Why Do I Feel So Anxious About Getting What I Really Want?

Photo Credit: Rosella Age

Have you ever noticed that sometimes, thinking about your Biggest Dreams can leave you with a queasy feeling in your stomach? 

You want it … but getting it feels so scary.

That thing you desire seems so big, so beautiful, so amazing, that you almost feel shy to even consider it. Instead of feeling amazing. You feel like a ball of nerves and doubts.

Which begs the question: “Why are we so afraid of the idea that God might really mean to give us our deepest heart’s desires?”

In my own journey I noticed one fundamental truth that, if we catch hold of it, can radically reshape our willingness to believe our desires are meant for us (or not). And consequently, our ability to receive them. 

Here’s the core reality you need to understand about your deepest desires: 

The more you want something, the closer that Big Dream is tied to your destiny, and the more fear you will experience around actually attaining that thing. 

This might have been the most liberating truth I ever discovered, and the one that has helped me make quantum leaps forward in my walk with God and in my life. 

As a woman, I have come to realize, I don’t want something deeply for just arbitrary reasons.

As Psalm 37:4 says above, God gave me that desire because it’s part of my purpose here on the earth. Which is why I am so attracted to that desire and simultaneously terrified of it. 

My soul recognizes the “big-ness” of that thing in my life. 

Subconsciously, my spirit understands that achieving that Big Dream would be treading on holy ground … because it is, for me, in my life. It is the holy ground of God’s destiny: a desire HE put within me that HE desires to fulfill. 

But there’s all that fear … so much fear …. or at the very least, butterflies in my stomach and feelings like the thing I want is soooooooo huge and out of my league and oh, how could I ever possibly attain it?

Here’s what really going on.

2 Kinds of Fear We Commonly Experience Around Desire

That sense of fear I tend to feel around my desire is one part the terror that I will never get one I want, and one part the awe of recognizing how holy the arrival of that person, thing, or state of being would be. 

Tara Mohr, one of my favorite writers about women’s empowerment, digs deep into her Jewish heritage to help explain the difference. She learned from a rabbi in her community that raw fear of our desires is called pachad in Hebrew. It’s the straight-up anxiety-and-sweating kind of fear. Whereas the other kind of fear, yirah, has more to do with recognizing that you are treading on holy ground. It’s a healthy fear of the sacredness of your desire.

Anxiety-based fear, and awe-based fear: two kinds of fears you can feel around your desire, with two very different results.

Probably, we feel both types of fear around our desires. But we confuse the second (yirah) with the first—and often think they’re all the same thing.

Hence, the racing heart and butterflies. 

In this state of mind, it’s easy for us to repel what we want subconsciously because we don’t feel worthy or ready to receive something that precious. 

It’s possible to want something deeply, and yet subconsciously do everything you possibly can to keep it out of your space.

It’s attractive, yes. But it’s scary and uncertain for someone like you. It represents so many unknowns, that your brain comes to see it as dangerous. Or so linked to the well-being of humankind (even just in your own atmosphere!) that you feel overwhelmed by even the thought of it.

Put simply: it’s just too hot to handle. 

You want your lifelong desire to come to pass, but deep down you don’t know if it’s safe for you to have something you want that much. Or something that feels so holy in its excellence. And you’re not sure you deserve it. 

In fact, the more you want it, the less “safe” it will feel to your brain, and the more your brain will lie to you to keep you safe, which also means you’ll remain in a smaller life than you were meant to have and feel unfulfilled.

As a result, the thing you want simultaneously brings you feelings of pleasure and also leaves you riddled with guilt and uncertainty. 

You pull it toward you and push it away. Back and forth. Over and over and over again. All the while wondering why God is making you wait so long for the thing you want. 

Do you see what’s going on here?

God is waiting for you to drop the struggle, release the doubt and stand firm in your conviction that your deep desires is ready and available for you.

Only in this place of cultivated confidence will you enter the “fullness of time” when you are both open and ready to receive.

When I learned this truth, I began to unpack a boatload of life struggle, including why I had:

  • Been married, but never developed real intimacy with my husband.
  • Wanted children, but my body had resisted becoming a mom.
  • Become an artist who wanted to impact many lives, but was scared to death of being noticed.
  • Was a business owner who wanted to make a six- or seven-figure income but was scared to death to be truly successful.
  • Became a divorced woman who wanted a new chance at love, but was so mired in depression and struggle I didn’t have energy to date—or when I did, I dated guys who struggled with their own self-worth and didn’t fully honor mine.

I call this the “tension of opposites.” 

Do you see the tension of opposites at work in these quick fragments of story? What about in yours?

If you’re still waiting on something you deeply desire, you can pretty much mark it down, the tension of opposites is most definitely at work in your life. 

As I have learned to recognize my underlying fears and release the tension they create in my life, I have seen what I want begin to show up in my life in a matter of hours, days and weeks—instead of years. 

It’s amazing how fast God delights to bless me with my honest and good desires when I remove what’s blocked me from receiving. 

He really is a good, good Father just as He said. But as a good Father, He knows I won’t be able to sustain what I obtain from Him if I persist in remaining blocked and closed. 

The problem is not feeling the fear itself, whether it’s the pachad kind, or the yirah.

The problem is when we give in to the fear, and allow the “bigness” of what we want to keep us cycling around, chasing lesser things that feel more attainable. And less scary. And less fulfilling.

God created you as a woman with a big vision for big purpose for a big reason. 

Sit with the fear. Feel it, but don’t judge it.

Let both pachad and yirah fully pass through you—without resistance—so they can fuel you on your way into the Biggest Dreams you have.

– – – 

What are you feeling right now? Share it in the comments below!

Reach out to me directly via my contact page.  

3 thoughts on “Why Do I Feel So Anxious About Getting What I Really Want?

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