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5 In Insight

It’s okay to be scared.

Do what you fear and fear disappears.
David Joseph Schwartz

Hi, my name is Christiane, and I suffer from an anxiety disorder.

People who know me socially don’t see that very often; I am fearless about SO many things! I’m rather known for my ability to do things that are often big fears of other people: speaking/singing in public, standing out from the crowd [my hair is an example of that!], talking to anyone [celebrities, strangers, experts in any field], long road trips by myself, telling the world the things I *am* afraid of…

I took a big leap to be self-employed and do a job that I love and that allows me to be creative – surrendering my security and a regular paycheck in order to follow my dreams. That’s a HUGE fear for most people, to not have security. And I’m not gonna lie, it’s the place where my anxiety twinges a LOT, too. I had a real rollercoaster ride earlier this week with an anxiety attack that centered on the slow Summer sales. I have talked before about how it’s important to me to share my vulnerabilities – and looking at dates on this post about worrying about failure is REALLY illuminating for me… the date that I wrote it was *right* around the same time, last year. No wonder I’m anxious – this is a yearly trend.

If I hadn’t shared that publicly, I might not have caught the pattern. I might not have been able to ease my anxiety. Neat!

Embracing what I am scared of – admitting my possible failure – allowed me to see that I just need to hold on and it will pass.
Embracing the fear of trying a new[ish] craft and failing at the pattern? It made me see that I need someone to give me a face-to-face lesson or at least some tips. That’s not a terrible thing! [you can see the scratch pad from my attempt in the featured pic – I didn’t screw up my count, at least!]

I made this shit up as I went along. No fear.

I made this shit up as I went along. No fear.

Letting go of the comfortable spinning style and embracing something unstructured and unpredictable yielded the styles of yarn I love spinning the best.
Deciding that I knew enough to start teaching other people what I’ve learned led to a really satisfying teaching career that’s growing steadily and is getting me a good name. [wow!]
Heck, being scared but moving everything I own and my cat and self back to Baltimore even while I felt like a TREMENDOUS failure for leaving was the best thing I could have done for myself.
Even with the anxiety pinging in my head and chest… I did it. And I was okay – no, better than okay. I was changing my world for the better.

Do the thing you fear. Or at least consider trying it. You might be surprised!

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5 Comments

  • Reply
    Megan
    August 1, 2013 at 12:43 am

    I love this! Thank you! I also suffer from anxiety. It’s unpredictable and shows up unexpectedly, and even though you know it will come up again, it’s so hard to manage it sometimes. I love your perspective on this, very encouraging! Keep it up, you are a great group host and artist!

    • Reply
      Xiane K
      August 1, 2013 at 12:47 am

      Thank you, for coming and sharing *your* story, too! I think the number one comment I get on posts like this is “I feel like this too!” and that tells me that I’m talking about the right things, the stuff we probably really need to hear from other people in our business, our community. I know that when I hear “I feel like this too” I feel so much less alone. So THANK YOU. <3

  • Reply
    Riin
    August 1, 2013 at 11:21 am

    People meet me at shows and see my purple hair and say “I wish I had the guts to do that” and tell me I’m brave. Me? Brave? I don’t feel particularly brave. I’ve got anxiety in buckets. But it took me a while to really process the fact that compared to a lot of other people, I *am* brave, dyeing my hair purple, having my own business. So I think of my purple hair as a superpower now. When I’m anxious about doing something, I remind myself that I have a superpower. So yeah, I can do the thing I’m anxious about, because *I* have purple hair!

    • Reply
      Xiane K
      August 1, 2013 at 11:33 am

      I love how people see us – and our brave moments – so much differently than we see ourselves. 😀

      Purple hair is TOTALLY a superpower! I actually feel weird if my hair’s not a bight color, I’m so used to it now that everything seems off if I try to “blend” in with a “normal” color. 😉

  • Reply
    Jo
    May 9, 2014 at 10:32 am

    Thank you for this post, as a fellow worry wort spinning is my solace and colour is my therapy too. Great to know I am not alone and that to be truly fearless you have to be afraid. x

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