I'm Tired Of Letting Fear And Anxiety Keep Me From Chasing My Dreams

I'm Tired Of Letting Fear And Anxiety Keep Me From Chasing My Dreams

The future can be scary, but it doesn't have to be.

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Growing up I remember being an extremely passionate child. When I loved something, the people closest to me knew everything about it. I wasn't afraid of making my reality, often getting lost in a world of 'what-if's' and 'could be's.' Just like every little girl, I dreamed of being a pop star, a doctor, a teacher, a lawyer, a real estate agent, a pilot, and even a stay-at-home mom.


Playing dress up and taking care of baby dolls at age seven, walking around in my moms' heels at ten, writing songs at thirteen, telling people I knew I wanted to be a nurse at sixteen. I couldn't wait to grow up. My longing for adulthood made the ability to dream up any possible career seem second nature because I was fascinated by the endless possibilities that the unknown future possessed.

I am no longer fascinated by all of the unknown possibilities that life presents.

I fear them.

I dreamed big and often as a child, but I haven't in a while.

Recently I've felt detached from what were once dreams and goals. Since starting college and entering the world that is adulthood, my anxiety has acquainted itself with a voice in my head that tells me I am not strong or deserving enough to have the things in life I once dreamed about. These voices instill in me a constant underlying worry convincing me that I must merely exist to get through the day.

They are plaguing my mind with fear of failure and disappointment.

This of worry and fear of the unknown makes it hard to appreciate the little accomplishments that occur day-to-day. This worry and fear of what my future may hold have made it hard to be proud of the big things that I've already achieved.

Life is supposed to be about taking risks. I know this.

I know my life has the potential to be everything that I once dreamed it to be. I am only in my second year of college, yet, I want to run and hide when asked about my plans post-graduation. I am just in my second year of college; however, I have changed my major and transferred schools… twice.

It is a new year, and as cliche, as it is to say, it is also a chance for new beginnings. My New Year's Resolution for 2019 was to confide in one of those self-reflective, leather-bound journals that you buy off the shelf of Barnes and Noble. This week I prompted myself to write about something that I am afraid of with the hope to address and overcome it throughout 2019.

My greatest fear isn't spiders or clowns or being kidnapped. Although these things are all genuine fears I have, they do not overwhelm my day-to-day life. My greatest fear is that I am 19-years-old and am void of the great dreams and grand ideas that inspired me as a child.

I have become accustomed to expecting the worst to occur leaving me only slightly satisfied when things turn out okay.

Adulthood is overwhelming.

College is overwhelming.

Everything about the real world feels overwhelming. Will I be successful? How do I find my place in it? I've realized that I tend to place my happiness in whether or not I'm navigating successfully through the trails of early adulthood. I run away from chasing my dreams and setting big goals because I fear disappointment.

However, won't I be disappointing myself anyway if I remain in this mindset that let's fear and anxiety take control of my self-esteem? I have already experienced disappointment, hurt, failure, and heartbreak, yet, I've still been successful. I have already experienced happiness and success so I why should I be hesitant to experience it again?

I shouldn't be.

Life isn't fully lived when we act in forethought and avoidance of the 'what if's' and 'could be's' that can introduce us to disappointment and hurt.

While living life this way has gotten me far, has it made me truly happy? The best things to happen in my life have been those experiences that have been unplanned and unexpected, not the moments I had tried so hard to plan and prepare for. These experiences took me for a ride into unfamiliar territory that I eagerly welcomed.

Now, as we welcome in 2019, I am ready.

I am ready to tear down walls that I've allowed to be built around my heart out of the fear and anxiety that the uncertainty of my future presents. In 2019 I will throw myself into my passions even when the voice that is my anxiety tells me I am not strong or deserving, even when they scream at me to run away. I will remind myself that some responsibilities can wait because you need to take a step back and reward yourself for the hard work you have already accomplished.

In 2019 I want to be okay with wanting things, even the big ones. I want to allow myself to dream again, to lose myself in the world of 'what-if's' and 'could be's' without fear of disappointment and hurt. I want to honor little Hannah's ambition and imagination by relearning what it's like to live as an adult with that kind of passion and spirit.

It is 2019, and it is time to let go.

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9 Metaphors That Describe Anxiety To Non-Anxious People

Anxiety is difficult to explain, and even more difficult to understand.
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Everyone experiences anxiety in one form or another. However, there is a large difference between having an anxiety disorder and feeling anxious every now and then. For instance, it is pretty common and typical for someone to be anxious before they take an exam, but becoming so anxious that they don't eat and decide to not show up to the exam at all could be a sign that that person has a disorder. Anxiety disorders themselves range from being mild to severe, and it can also depend on what triggers a person experiences and how often. In short, anxiety is a broad term that ultimately depends on the individual.

