I am sure you have heard the phrase, “The only thing you have to fear is fear itself…” Well, I am learning the real truth to the age old statement I have heard for years.
It’s not easy having alopecia. (It’s a heck of a lot easier going thru this again at 38 than it was when I was 20!) While it’s a little more commonly known and I feel more secure, it’s still creates difficult fearful moments.
Here’s a story: a group of co-workers like to play soccer over the lunch hour…. There are actually plenty of reasons to be nervous or intimadated. I never played soccer in high school, I don’t know any of these people, and it’s a lot of running! It’s not fun to suck in front of strangers. Yet despite all those legit excuses, it still sounded like fun. I wasn’t going to let wearing a wig stop me from doing anything. I wasn’t going to let fear rob me of fun. So I left the wig in my office, and I took the field in cleats and a ball cap.
About my third time playing it was windy, like really windy… like blow your hat off windy. I was nervous the entire time. Like a dork, I was running with one hand on my head, trying to make sure my hat stayed on. It was awkward and I was praying, “Please Lord, please. I’m begging don’t let it blow off.” I was absolutely fearful of being exposed.
Then, it happened. The very thing I dreaded and feared happened. My friend kicked the ball right directly at my face, knocking my hat off backwards into the wind. “No. No. No, God no. This can’t be happening. Okay, this is happening.” Split seconds felt like minutes. Concerned teammates turned attention towards me, mainly to make sure my nose wasn’t broke. I couldn’t get my hat back on fast enough! I couldn’t believe the very thing I feared just happened. But guess what?…No one noticed. No one asked questions. No one pointed and no one laughed.
My mountain wasn’t even a noticeable moment for others. The thing I feared happened, and it was no big deal for anyone but me. In fact, they seriously didn’t even notice.
Ever get yourself worked up over something, and then it happens and it wasn’t nearly as difficult as you expected? I think it’s altogether common! So, let’s skip the fearful misery.
What possibility has been paralyzing you? What fear has robbed you of fun? While we have caring and observant friends, we need to remember people aren’t watching you quite like we think they are. No one is expecting your flaws to be exposed, no one is waiting for you to fail. People have so much of their own stuff going on they aren’t concerned with yours! Free yourself to be yourself… it’s only hard once. There is freedom on the other side!
Write the blog. Sing the song. Step out in faith. Open the business. Have the baby. Ride the rollercoaster. Join the gym. Wear the dress. Book the vacation. Play the sport. Take the class. Change jobs. Color your hair. No one is looking at you through the critical eyes you expect. Don’t give power to whatever fear is holding you back. If the worst case scenario actually happened, you will still be okay! To everyone else, your BIG deal is no big deal at all!
Now, I get to experience it again this week. I bought a new wig, but wearing it for the 1st time is the hardest part. The shock of changing color and styles makes me feel so uncomfortable. Nervous. Insecure. I feel like a stranger looking back in the mirror. What is major change for me is very trivial and may go unnoticed to others.
One more thought, we need to give people more credit! If you do stumble or fall, trust your tribe to cover and comfort you.
When my oldest daughter was trying to get me to brave public with no wig or hat, she reasoned with me: “Come on Mom, if they do stare at you, what do you think they will be thinking? They will feel sorry for you, and know you are sick. It’s not like anyone would actually think you cut your hair like that on purpose!” 😭🤭🤦🏼♀️
But she is absolutely right! What do I have to be scared of? Why did I assume they would stare and wonder?! Don’t let the fear of opinion stop you from one single thing!
Make your mind up to live freely! Do it without any teathered expectations or dependency on affirmation! Don’t expect validation from compliments. Just go for it with God!
He will never leave you or forsake you. Duet 31:6
Those who put their trust in the Lord will not be put to shame. Romans 10:11
The Lord is for me, what can man do to me? Psalms 118:6
I share my story in hopes that someone else will feel powerful, secure and brave! Even if what you fear happens, it’s gonna be okay! Push past the discomfort of fear and live free!