Do Your Fears Hold You Back? - Elegantly Dressed and Stylish
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Do Your Fears Hold You Back?


Hi Friends

Yes. Let’s get to the meat and potatoes.. I know last week I talked about summer beauty products and we do want to know, but I also want to know somethings on a deeper level..I have talked before about “Confidence at Midlife” and asked ” What Makes you Happy?‘ but today I thought I would discuss if your fears hold you back in life.

I do think about this often. I have always had a fear of heights. However, I knew years ago that I wanted to learn how to rock climb. The idea of climbing upward, with a rope around my waist, didn’t really concern me. It was the rappelling down a 50 foot rock face that scared me more! I learned how to do it, it was just the uncertainty, the fear that kept me from wanting to do it. Fast forward .. after some time, I had learned to rock climb and felt good about taking that metaphorical and literal leap!

I am thinking about fear in other ways. Do you fear something so much, that it almost paralyzes you or does not permit you to move forward? When I was in college, I was in a blues band. I played bass. I loved it. Surrounded by my college friends, it felt a bit safe. Later, years down the line, I wanted to perform. I went to school for Music, but had only studied jazz for a few years after switching from classical.  I would find people who wanted to form a duo, but wanted me as the “background player” .. basically strum some chords, while they played in the forefront. Nothing jived.   Soon after this, EDS reared its head and I couldn’t sit long enough to play guitar, nor did the pain in my hands/fingers allow it… Years went by and I became stronger in my health, but didn’t pick up the guitar.

Why was I waiting….

The fear of not playing well, of failure, or incompetence, over took me and my interest in guitar. It was all or nothing. I almost felt like if I couldn’t play like Wes Montgomery, I wouldn’t bother. It was the fear of not being good enough in my mind, that would hold me back of playing something I loved.  Even for my own enjoyment. My husband could tell me I was an amazing player, but I continued to listen to that voice.

In the midst of feeling like this, I decided I would take an acting class. Talk about FEAR! I had no experience, unless you count a tree in my grade school play or the chorus in the middle school production of the HMS Pinafore. I continued each week, not letting the fear of inexperience  get in my way. I had fun. I was learning something new. I was Julia Roberts in Steel Magnolias ( monolgue). I left there feeling good in what I accomplished, and the fact that I tried something new.

You know the fear that may come about at midlife.  The fear of getting older. I wonder, is this what we fear, or do we concern ourselves about becoming “invisable”  or ” irrelevant”? I think the best we can do is be ourselves, the best version of ourselves and be happy with who we are.

I used to have an unfounded fear of flying. My dad instilled it in us when we were young, for no apparent reason. He was afraid to fly, then we became afraid to fly. I still get nervous flying, but I want to see the world, and not miss experiences I wouldn’t have if not for flying. This is another example of how fear can limit you.

Fear can hold you back. I think what I learned is to ask myself, ” What is the worst thing that could happen by doing this?” Answer that in situations where I might be afraid of something. Recently, I had an experience, that I will later share, for the blog, and despite my fear, I decided to go for it.  Sometimes we need to challenge ourselves and really see what we can do. Try not to let the little voice inside hold you back.

I would love to hear if or how your fears have held you back? What did you do to overcome them ?

As a footnote, I have picked up my guitar recently, and one of my favorite songs to play is Wish You Were Here by Pink Floyd. 🙂

Have a great weekend!

Jess xo

And just in case you missed the posts, the first time around, Here is the trip to Savannah GA in two parts.

PART 1- Savannah and the Historic District

PART 2- Tybee Island and Beach

  • Anna Parkes
    Posted at 17:37h, 21 August Reply

    Thanks for this post Jess. I think if we’re honest, we all fear something and yet some of us may try to hide it away to make it feel less potent. I understand your desire to push through your fears and admire you to face up to them. I used to suffer a terrible fear of flying, but have gradually overcome it the older I’ve become.

