How much does fear hold you back? Look back on your day to what you did. Now, more importantly, think about all of the things that you didn’t do. Did you pass up those opportunities because you were tired? Maybe because you didn’t have time? When I took the time to think about this in my own life, the majority of times I passed up on something was due to fear – whether I want to admit it or not. I will masterfully tell myself that it was for another reason, but the “really bad F-word” is to blame.
Yet why? We have courage to face some crazy difficult obstacles in life. We have the strength to get us through difficult classes, manage crazy schedules, and navigate life as a young adult. We have the intelligence to stand up for ourselves in times of trouble and a solid enough back bone to not back down. But when it comes to certain situations, certain decisions, certain little moments, fear freezes us.
Eleanor Roosevelt’s words on fear have been made famous over the years, and I think they can help all of us – regardless of how often we let fear win us over. “You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do.”
Do you think that in your life, fear is a result of a lack of strength, courage, or confidence? Each of them is a different monster that needs to be put in a cage – for different reasons.
As for strength, the basic understanding that I want to press into the hearts of those who are struggling is that you are stronger than you believe. I don’t care how cliche it sounds or how much you doubt it. You, without a doubt, are always stronger than you think you are. It is your mind that gets in the way, self-doubt telling you lies.
If it is a lack of courage that feeds your fear, I would challenge you to look deep into what the “bad” is that you think is going to come out of it. What is it that you think is going to happen that makes the risk not worth trying? By having the courage to try, you are really having the courage to believe in yourself. That my friend, is priceless in itself.
And if you think that your fear stems from a lack of confidence, you need a boost. Go take a look in the mirror. Bring paper, and a pencil. Or a marker if you feel colorful. Hell, bring a fountain pen. I don’t care. Go to that mirror and write down the things that you see, positive or negative. Then, I want you to write down five things that are wonderful and unique and beautiful about yourself. The trick is, they have to be five things that you cannot see in the mirror. Look at the list that you have made, be proud of the beautiful being you are. Then go find a big black Sharpie and scratch out the negatives that you wrote down, because let’s be honest, they’re not important. (And a bunch of them are probably just straight-up wrong!)
At the end of the day, remember three things for me. You are strong; you can move mountains. You have immense courage; a fire inside you that no one can put out. And you have confidence that transcends any doubt, if only you can uncover it.
Conclusion? You shouldn’t be scared of the “really bad F-word” – it should be trembling at the thought of YOU.