It can be difficult to describe anxiety to someone who has never truly experienced it like the people who have disorders do. Social media is full of attempted explanations, but there are still those people who tell us to "get over it," "don't think about it so much," and "there's no reason to be anxious." One of the biggest misunderstandings about having anxiety is that most of the time we know that there isn't any real reason to be anxious, and that our minds are overreacting. The thing is, though, it just feels impossible for us to turn it off and think logically in that moment. There's not a whole lot we can do.

Since that can still be confusing, I've compiled a list of metaphors and analogies that might make a little more sense to those who have never truly experienced anxiety before.

1. Anxiety is when you leave the house and feel like you have forgotten something but can't remember what it is, and worrying about it all the time.

2. Anxiety is the mini heart attack you receive when you're walking down the stairs and miss a step, but your heart never calms down and the butterflies remain in the pit of your stomach.

3. Anxiety is when you are watching a scary movie and you know something is about to pop out and scare you, but it never does, so you just keep waiting for it to happen.

4. Anxiety is taking the phrase "step on a crack, you'll break your mom's back" way too literally, and having to focus on where you step each time you go for a walk.

5. Anxiety is not knowing whether or not someone is being rude or just sarcastic, so you constantly wonder how they feel about you.

6. Anxiety is the feeling that someone is following or watching you, even though no one is ever there.

7. Anxiety is diving deep underwater, then swimming back up to the surface, but the surface is farther away that it seemed so you suddenly feel as if you are about to drown.

8. Anxiety is feeling like every day tasks, such as taking a shower, might result in your harm, even though reality tries to convince you otherwise.

9. Anxiety is the fear of fear.

Again, some of these might not apply to everyone that has anxiety, because anxiety is so different for everyone. I know that there are probably a million different ways to describe anxiety based on what each individual person is anxious about, so this list is just a start. If you are reading this and have anxiety, I hope you find comfort in the fact that someone can relate to what you feel. If you are reading this and don't consider yourself an anxious person, I hope that this gives you a better understanding of what people experience when they say they have an anxiety disorder. Either way, remember that whatever it is you're anxious about, the storm will always pass. Stay strong.

Cover Image Credit: Bustle

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I'm The Person Who Always Says 'Yes' And I'm Tired Of It

I'm sorry for being blunt, but being a people pleaser is a tiring job.

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Being a people pleaser runs in my family. My mom and I talk about this weakness of ours all the time, especially when we are both worn out from saying "yes" too much.

When it comes to academics, I always go above and beyond to ensure I did everything correctly in order to please the professor or teacher. If there's ever an instance where I feel as if I can't meet or complete a task, my anxiety takes over and out comes a handy-dandy panic attack. Typically, this ends with tears rolling down my cheeks, a headache, and someone telling me to worry about myself and to not stress if it's hurting me too much (if they see me panicking, that is).

Me going to check off "handy-dandy panic attack" in my handy-dandy notebook after a long day.

As a high schooler, the game of saying "yes" was easy and somewhat manageable. In college, however, that game has changed, and it has changed drastically. There was something about non-stop work that was added in… not a fan.

I don't know why saying "yes" has always been instilled in me, but I cannot think of a time when I was not constantly saying "yes" to others. The moments you will always catch me saying "yes" are moments when it comes to helping someone. Sometimes I interject myself because I feel guilty if I don't offer the help.

Of course, there are instances when I truly mean the offer I give, but then there are other moments when I highly regret asking. There have been plenty of times where I have gotten myself into too many outings at once and my extroverted-introverted self becomes beyond angry with myself.

If I say "no" to someone, there's this sense of guilt that hangs over my head for at least a week and it doesn't go away.

While I enjoy making others happy in (almost) any way possible, I believe it is time for me to start saying "no." This does not mean I will be saying "no" to every single thing someone asks me to do, but rather, I'll take a second to think about how much time and energy will have to go into the whole situation before diving in headfirst.

My new slogan will be "Just say no… sometimes."

Instead of stressing over every detail of an assignment for class, I'll stress over the major details rather than the microscopic ones. Before I interject myself into a situation, I will take a moment and think about whether my help is even necessary or wanted. This will be no easy task, especially for this anxiety-ridden people pleaser, but I am going to do the best I can. The over-achiever in me needs to sit down, take a chill pill, and over-achieve in the category of saying "no."

For those who also say "yes" way too much: breathe. The world will be okay without our help, even if it feels like it won't.

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