“We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face… we must do that which we think we cannot.” -Eleanor Roosevelt
Dear Mrs. Roosevelt, how wise you are and how aptly you capture my weakness.
I think fear is a big thing for an INFJ. We seem to feel it more than others, or, at the very least, more frequently.
I so often allow fear to control me and dominate my life. I feel weaker every time I do, which leads to very self-deprecating thinking, which leads me to be more fearful and unsure of the things I’m capable of. It’s a cycle, just like that, spiraling ever downward, never slowing long enough for me to grasp hold of myself and get things in perspective.
Only, that’s not how it works. I have things in perspective and realize I shouldn’t be so afraid, so that just makes me feel even worse about myself.
There have been some things lately that have really made me realize I need to face my fears. I’ve done it some, even just in small ways, and it’s making a huge difference.
I wouldn’t say that I’m courageous, and I wouldn’t really say that I’m confident, but I’m trying to be. I’m trying to be more secure in myself, and who I am. That’s really hard sometimes.
As a teenager, I was essentially told that I had to be perfect. Not just act perfect, but literally be perfect. Perfect was a relative term, of course, and it was more an issue of being told that I have to live in someone else’s shadow, following their footsteps, or I wasn’t good enough.
After I stepped out of that mold that was created for me, I stepped directly into another one, one with much harsher consequences. This is something that I’m beginning to come to terms with, and hopefully break out of. I’m trying, but the very act of breaking out and away from such things, is extremely difficult for me.
I have such an ingrained fear of what will happen if I do accept myself that I’m absolutely terrified to accept who I am and who I want to be.
If this quote is true, and I believe it is, then the only way to gain strength, courage, and confidence is to look that fear in the face and confront it.
Allowing it to control and defeat me is, well, allowing it to defeat me. If I continue to live in fear, then I am never living to my full potential. I don’t want to live like that. I want to be able to be myself, without feeling insecure about it.
And so, I suppose this leaves me with only one thing to do. “We must do that which we think we cannot.”
I will leave you with this thought.