-loud kind of girl. I become scared of everything. And then I felt like a fake and a phony. Me – Lauren Rains – the girl who writes a blot called The Mad to Live that’s supposed to be all about making life an adventure you love – was no living a life that she despised.
And so began a period of waking up each morning only to begin crying in frustration that I still felt the same emptiness, frustration, and fear that I felt the day before.
I’d lay on my floor with my head in my hands, and I’d wonder if the pain I felt in my core would ever go away.
4.) Rising Up: When I Began Making Big Change
“I relax and let go”. This is what I began saying to myself about 500 times a day on a daily basis. After what felt like an eternity of the previous step, I faced the truth that I’d have to confront my fears and make some changes.
And I made big changes. It was all or nothing for me.
- I moved: I packed up my things and moved out to Boulder, Colorado with plans to fulfill my goal of making outdoor sports like rock climbing, hiking and mountain biking a huge part of my life
- I ended it: I got out of that bad relationship and for the first time in my adult life I’m single, and I’m just doing me now. I was so scared to be on my own, but a good friend once told me, “Just become you’re alone, doesn’t mean you are lonely.”
- I committed: I dove into my businesses by really taking a hard look at what goals to keep and what goals to let go of, and I found my passion again.
- I sought: I began seeking out and surrounding myself with positive people who don’t have room for negativity or hate in their hearts.
Making these big changes wasn’t easy. It took months to set all of this in motion, and every day felt like an anxiety attack was about to take over my mind and body. Hence having to repeat, “I relax and let go” 500 times a day.
The point is, I stopped blaming myself for not being able to have a positive outlook on my situation. The truth was, I didn’t like the situation that I had put myself into with my own two hands, and I needed to change it.
5.) How I’m Avoiding Reuniting Part 1 of the Cycle: Living My Life
Throughout our lives, we’ll be tested time and time again. We’ll have to make difficult choices, we’ll get ourselves into situations that aren’t good for us, we’ll have days we just don’t want to get out of bed.
These tests have to happen so we grow, so we build our life muscles, so we get to know ourselves more and more.
The trick is to stay true to who you are at your root throughout it all.
In Conclusion: Where I Am Today
Because I know I got through this, because I can look back on days that began with tears knowing today they begin with excitement for whatever it and I may bring, and because I now know I have the ability to change my circumstances no matter how stuck in them or impossible they may seem, I have never been happier.
There are still plenty of things I’m working on, changes I’m in the process of making, and decisions I’m having to check myself on.