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Therapy Thoughts: Fear and Persistence

My mini-meltdown last Thursday has gotten me thinking about fear and persistence in my life.

Joining up with Amanda for Thinking out Loud.

Therapy Thoughts: Fear

My mini-meltdown last Thursday has gotten me thinking about fear and persistence in my life. @suzlyfe

You see, my greatest fears in life revolve around disappointment (specifically, disappointing others) and being correct (having the right answer, the right information). If I say something incorrect and it results in disappointing others…. well, then, excuse me while I go hide in a cave. 

Last week was different. Last week, I found myself caught between fear, anxiety, depression, and hope. But fear was proved to be the driving force.

A long time ago (wow, I wrote that HOW MANY years ago?), I wrote a post on the difference between fear and excitement. The premise being (since we all know you are not going to go back and read that post, though it is a good one and a nice little window into my soul) that fear and excitement are very similar, but fear is associated with something that might cause you harm, while excitement rather deals with the unknown.

Anxiety is a bit caught in the middle (between the unknown and harm) but also on the complete other side (between the known and technically harmless). For example, I have anxiety about the fact that I don’t make enough money, even though I have substantial savings and sufficient income. But I also have anxiety about the fact that I have no idea if we will be able to have a child, or what having that child would do to me. Also, it might demolish said savings.

I will 100% admit right now to feeling fear. 

Nevertheless She Persisted. My mini-meltdown last Thursday has gotten me thinking about fear and persistence in my life. @suzlyfe

Sometimes, you have to feel the fear, let it grab you and swing you through the air and make you break down in tears, just so that you have the pleasure of standing back up, giving it the middle finger, and proclaiming that you are going to carry on anyway, dammit. 

Feel the fear, gird your loins, and carry on #shepersisted #IamEmpowered #sweatpink Click To Tweet

And if you are having a tough time with that? Grab a glass of win, a handful of Starbursts, and cut your hair off.

If you have something in your heart that you know to be true, it is time to demonstrate “firm or obstinate continuance in a course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition.” (Merriam Webster)

Nevertheless She Persisted.

What do you know in your heart of hearts to be true? What is challenging that truth? What is in the way?

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Have you read these gems?


  • Reply Megan @ Skinny Fitalicious

    Fear is what holds me back from so many things but you know everything fearful I’ve been through good, bad or ugly has always turned into something good or lead me down a certain path. You are strong & tenacious and will overcome whatever challenges you’re faced with.
    Megan @ Skinny Fitalicious recently posted…How I Lost 80 PoundsMy Profile

    February 9, 2017 at 5:17 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I think I just have to make the decision to do so. I know I can (and I know you can!) but I just have to make the decision.

      February 10, 2017 at 1:44 pm
  • Reply Emily

    Fear has been a struggle for me in so many things, and I was so thankful for the reminder on Sunday to be strong and of good courage because the Lord will strengthen me and fight for me. (from Isaiah 35). I want it to drive me to find courage and to be more and more willing to step out in faith.
    Emily recently posted…WIAW: Eating More Food and Doing LessMy Profile

    February 9, 2017 at 6:22 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Faith, courage, bravery. May we all have those!

      February 10, 2017 at 1:44 pm
  • Reply Sarah

    Oh my goodness. Everything about having children can cause anxiety and if I had known what I feared back when I would have told my old self to relax because you just honestly have no idea what it really will bring and can’t really prepare. Years ago when I was practically broke but moving out into my own place, a friend told me to relax, the money would figure itself out. Kids totally change EVERYTHING but you have no clue how because they are all different and there is no way to prep. But the adventure that awaits you will be worth it. You just have to hang on for the ride to get there. It will happen and it will be wild.
    Sarah recently posted…A Lapse Isn’t A RelapseMy Profile

    February 9, 2017 at 6:30 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I think I have anxiety about the future anxiety. But you are right, you just have to ride it!