    Anna x

  • Vanity And Me Style
    Posted at 15:22h, 13 August Reply

    One of my favourite Floyd tunes! I am absolutely terrified of flying too. And lifts! I can’t goin those either! I would rather climb a thousand steps! Sad huh? xx

    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 09:23h, 14 August Reply

      No, not sad! Yes, I am nervous every time I have to fly. I do think, however, that it would limit me with places I want to see, so I have learned to deal with it and have some wine on the plane to calm down! Yes, love Pink Flyod! xx Thanks Laurie 🙂

  • Amy Christensen
    Posted at 19:52h, 12 August Reply

    Jess, I have always been a “nervous Nellie” of sorts, so I have plenty of fears. For a period of years I felt stronger and my faith in God gave me a foundation from which to combat the fears. More recently, however, I have started battling anxiety which pretty much is fear of all sorts of things, most of which don’t even make sense. However, I force myself to breathe, meditate and be thankful. I am actually going to do a little speaking thing in September on professional dressing, so I guess that is a step in overcoming some of my fear. Thanks for this post! Have a great weekend. – Amy

    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 11:01h, 13 August Reply

      Amy, I can understand. I have anxiety, and it can be difficult sometimes to deal with. I do the same, take deep breaths, try to rationally think, what am I upset about? That sounds wonderful that you are doing something out of your comfort zone to further yourself, even if it is scary! I have something as well I am doing for the blog, I will share later, but yes, it would be overcoming a fear. I appreciate you sharing! xx

  • Sahyli
    Posted at 19:42h, 12 August Reply

    I afraid of drive a car. I can not explain the feeling. I did it in the past during several months, but I stopped 12 years ago. This is not funny when you live in a city you need a car for almost everything. My husband helps me a lot, but it is difficult. I will begin again soon. You have inspired me. Thanks.

    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 10:58h, 13 August Reply

      Thank you for sharing Sahyli. It is not easy to overcome fears, but it sounds like you are making a step forward. xx

  • Jodie
    Posted at 09:19h, 11 August Reply

    I know as a younger girl, this was so true! I had such a fear of failure that I never wanted to start anything new. But now? I think it’s the knowing that life is too short!!
    Have a great weekend, Jess!

    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 09:53h, 11 August Reply

      That is a good point Jodie! As I mention, it does limit you to experience new things and learn. It looks as that you grew from your own fear. It is so true, life flies by! Have a great weekend too Jodie! xx

  • mysideof50
    Posted at 04:45h, 11 August Reply

    Such wise words, Jess! What’s the worst that can happen is my midlife mantra. I did a small, in-house Crossfit competiton 2 years ago in spite of my fears & felt great about it.

    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 09:19h, 11 August Reply

      Hi Cathy! Thanks so much! That is a great mantra! I do think that sometimes the fear does impede us and prevents us from growing in areas. I think that is amazing! I saw your pic on FB lifting weights , very impressive!xx

  • Heather Lord
    Posted at 02:19h, 11 August Reply

    This post really “struck a chord” with me. Fear holds me back on so many levels. I learned fear as a young child, and it’s still with me, over 50 years later. I’ve overcome (or almost overcome) a few of my fears after having hypnosis for a completely different issue. Not quite sure how that worked – I’m just glad it did. But my biggest fear, which I’ve yet to overcome, is the fear of failure.

    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 09:16h, 11 August Reply

      Hi Heather, Love the guitar pun! 🙂 That sounds interesting regarding the hypnosis and that it helped you overcome some of your fears. I have had a fear of flying for years as it was instilled by my dad at an early age, for no reason. Needless to say, I want to see the world, so I still get nervous when I fly, but feel like I don’t want to miss experiences in life and stand up to that fear. I think the feel of failure is difficult, as we all have expectations for ourselves we try and meet. I do try and think that I am doing my best at the moment, and if I have tried, that is not failing. I appreciate your comment! xx

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