red and yellow leaves on tree branch under white clouds and blue sky during daytime

A Short List Of Fears That I Refuse To Let Control Me

Fear is not something I contemplate often. Though it has certainly impacted relationships and situations I’ve encountered in more indirect ways, it’s something I am relatively unfamiliar with. It is not an emotion I prefer to carry.

I have an immense amount of courage and gumption that sits in my gut. I find it easy to face scenarios head on, to dive into the chaos that often surrounds my life and embrace the mess within.

However, with those bold declarations made, I also find there are fears I ignore. There are fears sitting deep in my belly that I push further and further with the hopes they will dissipate on their own. These are a few that I’d like to put a name to so I can hopefully face them head on.

1. I am afraid of losing my parents.

I am insanely blessed to have a healthy relationship with my family, and my parents are arguably two of the greatest people you will ever meet. I love them. They are my confidants and my best friends and the people I trust with everything. I cannot imagine the world without them in it, and I fear the day I will have to exist knowing they have passed on. I know that day will alter who I am permanently, and something once bold and bright in my life will forever be dimmed. I am afraid of the day my parents pass.

2. I am afraid I won’t accomplish something great.

I have this wild view of myself that allows me to think that one day, I will be the cause of something big. Not necessarily celebrity or world leader level, but I feel capable of shifting and moving things to positively influence those around me. I am terrified this ability will never be reached, or that I will give myself excuses to not live up to my own potential. I am afraid of being average.

3. I am afraid I will never fully be able to let some things go.

I won’t claim to be an empath, but I do feel deeply when I decide to let myself. There are situations in my life and people from my past that I have a hard time releasing. Though I know I have healed from these bits of my life, every now and then the past will rear its ugly head and remind me of things I wish to not be reminded of. I am afraid of being incapable of fully releasing what I should’ve let go of a long time ago.

4. I am afraid of people’s inability to change.

I know we all have a stance on whether people can or cannot change. Either side you sit on, there are polarizing opinions that seem to be closing in on all of us—particularly now. I am terrified of what it will do to our communities, our governments, and our environment as a whole. I want people to choose love, to choose to listen to those who are crying out in centuries of pain, and I want people to help others. I am afraid we will never see this level of empathy in our lifetime.

5. I am afraid I am not who I think I am.

I have this educated guess of who I am and how people perceive me. I understand that in some stories I play a minor role. I understand in some I am a passing extra, or a main character, and sometimes I am the villain. I’m okay with all of those roles, but what worries me most is that my overall view of myself is inaccurate. I’m concerned I’ve been reading it wrong this whole time. That the narrative I give myself in my head about how others write me into their stories is wholly wrong. I am afraid I am someone else entirely.

There are more—I am certain there are many more things I am afraid of. But I think there is a power in saying something out loud, there is a sweet release in naming something and giving it over to the world. Though yes, I fear these things, I will not allow them to own me or adjust how I live my life. I will take note of them, learn to accept them for what they are, and fight like hell to beat them.

About the author
Good person, messy eater, notorious plant killer. Follow Shelby on Instagram or read more articles from Shelby on Thought Catalog.

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