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The Fear Around Meeting Our Needs

Updated: Jul 2

Eggs sitting in an cardboard egg carton. One has an fearful face drawn on it. The other one has an angry face drawn on it.

Every person on this planet has needs, and yet we often feel ashamed of our needs. Many of us have been conditioned to see our needs as burdensome, inconvenient, disconnecting, and even as hurtful or harmful to those we love and care for. Those beliefs often echo a painful history, where our experience of expressing needs was met with annoyance, frustration, criticism, punishment, abandonment, and more.

It makes sense, that with such a painful history around our needs, that attempting to meet our needs would feel terrifying. For many of us, having needs means experiencing relational loss and pain. It makes sense that meeting our needs, which is an important and healthy behavior towards improving our overall wellness, would counterintuitively feel dysregulating and overwhelming.

Let me share how this has shown up for me recently:

For over a YEAR, my body has been telling me that I need to get off of social media. These are the cues I've been receiving: dread, exhaustion, overwhelm, avoidance. A heaviness in my limbs. A tightness in my chest. An inability to concentrate. A loss of passion and motivation.

But when I considered leaving social media and moving my content to my website, here is what fear had to say about that:

  • You are going to let down your community on social media.

  • What if no one wants to follow you to your website and app?

  • You'll be creating less instead of more. How will that help you?

  • You've worked so hard to get where you are. It would be like starting all over again.

  • You're abandoning all the people who have followed you.

  • You won't be successful without social media.

And the list goes on and on. Dysregulated fear felt like pushing myself to do more, preoccupation with how posts were doing, lots of pressure, and feeling like I couldn't stop.

This fear has been driving me to stay on social media for over a year, because stepping into what I need has felt scary. Here's what I know about regulated fear; it tends to bring messages around: staying alert, being cautious, carefully considering, getting all the facts, treading slowly. It its most wise form fear wants to make sure the next step is safe and intentional. In its dysregulated form, fear will shut me down. It will put me into freeze. It will hold me back.

Here is how I might regulate those fearful thoughts and questions:

  • I hear that this is big step.

  • It's hard to take a risk and not know what is going to happen.

  • I might lose people with this change. There is a lot of grief in that.

  • It's hard to walk away from something you've invested so much time and energy into.

Fear speaks to many important experiences. Past, present, and future experiences that matter, that are important to us, that have impacted us in meaningful ways. I think sometimes we might shame ourselves when we wrestle with our fears, when it takes us a long time to move through them towards what we need and want. I believe that the wrestle is part of the process. When we can stay curious with our fears, we can learn a lot about ourselves, our parts, and our history. There is an opportunity for us to bring healing to those fearful parts of us.

When I come back to what my body has been telling me this part year, when I get curious with the messages my body brings, this is what I hear:

  • I want to share in a place that honors rest and integration.

  • I want to slow down the pace.

  • I want to share in a place where nuance and complexity can exist.

  • I want to have ownership over what I create and how it is shared.

  • I want to restore my passion and motivation.

  • I want to be able to reach my full community.

So how can we work with our fear and our needs?

  • It helps me to remember that meeting my needs is coming into alignment with my most solid Self, that each negotiation stitches me together, gradually making me whole.

  • I don't try to make my fear disappear. The most relatable definition of courage I have heard is taking action based in our values WHILE we feel scared. I wish ALL THE TIME that I could heal without fear, yet that has rarely been the case. With each boundary set, with each need negotiated, with each emotion shared, I am often shaking in my boots, sometimes a little and sometimes a lot.

  • Start with something that feels doable:

    • When you need a glass of water

    • When you need to take a 10 minute break

    • When you need to take a deep breath

    • When you need to get outside

  • Grieve the deep and unmet needs of the past. Our deep and unmet needs are a wound and a loss, not an indicator of unworthiness.

Since making the decision to move my work onto my website and limit my time on social media, here is what I've noticed:

  • Fear is still here.😳 And that's ok.

  • My body feels relieved and more energized.

  • My passion for my work and creating content is returning.

  • I'm grieving the transition.

As you read through today's blog:

  • Did you notice a need that feels difficult to meet?

  • Is there something your body is speaking to that feels difficult to address?

  • What is the wisdom in the fear?

Resources That Could Be Helpful:

  1. Curious about caring for personal needs? I'd suggest Why Is Self Love So Hard? - a guide that teaches about core needs about how we begin to meet them in a slow and gradual way. You learn about the self-love skills map and how we work with self-rejection. ($4)

  2. Want to understand the messages from your emotions? I'd suggest Name It to Tame It - a guide that teaches you how to navigate and understand your inner landscape. This guide helps you understand your emotions and the messages they are bringing. ($4)

  3. Breaking Free From The Cycle Of Stuck - this workbook helps you understand the impacts of trauma and how they contributed to the helplessness and shame. It offers recovery tools and modalities that address the underlying issues to help you move forward. ($12)

  4. Befriending Your Body Somatic Self Care Video Guide - In this guide, we use 16 somatic practices to begin developing a gentle relationship with our bodies and emotions. We work with our protective defenses including the inner critic. (Payment Plans Available)

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I love your content and I love that I don't have to go on social media now to access it - it's way more peaceful for my brain. I'm grateful for your work and I look forward to reading each new post.

Sara Aird
Sara Aird
Jun 26
Replying to

Thanks so much Alana! I appreciate that! I find it a lot more peaceful off of social media too. So glad you’re here! 💛💛💛


I would follow you anywhere (not in a creepy way, of course…lol). Your page was the first I found that made me feel like I was not crazy or alone in what I was experiencing when I started to come out of the dissociation I had lived inside of. I am so thankful you were able to work with these different pieces of yourself to honor your needs. Thank you for sharing. 🧡💜

Sara Aird
Sara Aird
Jun 24
Replying to

Jennica, you’re the best! I’m so glad you’re here. I’ve appreciated your support and shares since we connected in this crazy healing process. Your presence is so valued! 💛💛💛

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