Yes, it's a big part of the story, and I wouldn't change it for anything.
As a child I was perpetually uncomfortable, whether from phobias, extreme shyness, or losing sleep over the fear that I might get a cavity in my front tooth and have a silver splotch in my smile forever.
It may have been irrational, but it was definitely painful. For those of you that know anxiety’s schtick, this probably sounds familiar, and you're likely not surprised to hear that it shape-shifted and loomed over me in various forms for the first several decades of my life.
Fear has remarkable staying power when we miss its ultimate intention.
I know now that the fear actually wanted something good for me. Simply said, it wanted me, and ultimately prompted me, to step out of my discomfort and into the blissful ease that I felt during times when I was alone, lost in my thoughts, dreaming and fantasizing about what it would be like to feel brave and wonderful, confident and willing to show my talents.
It turns out this is the very stuff of creating new vision. It’s allowing ourselves to feel what we would like to feel by picturing a life that we would like to live.
Experiencing this stark contrast instilled in me a habit of making shifts in order to ease my fear, trying different ways to come out of my shell, and having this once-rudimentary pattern evolve throughout my life so that I could be more effective in making desired changes while having the process feel ever more easeful.
Lots of beliefs are embedded into our neural pathways in childhood that set us up for challenge as we grow up. This is part of the divine plan - what it is we’ve come here to learn as individuals, each of us in our unique fashion.
Does it still feel uncomfortable?
Well, yeah. It’s fear. But it's not exquisitely threatening, the way it has felt in the past.
There’s the sense now of seeing through fear’s rough exterior and into a brighter future if I squint my eyes and turn my head 40° clockwise. In other words, fear calls upon me to be creative, and ultimately masterful. It lets me know there's always something new to look forward to.
It teaches me to feel excited, inspired and hopeful.
So, who am I?
I am Nancy Ann Key, and I'm an excited, inspired and hopeful woman.