      February 10, 2017 at 1:43 pm
  • Reply Julie @ Running in a Skirt

    I think women are good at taking fear and turning it into something amazing… which I’m sure you will do! Anxiety though… now that’s a beast! 🙁
    Julie @ Running in a Skirt recently posted…7 Steps to a Perfect Valentine’s Day at HomeMy Profile

    February 9, 2017 at 6:58 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I feel like fear is less chronic than anxiety. Or is it? Now I need to think about that!

      February 10, 2017 at 1:42 pm
  • Reply Jamie

    “firm or obstinate continuance in a course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition.” (Merriam Webster) Yes…to choose the right path and follow it (especially in mental health) is hard but SO right. I have to fight the desire for perfection every day and the more I mess up and don’t beat myself up about it, the easier it gets to “win some and lost some”. Not every loss feels like falling of a cliff…more like a speed bump.
    Jamie recently posted…GIFs for Mom on Valentine’s DayMy Profile

    February 9, 2017 at 7:00 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      And for speed bumps? all you need is a little braking, right?

      February 10, 2017 at 1:41 pm
  • Reply Wendy@Taking the Long Way Home

    I hadn’t really thought about fear–but it certainly explains my anxiety. I guess I have fear of what’s to come for me…
    Wendy@Taking the Long Way Home recently posted…4 Reasons You Should Reward Yourself With a Destination Race and a GIVEAWAY!My Profile

    February 9, 2017 at 7:01 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I don’t have fear for what is to come for you. I have nothing but confidence.

      February 10, 2017 at 1:40 pm
  • Reply Deborah @ Confessions of a mother runner

    Fear has held me back from trying things or acting on things in the past. Once you embrace it and just do it often it’s not as scary or bad as you had imagined it might be
    Deborah @ Confessions of a mother runner recently posted…Life Lessons Learned In The Lap LaneMy Profile

    February 9, 2017 at 7:32 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Isn’t that always the truth!

      February 10, 2017 at 1:40 pm
  • Reply Cora

    Fear is strong. Really, really strong. Blegh even the thought of you or someone I love feeling fear makes me want to just grab them and take it away so they don’t have to feel it. But, it is also inevitable and as human being we all feel it, at some point. And also like everything, it helps create who we are… it builds are experience on this earth and opens our hearts. I think the biggest danger is when we try to cover up the fear. When we hide it away and mask it as anger or numbness, we are crumbling ourselves… rather than building ourselves up.
    Its okay Suz. Its okay to feel fear. It means you have heart and a deep desire. So much <3 to you.
    Cora recently posted…Is It Dangerous To Dream? (Thinking Out Loud)My Profile

    February 9, 2017 at 7:35 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      And so much love to you. I’ve been thinking recently about love and fear. You can’t have one without the other, and having one means that you are capable of the other.

      February 10, 2017 at 1:40 pm
  • Reply Linda @ Veganosity

    Fear is tricky, it can paralyze me or force me to do amazing things, like run a marathon.
    Linda @ Veganosity recently posted…Vegan Lemon Knot Cookies – Egg-Free and Dairy-FreeMy Profile

    February 9, 2017 at 7:58 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      But was that fear, or was that curiosity?

      February 10, 2017 at 1:38 pm
  • Reply kat

    Thankfully you are not alone in this as many, many, MANY of us struggle with fear. [raises both hands high in the air]. My biggest fear is of new things, or the unknown I suppose. I live in such a bubble of comfort that anything new or sudden throws me off course and I can’t help but curl into a fetal position to try and avoid it all. I know for a FACT that this has caused me to miss a ton of great opportunities which now just honestly pisses me the frick off. I guess that’s a good thing though, because when I’m pissed off I typically fight back like the crazed ginger that I am 😉
    kat recently posted…TOL #120 – Workout Adjustments & Upcoming RecipesMy Profile

    February 9, 2017 at 8:24 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I can see this in your back issues, but look at the amazing progress you have made in embracing that unknown!

