Signs fear is controlling you | Mumma Life is now

anxiety fear stress Sep 04, 2022

Are you feeling like fear has taken over your life?


Here are some signs that may point to the fact. If you're feeling overwhelmed by fear, it's time to take back control and start living with more confidence and love.


Fear can be a powerful emotion, and when it takes over our lives, it can be difficult to function. If you're feeling like fear is ruling your life, here are some signs to look out for:



1. You're constantly anxious or worried.



2. You avoid activities or situations that make you feel afraid.



3. You have difficulty sleeping or experience nightmares often.



4. You feel constantly stressed out.



5. You feel like you're not good enough or aren't worthy of love or success.



As running away from fear as a four-and-a-half-year-old was my very first conscious memory, you might say I have got to know fear quite well.



** Trigger warning- infancy loss**



That four-and-a-half-year-old me couldn't face the reality of losing my premmie brother Joel and instead of saying goodbye, I ran as fast as I could out the emergency door from the hospital.



It took me becoming a mum myself and hitting rock bottom with my mental health to realise how much my life was controlled by fear.



We live in a society where being "busy" is what society expects of us and perhaps it is that very business that prevents us from having the time and space to be with our own thoughts and emotions.



Whether it be a busy career, the non-stop demands of motherhood, or constantly spending time with others, these are all things that can take us away from being true to ourselves, which includes facing our shadow side.



For me, I had an unhealthy relationship (almost an obsession) with my career, where I would focus an immense amount of energy on this, so my brain was never quiet and it meant I could avoid facing the reality of my shadow side and traumas.



I would keep my mind so busy that I did not give it any space to reflect or expand, as I was living in a constant state of survival and in hindsight, it was the fear of facing the inner demons that had me follow these cycles of avoidance for almost thirty-eight years.



What I didn't realise, was that no matter what I did, the fear and anxiety around it were always there, impacting my everyday life and it was like a crocodile, watching and hiding, only to pounce and show up in a BIG way when least expected.



For example, what I now believe was my first panic attack happened when I was approximately nine years old and was playing netball.



I remember tripping over and falling to the floor. I was mortified and wanted to stay lying on the floor or become invisible.



It was the humiliation and not feeling enough that triggered the panic attack. All of a sudden, I felt like the walls were closing in on me, my heart was racing and I couldn't catch my breath.

The feeling was so intense that I had difficulties breathing and it brought on asthma and led to a fully-fledged asthma attack.


Almost thirty years later, I question if I actually had an asthma attack, or was this merely a way of taking the attention off the humiliation felt from the fall, and instead allowing me to remain on the ground catching my breath and regathering my dignity before I had to face the world again.



It wasn't until becoming a mum that I realised that anxiety was with me for a very long time and that the root cause of my anxiety was my perfectionism and people-pleasing tendencies, which related back to my fears of not being enough.



I was so worried about what others thought of me and whether or not I was good enough, that I put an immense amount of pressure on myself to be perfect.



Of course, this is an impossible standard to live up to and it only led to more anxiety, stress and feelings of inadequacy.



Being a scientist and having worked in the quality assurance space, where complex problem solving and driving culture changes were at the core of my roles, my curious and logical part of my brain started to pick apart the root cause of these challenges, until I landed at a place where I knew the overall cause of my challenges were a lack of self-worth.



For those of you that are aware of the fishbone diagram and five why techniques for problem-solving, let's just say that in addition to mainstream mental health support, my mind went on its own journey to understand the root cause of my challenges, which if it were a book, perhaps I would call it "The Quest for Self-Worth - A Journey to Heal the Inner Critic".



There were days when I wished my brain would just rest and accept the higher level outcome from counselling sessions, however, I now believe it was my intuition pushing me to turn over every stone, as I was determined to unearth the causes of the fear and anxiety that had me giving away my the power and feeling unfulfilled for over three decades.



I guess in hindsight, I am not surprised, as I am the type of person that is either all in or all out, which can be quite exhausting for me and also those around me.



Perhaps it was those early days of becoming a mum, where you receive an overwhelming amount of information and opinions from everyone, that leaves new mums in a place of being so disconnected from their innate wisdom and trusting their baby, that forced me to reconnect with my intuition and inner knowing of how to care for my baby.



That's when I decided to delete all of the baby tracking type apps and really started to tune back into Indie's cues and also my inner knowing.



Reconnecting with my intuition was incredibly empowering and allowed me to accept that Indie had a mind of her own and no degree of control would have her following what an app suggested was the time to sleep, eat and play.



Instead of resisting this and obsessing over her lack of sleep, I decided to go with the flow and funny enough, we got ourselves into a much better place, where my anxiety levels were reduced.



Okay, so even if you aren't a mum or didn't have the same sleeping challenges or an overwhelming amount of opinions project into you (which if I had to guess, there wouldn't be too many of you), there are some key points to take from this story.



  • No book or other person knows you better than you.
  • You are the only one that can decipher what is best for you. Your intuition will never lead you astray. If you are feeling disconnected from your intuition, it's time to clear the noise and start listening to your inner voice again. This may require some soul-searching and periods of self-reflection.
  • Everyone's journey is different and unique to them. Comparing your journey to someone else's will only lead to feelings of inadequacy and resentment.
  • Be proud of the challenges you have overcome and the lessons you have learnt along the way. These challenges have made you the strong, amazing person that you are today!
  • There are deeper causes sitting behind fear and anxiety and no matter how much you try and suppress them, they will continue to follow you and show up in your life when you least expect it.


This is why I have chosen to live a life of acknowledging and facing my fears head-on, as this puts me in the driver's seat, instead of waiting for another life-changing event/rock bottom moment to occur, that forces me to deal with my stuff.


Some additional tips on how to face fear and anxiety head-on include:


  1. Start by acknowledging that fear and anxiety are present in your life and that's okay.
  2. Focus on your breath and allow the fear and anxiety to dissipate.
  3. Ask yourself what you're afraid of and why.
  4. Take small steps towards facing your fears.
  5. Make a list of things that help you cope with fear and anxiety.
  6. Talk to someone about your fears and anxieties.


If you’re feeling overwhelmed by fear and anxiety, it’s time to take back control and start living with more confidence and love. Fear and anxiety are natural emotions that we all experience at different points in our lives, but when they take over, it can be difficult to move forward.


These signs are meant to help you identify if fear has taken over your life, and provide some tips for reclaiming your power.


I hope they inspire you to take action! Let me know in the comments how you plan on living more confidently and lovingly towards yourself. 


Reminder: Always talk to your GP about how you are feeling and before engaging in any new activities that may trigger your mental health.