From the one and only Mandela, who certainly had plenty to fear in his life.
As I reflect on this quote, one particular fear that I’ve always carried around comes to mind: The fear of judgement from others.
In a recent MBCT session, we were asked to write down a possible stress/depression trigger. I wrote:
“When I feel that others are watching and grading the quality of what I do”.
What sort of thoughts run through your mind then?
“They can tell I’m acting. They will be able to tell I’m not that good. They’ll be able to tell I’m trying to fake it. They’ll see me for who I really am, with my weaknesses and all. I won’t be liked as much after this.”
What happens in your body?
“Lightheaded. Heart racing. Adrenaline rush.”
What do you feel like doing (after)?
“Tell a trusted friend about it. Pray. Seek validation from myself or from others. Journal about it. Process. Change environment so that I can get a different perspective on the experience (and I usually do, thankfully).”
Are there any old habits of thinking or behaviour that might unwittingly keep you stuck in feelings of depression or stress?
“Replaying the scene in my head, over and over again.”
While I was told that I have pretty good coping mechanisms, it doesn’t change the fact that we will still face plenty of scenarios in life that would make us fearful. Slowly, I see how our way of BEING (being mindful, being aware of our old thought habits which may be unhealthy) can affect the way we DO things, and that in turn might have an effect on how we are SEEN. While changing our behaviour to cater to the approval of others is never a good idea, we ourselves would certainly benefit from a better quality of doing, doing from a place of non-fear.
And who wouldn’t benefit from a presence of non-fear?