Growing up, I was afraid of everything. Fear had this looming omnipresence in my life. My fears ranged from bees, to eating meat, to never getting a boyfriend, to a recurring nightmare about my American Girl Doll. You name it, I was probably afraid of it at one point or another. (My family will never let me forget these, especially the bees).
As I got older, fear stopped being such a force in my life. At least, so I thought.
What I’m most afraid of today isn’t bees or heights or the dark or sharks. My biggest fear today is of the future. More than that, I’m afraid of the unknown. It’s a battle I fight every day. You probably do too whether you realize it or not.
The most valuable lesson I’ve learned when it comes to fear is that without it, you’re not really living. Life with fear is a life worth living.
The good kind of fear is what we need.
The “good kind of fear” consists of things that seem challenging and daunting. They’re the calculated (or un-calculated) risks we take. It’s taking a leap of faith and telling the guy you’re crazy about him. It’s quitting your job to open a bakery. It’s trying something new even though you might suck at it. (Ever heard of power moves? A lot of those can be daunting, too.)
Personally, I always want to know how everything is going to turn out. But the truth is, that’s where faith comes in.
“Fear lives in the future. The feeling of being afraid is real, but the fear itself is made up because it hasn’t even happened yet.” – Jen Sincero
Being a control freak, I always hope that everything is going to go according to my master plan. The ironic thing about that is that sometimes when those awesome things I’ve been hoping and dreaming for actually start to happen to me, I have the urge to run away.
Because I’m scared.
But I can’t be, because I have to face fear head on. All this talk of faith and trust sounds scary. You’re leaving it all out of your hands.
But you really do always end up where you need to. That’s the key.
There are some weeks where I think the following ridiculous thoughts. “Maybe I should just stop answering or block his number” to avoid heartbreaks that may never occur. Or “Maybe this whole blogging thing is too much for me” as I hover over the delete button on my Instagram app. Or “Maybe I shouldn’t pursue the full master’s program” because I don’t know if I’m smart enough to handle it.
The fact of the matter is, I can’t run. These are things I want. They’re happening now. This is life. This is what living is. And I need to face it—all of it. No running.
Those moments of strength are far too fleeting. But they shouldn’t be. One of the keys to life, I’ve learned, is to face fear head on.
I was talking to my best friend and told her that I love the small moments where I feel like a badass. I feel brave, unafraid of all the uncertainties in life and have an unshakable sense that everything is going to work out. Confidence. Moments of strength are fleeting, yes, but so is fear. I told my friend that I wished I could bottle that feeling up and have it with me always—easy to access when I’m feeling scared.
That’s when my friend related my life to Timmy Turner’s. I know, but wait for it.
She said there was an episode of The Fairly Odd Parents where Timmy Turner wished he had no emotions. Without emotions, his life was boring.
“So lesson from Timmy Turner,” my adorable friend said, “emotions make life worthwhile. Sometimes it’s fun, thrilling and exciting and other times it’s not easy but always a lesson learned.”
Have no fear. But if you do, make sure it’s only the good kind.
“Your faith in the Universe must be stronger than your fear of not getting what you want.” – Jen Sincero