I don't think I realised how scared I am.
I am scared of not doing the right thing and this fear has wound me up so tight that often times I feel physically ill because of it. My life has been marked by doing the right thing- the right thing as set by other people - go to school, do your homework, make your bed when you wake up, study for your test, prepare for exams, get good grades, get good internships, get a good job, eat this food, exercise this much, sleep so and so number of hours, be this and do that. It is not that any of these things are wrong in themselves, but the problem lies in my being unable to decide for myself, what is good for me.
I get an idea and my first thought, even before I am able to fully develop this idea, is to ask someone - what do you think about this? And so before I have settled on my idea, I am opening it up for every single person to tell me that the very thing that I should be doing, I cannot do. It is not so much a lack of confidence in self. It is that I do not know who I am and because of that I have let everyone else tell me who I am to be.
But now, I am experiencing a new stream of consciousness from within myself that says to me, Oladoyin, you don't need to get approval from other people. Oladoyin, you don't need to be afraid of doing the 'wrong' thing. Oladoyin, every answer and direction that you will ever need in your life, comes from within you. It comes from the part of you that is in constant communication with God and this direction cannot coexist with every other person or thing that you have looked to for direction in the past.
It is no secret that I do not like my job. And even after realising that there is a lot more to me than my career, the fact still remains, that I do not like what I spend 70% of my week, each week doing. So even as I am aware that there is more to life, I still cannot ignore the fact that I am in a place in which I don't want to be. So it is something about which spent some time last week praying to God. I said to Him, "Dear God, I really do not want to spend the next year dreading Mondays and praying for Friday 5pm. I know that I am working towards an exit, but in the meantime, I don't want to just manage. That is a whole twelve months of just managing. It is a long time to just manage. Please help me find a way to make this situation better. If my attitude needs to change, help me change it. If there is something else I can be doing, help me do it. Whatever it is Lord, please just help me to be okay with my life and look forward to each day in a way that I do not do now."
So I got this idea of what I could do, but I was still scared. I was still unsure of myself. I was still wondering if it was the right thing to do and I was looking everywhere else but within for the answer to that question. I worried about what the company would think. I worried about whether they would even agree to my proposal. I worried that the idea wasn't substantial enough. I just drowned God's response to my prayers in worry! Here's what the voices in my head had to say to me about that
The thing about fear is that it is false.
It is based on a false mental image that ignores the fact that your choices now are what create your future. Your future is not created by anyone other than yourself and the decisions you make.
Fear is false because it imagines that the decisions have been made for you and you have to bear the consequences of these external decisions. This is why we say that you bring about what you fear. Your decisions or course of action is inherent in that fear. You are scared to fail- so you worry and thus are unable to work towards your success. So inevitably you fail- not because you were destined to fail, as you feared, but because you worried yourself to failure. Alternatively, you are determined to succeed and even though you think you don't have all you believe you need to proceed, you proceed with what you have until you get what you want.
This is why we say, do not come to God with fear or worry. It blocks things and clouds your vision until you are unable to see the signs pointing to the path that leads to the object of your desire. The leap of faith is starting even when you are not 100% sure.
The problem you have is that you still do not feel free to do what you want to do and be who you want to be.
One thing that paralyses, is the sense of obligation to an arbitrary set of self-imposed rules. The reason this causes paralysis is that it blocks your sense of free will until you feel trapped. When you feel that you have no choice, you begin to fear- as we have explained above.
One thing you must understand fundamentally is that you have a choice and the freedom to make that choice. The problem most people have is that they don't want the responsibility that comes with the freedom to choose and so they unconsciously are led by the choices that others have made for themselves.
Your duty is to follow God's lead and in doing that, your choice becomes clear. Many times you think you are following God's lead when in actual fact, you are following your own lead and thus end up running around in circles.
God's lead may not make sense initially. It may go against things that you formerly held to be true. But if you follow God's lead, peace is yours- though you may not be able to understand it. You and others will wonder, "I am doing this 'crazy' thing, how come I am at such peace?" Don't fight it, just follow along and surely the end will definitely make sense.
You are free. You have freedom. You are not obliged to do anything. We will only guide you and tell you that free will means being intentional and responsible for the decisions you are making. Don't take it lightly and don't give others to choose for you. You must make the effort to take decisions in such a way that you are fully aware of them and have a genuine sense of responsibility for yourself. Remove all fear and be free to be yourself. No one can do it better."
Essentially the truth is this:
I am free to do what I want to do. I am free to be who I want to be. The only thing is that I must be ready to take responsibility for my decisions and so must necessarily be intentional about them. No one has control over my life. So I need to stop giving away that control by waiting for others to approve me and my decisions.
If God Almighty has said to you- be free, do as you wish. Then how does it make sense to keep asking other human beings for their permission to be yourself?
Think about this ...