      February 10, 2017 at 1:38 pm
  • Reply Suzlyfe's mommy, Clare

    What excellent questions!
    and, perhaps, harder answers.

    In my heart of hearts— I know that I am getting older, a lot older, and that fear of my body aging and my mortality is dead front and center.
    How do I get around those facts? I can’t, but I can accept them and keep going I spite of them.
    I am the one who is standing in my own way.
    I am living in Mexico for 6 months of the year (more or less) and it is not my choice of place…… but is my reality.
    I have no desire to take on leaning Spanish at this age. I have been apologizing for that fact for six years and I’m been, let’s say humbled, by that fact.
    What I didn’t really realize is that I am learning a new language here, it just isn’t Spanish, not spoken Spanish. I am learning to ride horses in the formal Spanish style. That is my new language and I love it!
    I’m not making everyone else happy…….but I am making me happy which is what really matters at this point in my “getting shorter” life.
    I wake up in the morning ready to perfect my new language so please excuse me while I get ready to go to the barn and perfect my new art!

    February 9, 2017 at 8:31 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Dad wanted you to learn Spanish. Well, he should have been careful what he asked for, huh?

      February 10, 2017 at 1:37 pm
  • Reply Nicole @ Blunders and Absurdities Blog

    I recently quit my job as a financial analyst to move in with my long-distance boyfriend in another city and ‘be a writer,’ whatever that means. So, slightly terrified. I came across this quote by Michelle Obama recently and found it helpful, though – it’s advice she would give to her younger self:

    “Stop being so afraid! That’s really what strikes me when I look back — the sheer amount of time I spent tangled up in fears and doubts that were entirely of my own creation… Focus more on learning than on succeeding — instead of pretending that you understand something when you don’t, just raise your hand and ask a question. You’re a smart girl, and chances are if you’re confused, plenty of other students are too. And for heaven’s sake, let yourself really fail once in a while — not some tiny little mistakes here and there, but big, glaring, confidence-shaking, dark-night-of-the-soul-inducing failures. Understand that no one — especially folks who are truly successful — simply coasts from achievement to achievement. The most accomplished people in the world fail and fail big. That’s how they learn so much and grow so quickly and become so interesting and wise. In short, stop trying to be someone who will impress everyone else, and just focus on being and becoming fully, sincerely and passionately yourself.”
    Nicole @ Blunders and Absurdities Blog recently posted…My At-Home Manicure RoutineMy Profile

    February 9, 2017 at 8:47 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Why didn’t I just look up her and ask her to write my blog! Geez, I am going to miss her. And I love your bravery, but also your trust in yourself and your mission!

      February 10, 2017 at 1:36 pm
  • Reply Samantha Kellgren

    Right there with ya, thanks for this! What helps me when I get those worrisome thoughts and anxiety starts creeping in is to remind myself that no matter how often I think these thoughts, it has NO EFFECT on what will actually happen. Cross each bridge as you get to it and don’t dwell on things you don’t even know will be an issue. HUGS!!
    Samantha Kellgren recently posted…Fed Up With Body Shaming? Speak Up!My Profile

    February 9, 2017 at 9:26 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Beautifully Said! Fear and worries? They are just negative energy, not positive action.

      February 10, 2017 at 1:35 pm
  • Reply Heather @ Polyglot Jot

    I really needed to hear this. I struggle with this so often…especially these days!
    Heather @ Polyglot Jot recently posted…5 Budget Friendly MealsMy Profile

    February 9, 2017 at 9:38 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I know you do. xoxoxo

      February 10, 2017 at 1:35 pm
  • Reply Suzy

    Okay, see, it’s posts like these that really make me wish we could talk over a meal together. I have so much to say, and the comment section is like trying to squeeze Chris Farley into a Speedo. I’ll try though.

