[Bloganuary] The Fear

This post is the final part of my attempt at Bloganuary 2024. Today’s prompt is:

What’s the thing you’re most scared to do? What would it take to get you to do it?

After a few wishy-washy prompts earlier in the month1, suddenly this is a spicy one!

Tabby kitten hiding under a rug.
“I’mma just hide here until next Bloganuary and do one of those prompts instead, a’ight?”

I’ve had sufficient opportunity to confidently answer: I’m most-scared… to express personal vulnerability.

For example –

  • I’m prone to concealing feelings of anxiety, shame, and insecurity (out of for concern that I’ll be perceived as weak);
  • I exhibit rejection sensitivity, especially when I’m under stress (which leads me to brush-off or minimise other people’s gratitude, respect, or even love);
  • It can be difficult for me to ask for what I want, rather than what I think I deserve (so my expressed-needs are at the whim of my self-worth).
Grey-brown kitten with Scottish Fold-style ears standing semi-upright on a light blue sofa with an expression that, were it on a human, would be described as fearful.
“Oh my god you’re actually typing this stuff onto the Internet‽ What will people think of you, Dan!”

Two things I oughta emphasise at this point:

  1. I’m doing much better than I used to.2 I “pass” as well-adjusted! My fear of vulnerability still causes me trouble, especially if I’m emotionally low or stressed, but nowhere near as badly as it used to.
  2. I’m still learning, growing, and improving. I’ve had the benefit of therapy3, coaching, and lots of self-reflection, and I’m moving in the right direction.

What would it take me to face or overcome this fear? I’m already working on it, day by day. Time and practice, just like you’d use to overcome any other obstacle. Time, and practice.

I’m glad that this challenging question came last in Bloganuary, after I felt sufficiently-invested that I had to finish. If this were the first question, I might never have started!


1 Obviously I’m thinking about day 25’s “what do you enjoy doing most in your leisure time?”, to which I wouldn’t have been able to come up a fresh answer after already writing responses to day 2’s “do you play in your daily life?” and (especially) day 23’s “list five things you do for fun”.

2 The best evidence for the fact that I’m less afraid of expressing vulnerability than I used to be is… well, things like this blog post, which I couldn’t conceive of writing say a decade ago.

3 The primary motivation for my most-recent bouts of therapy wasn’t anything to do with this, but counselling helps you make connections that you otherwise might not! You can find yourself reverse-engineering a whole other part of yourself than what you expected.

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