Man, what a hairball…to feel like you’ve got this crazy pressure of the future, no support in the present, no idea how to get to where you “need” to be in order to be enough / accepted / deemed worthy / make yourself and others proud…it’s like, it feels every move you make is either moving you closer to or further from what you most desire, and when every step has the power to make or break your future and therefore your worth, it’s SO PARALYZING!! Especially when it will all fall on your shoulders in the end. It’s up to you! And if you screw it up, it’s up to you to fix it or deal with it, and right now, it feels like the only way you can deal with that kind of pressure is to avoid it. At least NOT moving isn’t moving you AWAY from that future you need to get to – or so it feels…but the longer you stay in place, the harder it feels to make a decision or to move at all, and so in that sense, your future is still moving forward, and you’re stuck here, so it feels like you’re getting further from it now too, and you have no idea what to do to catch up, to make the right decision, to head in the right direction – it feels like there’s so much…TOO much…and you don’t really know what to do.
I am proud of you for taking THIS step – for opening up, for sharing what’s on your heart, for not pretending that everything’s okay, because it’s not, and that’s okay too. You’re doing something about it – you’re looking for help, for support, so that you don’t have to carry it by yourself.
I think what might be really helpful for you is to understand WHY you’re afraid of your future…
What does failure mean to you? If you make the wrong choice, what happens? What will it mean about you?
Whatever word feels most painful when you answer that question, when is the first time you remember feeling that way or hearing someone tell you those words?
If you can dig back in your story to some of the earlier painful memories you have, you can start to see that what your fear is TODAY resembles closely a lot of the painful memories from your past. If you can NAME those things, identify them, you can start to understand yourself better…because instead of just being afraid of “the future” you’re afraid of something much more tangible…
For me, I was afraid of the future because I was afraid that if I made the wrong decision, I was going to be a failure.
Being a failure, the first time I remember feeling like a failure was on the playground in my elementary school when y dad’s words rung through my head and sunk into my heart: “You’re never going to be the best.” To me, as a four year old, what that meant was that I was NEVER going to make my dad proud, and it meant that consequently, I was ALWAYS going to fail. Failing was proof that my dad was right and that I am unworthy of love.
So when I approach my future, it’s not that I’m actually afraid of the future, it’s that I’m afraid of being a failure and proving that I’m unworthy to be loved.
That’s a much different beast to tackle. KNOWING that I’m afraid of being loved, I can actually face the situations I’m afraid of and talk it through with other people…when I identify the lie, I can invite others to help me see the truth (note: I’m actually not strong enough most of the time to handle these lies on my own, so I have to reach out to others, similar to what you’re doing here). And when I see the truth and believe the truth, I’m able to face my future and make the progress I wished I could.
So my challenge to you, R, is dig into your story. Where’s this fear coming from? Take time to understand yourself and your story. What is the lie that you believe about yourself? When you identify that, you can invite others in to help you see the truth and face your future in spite of your fear!