It's Not Wrong To Feel Afraid
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Student Life

Being Afraid Doesn't Mean You're Wrong

Don't deny yourself the things you are afraid to want.

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An airplane wing flying through the sky.

People are often afraid to want the things they want the most, and typically, being afraid to want something stems from either 1) a feeling of unreadiness or 2) the fear of failure. However, both of these feelings are futile because 1) fear-inducing high potential of failure often means extreme importance and 2) if we wait until we are ready, we will never get anything done.

Here's an example; I've always wanted to go sky-diving, but I've always been afraid to do so. My friend's 18th birthday rolled around and she asked me "What should we do for my birthday?" I, kidding of course, responded: "Let's go skydiving!" However, she did not realize I was kidding and agreed to my wild proposition. So what did we do?

We went skydiving. Was I ready to jump out of a plane from 16,000 feet in the air? Absolutely not. There was no way my body or mind could ever be fully prepared for that experience. And, while I claim I wasn't afraid, I obviously was a little bit, but the fact that if the shoot didn't open and I went splat on the ground and was killed instantly calmed my fears right away since it wouldn't be a prolonged death. So there I am, sitting in the doorway of a plane with a strange man strapped to my back (my tandem partner, relax everyone) and he asks "Are you ready?"

"NO, I'M NOT!"

"Okay!"

And then he launched us both out of the plane.

And we fell. And we flew. And it was absolute ecstasy.

Skydiving

So I got over my unreadiness real fast. But that fear of failing at what you want? I don't think that ever really goes away. I can't say I've overcome it, but I can say that I do a bit every day to work towards that victory. The main thing I'm talking about is my dream to be a Broadway performer someday–pretty lofty, I know–but my persistence and continued hard work have helped me feel confident that I can keep working towards it and may even achieve it, if I'm lucky enough.

Once upon a time, I convinced myself that I wanted to be an English teacher because I didn't believe I could make it as an author, which stemmed from my belief that I couldn't make it as a performer. I refused to major in Theater at Boise State because I didn't think it could get me anywhere, and I majored in English instead–starting as an Education Major, transitioning to Creative Writing (a brief stint of confidence), then Linguistics, and finally settling on Rhetoric and Composition (which is essentially a create-your-own-English-major, so I'm doing creative writing, linguistics, education (teaching English as a second language), and editorial work (my main focus).

All this sounds like a pitiful story about a girl who didn't have enough self-confidence, but it's getting better, I promise. I absolutely love my English major, and I wouldn't trade it for anything; I wouldn't even change to a Theater major and, trust me, I've considered it. I discovered a way to keep my English major but perform and take theater classes that fulfilled my passion of performing (no, not a Theater minor) but I take at least one performance-based Theater class per semester, and audition for every performance that Boise State puts on. So far I've been in five productions at Boise State; three of which I was ensemble in but in the most recent two, I nailed lead roles!

I was afraid to reach for my dreams so I convinced myself that I didn't want them, but that was stupid. Chase your dreams, work hard for them, then if you don't succeed, you'll know that you did everything you could do, like I talk about in my article "You Can Only Give Your All."

Don't let the feeling of unreadiness stop you from doing what you want. Don't let the fear of failure stop you from doing what you want. Grab life by the balls and make it your bitch.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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