    As much as I hate having an anxiety disorder, I’ve come to the point in my life where I can appreciate it. Looking back, I can see that my anxiety has probably saved my life, countless times. Worrying and obsessing about things has kept me on this side of the edge and kept me from experiencing life and living in freedom, yes, for sure, but it’s also kept me on this side of the edge and kept me from spiraling toward a quick death through a life of drugs and alcohol, etc, things like that.

    I like the way you put these concepts into words, how fear is bad, but fear is good. It can either imprison us, or it will set us free. The choice is ours. xo
    Suzy recently posted…The Adventure of HappinessMy Profile

    February 9, 2017 at 9:49 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I love the meat of this comment. It is exactly how I feel about my Crohn’s–I would never choose to have it, but it makes me who I am, and it has helped me focus on cultivating the healthy lifestyle that I lead.

      February 10, 2017 at 1:35 pm
  • Reply Anna @ Piper's Run

    Since having kids, I worry about everything! Fear of something happening to them – it’s a horrible feeling. Most days are great but when I have a day where fear takes over – it sucks.

    February 9, 2017 at 9:55 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      That is definitely something that I am a bit apprehensive of, and part of the reason that I am in therapy! I need to figure out my coping mechanisms!

      February 10, 2017 at 1:33 pm
  • Reply Jo @ Living MInt Green

    Mmm, I love this. I really enjoy your soul chats with us. Fear is always going to be present – but there’s opportunity for all of us to understand that just because fear pops up doesn’t mean we SHOULDN’T do something… or we’re living wrong. Or that there’s anything WRONG with us. Fear is just an annoying little ‘thing’ that happens. There’s value in looking at fear objectively and peeling back the layers to understand why we’re feeling fearful. Then choosing another thought to think about.
    Jo @ Living MInt Green recently posted…10 Smoothie Ingredients You Need to Try!My Profile

    February 9, 2017 at 10:21 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I am such a rational person that fear frustrates me, and yet it is something at my core with my anxiety. As long as we are living according to our morals, we shouldn’t have regret, and that is perhaps the only thing that we should fear.

      February 10, 2017 at 1:31 pm
  • Reply Jennifer @ Fit Nana

    Wow. So this made me want to cry a little. Because your words touched a nerve. I’m totally stuck in anxiety right now and I’m not sure how to get out of it. I’m terrified of surgery next week and having to try to muddle through 8 weeks on crutches basically on my own, I’ve got anxiety over the thought of having my entire family in my house the weekend after my surgery and I won’t be able to be a good hostess (I don’t handle being taken care of very well), and I just started back to school and I’m suddenly overwhelmed by all the things I have to do while I’m trying to come up with interesting and important things to write about for my blog. Oh boy. Want to share a bottle of wine? And maybe a box of tissues?
    Jennifer @ Fit Nana recently posted…COMMERCIALS, EAR WORMS, AND FACE WASH, OH MY!My Profile

    February 9, 2017 at 10:34 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I will always share a bottle of wine with you! First, deep breath. Always start with your breath. Next, get back to your old school student days–get a planner, different color pens, and make lists and plans of what to do, when.
      Last. go with the top 3 rule: pick your top 3, if you finish those during the day, you can pick 2 back ups. You finish those? You relax.

      February 10, 2017 at 1:30 pm
  • Reply Hannah

    My biggest fears tend to be around making the “right” decision – sometimes I put off decision-making for a long time because of that, but once the decision is made I WILL follow through because I am stubborn to a fault (I prefer to call it tenacious though).

    I think “sometimes, you have to feel the fear” is so true. Once you let yourself feel it you realize there is only so much it can do.
    Hannah recently posted…Traveled trails: January review, February planMy Profile

    February 9, 2017 at 11:11 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I agree. You need to feel the fear and realize that you can overcome it!

