Fear is a personal thing, no two people experience the same bundle of anxieties. They're not rational and it's often hard to communicate how something others see as fairly basic can leave you barely able to breathe.
For the longest time I let my fears get the better of me, let them control and limit my life. Over time I have become aware of how small my life has become, how many avenues I had closed off for myself by allowing the fear to hold the power in our relationship.
Slowly however, that has been changing; occasional little pushes of the boundaries to see what happens. It's strange but when you're in the grip of anxiety it's hard to believe that the outcome of doing something you fear will be anything other than really bad, frequently to a "the worst thing you can imagine, times ten" level. So when you do start moving past that and nothing happens? Well, I tend to feel a bit silly. A bit flat and it's very easy to berate myself for that at the time.
Yet, doing something and feeling the fear is one of the more difficult aspects of changing my life for the better. The rise and fall of anxiety inside me, often sharp pangs like lightening. The inner voice that repeats "You're going to regret this." and "You can just quietly disengage and slink off to the sidelines where it's safe." It's the last bit that's the most tantalising: safety. Of course it's safe to do nothing outside of your comfort zone, to limit opportunities, to say no to things that actually quite a big part of you is shouting "Yes!" to. Of course it's easier to stay as you were.
Staying as I was is no longer an option for me. I have worked so very hard to get to the point I am at and to step back now from things that start the anxiety machine rolling would be a betrayal of that.
Right now, I am really anxious about having a blog, of being out there on display for other people to judge. As far as rationality goes, it's a pretty legitimate fear as before now I have been subjected to very harsh words online from complete strangers. That was a long time ago and things have changed since then. Heck, it's happened to me on the street as well and my response to that wasn't to turn and run, but rather be a bit shocked, roll my eyes and continue on my way. I'm not saying it won't hurt if someone is critical of me or this blog, naturally it will, but I hope that it will not be the same hard place as it was previously.
The sinking feeling to the pit of my feeling will pass though if I keep on going. If I step back it will always be there.