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When Fear Paralyses You

Dear Africana Woman,

What a time to be alive. I actually just always wanted to say that lol. I don’t have anything profound to justify the statement. Tell you what, the Sombo Makeover has really taught me a lot about myself. What I really like to do. What I am good at. How I can do things better next time. However, I only know these things because we went through the process of making Sombo. For a while there, the project was on hold as we waited for people to deliver on promises that never came through. Always remember that you are the only person that has as much passion for what you want to do. So you have to push to make things happen and not be complacent. *Drumroll Please* For your entertainment, I introduce to you the journey to Sombo Makeover, a celebration of African Women.

This last week I have been paralysed with fear. Has that ever happened to you? I have been afraid to have certain conversations. Afraid to fail. Afraid to not meet targets. And in those moments instead of facing my fears and getting routine things done, I began to busy myself with distractions. For example, I should have written the blog a couple days ago but my mind did not have the capacity to cleverly string together sentences that were coming from a genuinely loving place. See I try not to do things when I am wounded so as I avoid bleeding on others.

What do you do when you are paralysed by fear? When your brain is telling you that the thing you fear is a Goliath. Just the thought of what scares you makes your heart beat fast, your temperature rise and suddenly your lungs seem to fail to take in deep breaths, instead you have short gasps of air.

When fear grips you, I think it is important to slow everything down. Step away from distractions. Slow your breaths down by taking deep long breaths in and out. Close your eyes and just focus on the moment. Feel the air going in and out and let all thoughts evaporate.

Thing is, the thing you fear will always catch up with you and confront you, regardless of how fast you try to run away. If you let this happen, you allow your Goliath to have the upper hand. It has chosen the battlefield with conditions favourable to it. It has taken you by surprise therefore you are not ready to bring your A game to the situation. In most cases because you have been taken by surprise the results will be bloody and messy.

However, if you take control of the situation you can take the upper hand. For starters you get to choose the environment on which to confront your Goliath. Guess what, it does not have to be a battlefield, in fact it could be in a field of lilies. You can choose diplomacy over violence. You can take control of the narrative. Sure, Goliath may be big but if you surprise him, then he is thrown off his game and the odds suddenly bend to your favour.

What is your Goliath? It may be debt. It may be a target you are meant to reach. It may be entitled family or friends. It may be your broken heart that is afraid to grieve because it is afraid that if it falls apart it cannot be put back together again. It may be the partner you settled for yet your pride can’t stand to hear “I told you so” from your loved ones. It may be the poverty you swore never to return to no matter what you have to do. It may be the unknown that has no blueprint, no path, no guide because it has not been seen or done before and yet you are called to it and it scares you. It may be the decision that you have to make that could change the whole trajectory of your life.

Whatever it is for you, I don’t believe that your Goliath was meant to be taken down with brute force. That just takes away too much from you. I think you have to trust in your strengths, talents and resources to see you through. You have everything that you need and there is a way to conquer your fear that is unique to you. By the way when I say resources I do not just mean materialistically. A resource could be a mentor who you can seek advice from.

When you have calmed yourself down, I want you to write down a plan or strategy on how to defeat Goliath. It is important to get out of your head, that’s why writing releases the blockbuster movie you have been directing in your mind. Break it down in steps and execute your plan step by step. The more you do the braver you become. Until you realise that what you once thought was colossal is actually more infantile in size. Remember if you let it, fear doesn’t just stop you from doing the one thing, it stops you from doing everything else you want to do. So confront it one way or another.

Well I started to do some things towards slaying my Goliath. Small steps albeit. It has slowed down my usual productivity. But I will get there. Let me know what you thought of this post in the comments. Thank you for reading. If you are new here please do become part of the family by subscribing. I will send you love letters every week. Africana Woman is not just a blog, we have a podcast, community and vibrant events. Be sure to poke around on the website. If you want to talk to me sooner rather than later, you can find me @Chulu_byDesign. Until next week, I want you to love yourself flaws n all, and attract the life that you truly desire.



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