It’s not that I’m not afraid anymore. But now I know I’ll get through it—no matter what.
There are still things that terrify me. Tons of them. Some are constant, lingering thoughts in the back of my head: anxiety. Those thoughts are not rational and they’d rarely make sense to an outsider, but I assure you, they sure feel real, and out of my control too. Anxiety fills my mind with irrationals thoughts, self-doubt, and pure conviction that the one-in-a-billion will happen to me or that it already has.
For the longest time, my anxiety controlled almost every aspect of my life. I didn’t live the experiences I wanted most: the satisfaction of chasing my dreams, the buzz from meeting new people, and the pleasure in traveling to a new place. I was too afraid.
I was afraid I’d fail. Screw something up. Say the wrong thing. Find myself in a situation where I didn’t know what to do, and feel stupid for being there. I was afraid people wouldn’t see past my awkward, goofy self and I was afraid I would drown in my anxiety, far from the comfort of home.
And you know what? All these things happened. I failed professionally more times than I can count or care to admit. I met people who didn’t like me, and some who did but still left. And I went on trips that went horribly.
But what my fear didn’t tell me, and never does, is that even if those things happen, I’m going to be okay. That whatever happens, I’ll get through it and always will. The discomfort is temporary—the experiences I gain are lasting.
What my fear didn’t tell me is just because I failed once at a thing, it doesn’t mean I always will. So I’ll keep going after my dreams. I’ll keep meeting people and I’ll keep traveling too. I’ll keep putting myself out there, exposing myself to what I want even if it scares me because I’m never more proud of myself than when I do exactly that. I’ll keep failing, and I’ll keep surviving.
You see, it’s not that I’m unafraid—I’m still terrified, and quite often too! But I won’t let fear stop me from living my life. Grab ahold of yours, even if you’re scared. Say “I got this!” ‘Cause you absolutely do.