A time for our greatest fears and our worst nightmares to come out of the darkness and haunt our waking moments? Or just a time when we dress up as slutty cats and use it as an excuse to get drunk, while really wishing we were out trick-or-treating and getting masses of free sweets? Whatever your experience of Halloween – I felt it was only right for me to write a special spooky post for you guys today. I love Halloween. I loved the days of trick-or-treating with my sister and our friends around the town, of getting home and stuffing ourselves silly with sweets and carving pumpkins with scary, or just plain cute, faces. But I also loved the later years of dressing up for Halloween parties and getting rip-roaringly drunk while throwing spiders and making each other jump – any excuse.
I’m not sure what your plans are today, but I’m actually really excited because I’m doing something a bit different this year. Tonight I’m going to the cinema to see the live theatre screening of Frankenstein, starring Benedict Cumberbatch as the Creature. It does mean I won’t be dressing up for the first time in years, but I think I might get told off by the person sitting behind me if I don the cat ears or devil horns. But I’m really looking forward to trying something a bit different, and I haven’t missed out on the pumpkin carving – as you can see my mate Stanley pictured above. We even had a kids party at the pub when I was at work on Sunday, so I had an excuse to get my face painted Day of the Dead style – see the pics below.I’ve seen loads of posts about Halloween make-up, fancy dress, activities and food, but I haven’t seen any yet that talk about the essence of the day. I did a bit of reading into the meaning behind Halloween and traditionally it is to do with confronting the power and fear of death with humour and ridicule. A bit more reading left me thinking about our greatest fears and why we’re afraid of what are often such silly things we have no control over. After years of conversations with friends, family and even complete strangers, it seems to me that the three things people seem to fear most are the following:
- Looking silly
- Being alone
- Having regrets
These three fears come up time and time again, people worrying they will look back on their lives and feel they were a waste. Those who worry that people will think they are foolish for trying something new and taking a risk. And those who worry that taking these risks and chances will see them left alone at the end of their days. I know so many people who are terrified of one or more of these, yet have no reason to worry. They are amazing, witty, intelligent, brave, exciting and adventurous individuals who should be fearless in their decisions. They are the people I admire for taking chances and not being afraid to admit it when they screw things up, to learn from their mistakes and be glad they took the risk. Surely these are the ones who should be least afraid of looking back in disappointment?
I remember having a phase where I worried about looking silly and having regrets, and it was a horrible time. I was second-guessing myself at every opportunity and started slating my own decisions before I had even tried. I reached a point where I realised that my fears were starting to hold me back and my doubts were pinning me to a life I didn’t want – by listening to these doubting devils in my head I was actually creating a life I would regret. So what did I do? I stopped worrying about looking silly, and I stopped thinking about regrets – I started living in the moment and making each decision based on my gut instincts. Did it help? Well, it helped me make the choice to quit my job, leave behind friends and family and travel the world – a dream come true. What do you think?
The point of this post? Stop worrying about what everyone else thinks, stop worrying about what future you will think. Fight that doubting devil on your shoulder and stop listening to those second-guessing spooks that follow you round. Be the person you were supposed to be – be that idealised version of yourself – give 150% all the time and don’t be scared of making the wrong decision. You have to make a lot of wrong decisions sometimes before you’ll make the right one, but when you make the right one, you’ll know.
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be?
Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do.
What is your greatest fear and how have you tackled it? What are you doing to celebrate Halloween?