      February 10, 2017 at 1:27 pm
  • Reply Joyce @ The Hungry Caterpillar

    I think it’s interesting to think of fear as something we need to feel. So often, anxiety is treated as something that we need to “cure”; and of course, we do need to overcome, address our anxiety if it makes us unable to live our life. But I also think there’s a lot to be said for knowing what emotions need to be felt and not pushed aside.
    I think the Elizabeth Warren quote is going to be making its rounds for awhile. 😉
    Joyce @ The Hungry Caterpillar recently posted…Recent EatsMy Profile

    February 9, 2017 at 11:40 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      That is such an interesting perspective, and a beautiful explication of it!

      February 10, 2017 at 1:25 pm
  • Reply Ellen @ My Uncommon Everyday

    I’m afraid of doing the wrong thing. All the time. Even when there’s no technically wrong thing to do. There are infinite paths to success and infinite appearances of success. Like so many other things, I *know* that, I just need to *feel* it.
    Ellen @ My Uncommon Everyday recently posted…Thinking Out Loud #81My Profile

    February 9, 2017 at 12:47 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      And you have such great instinct, you just need to trust yourself!

      February 10, 2017 at 1:24 pm
  • Reply Laura @ This Runner's Recipes

    I have the fear of letting others down as well. I learn more and more though that by letting that fear paralyze me, it can self-sabotage and actually lead to disappointing others more than if I hadn’t let fear get the best of me.
    I just love that how that phrase sounds: Nevertheless, she persisted. It sounds almost Shakespearean. Though she be but little, she be fierce.
    Laura @ This Runner’s Recipes recently posted…Ginger Pear Greek Yogurt Cheesecake BarsMy Profile

    February 9, 2017 at 1:10 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I so agree! I hadn’t made that connection, but you are so right!

      February 10, 2017 at 1:23 pm
  • Reply San

    I am always afraid to disappoint people, it’s been a fear I had all my life but I also realized that you get into situations where you are going to disappoint someone and there is nothing you can do about it. I think by living through these moments, we get better of understanding that fear sometimes isn’t much more than just a warning that things could be uncomfortable and maybe they have to be.
    San recently posted…What I read: JanuaryMy Profile

    February 9, 2017 at 1:27 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I totally hear you. That is when fear is nothing more than nerves, and nerves can be translated to excitement!

      February 10, 2017 at 1:22 pm
  • Reply Rachel

    We will persist. Women always do. <3

    February 9, 2017 at 1:56 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Like cockroaches lol

      February 10, 2017 at 1:22 pm
  • Reply lindsay Cotter

    are you in my brain? Yes, my exact thoughts. “Sometimes, you have to feel the fear, let it grab you and swing you through the air and make you break down in tears, just so that you have the pleasure of standing back up.” on life and children and all the things… sigh
    lindsay Cotter recently posted…Vegan Jalapeño Chickpea Mac and Cheese {Gluten Free}My Profile

    February 9, 2017 at 6:02 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I’ll be there to help you stand back up, lovely.

      February 10, 2017 at 1:20 pm
  • Reply Allie

    Carla Birnberg once wore on my blog that “fear is excitement on pause.” I thought that was one of the truest statements I had ever heard!! Anxiety is exactly as you describe it – somewhere in the middle. Sometimes it tears you down but, like muscles, you have to be torn down to build back up stronger!! He’s to building back up every time anxiety knocks us down!!
    Allie recently posted…5 Ways Hawaii Restored My Faith in PeopleMy Profile

    February 10, 2017 at 5:02 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I wrote a post a long time ago (the one that I referenced) about the difference between fear and excitement, and that is a far more succinct description! And girl, we’ve bounced back from injuries, we can bounce back from fear.

      February 10, 2017 at 1:19 pm
  • Reply Kristy from Southern In Law

    Sometimes, you have to feel the fear, let it grab you and swing you through the air and make you break down in tears, just so that you have the pleasure of standing back up, giving it the middle finger, and proclaiming that you are going to carry on anyway, dammit.

    SO MUCH YES! I seriously could not have said it better <3
    Kristy from Southern In Law recently posted…Recipe: 3 Ingredient Flourless Nutella BrowniesMy Profile

    February 12, 2017 at 5:19 pm
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