I know from way too many experiences that I either gave up on something or never tried something because I was scared, and that fear wasn't just from being actually scared of whatever I was doing, it was being scared of what other people around me would think. What if they didn't like it? Would they talk about it behind my back? What kind of things would they say?

These thoughts consumed my mind forever, and they still do today, but it's been taking me a long time to realize that I shouldn't have this mindset. No one should.

I recently wrote an article last week about accepting myself and how it's been really hard, but I guess it made me think more about the true root of where my problems first began. I learned at a young age that there were certain ways I had to act, certain ways I had to look. Granted, I never really fit those supposed "rules," but I always tried my hardest to do so, and I always was scared of what people would think of me if I did what I wanted and was the person I wanted to be. After a little while, I grew out of it. Am I still scared sometimes? Yes, of course, but not as much as I used to be. I'm now someone I love and I'm someone that other people love too.

I am almost the person that I aspire to be, who has confidence in herself.

Fear is something that can consume people. It is something that stops people from pursuing their dreams and goals, it stops people from living a life they're comfortable in and want because of the constant worry of society. We live in a time where people are told that they should be themselves, which is great and empowering to see, but then that same society turns on them for being someone that isn't fitting into to the silent "standards" that are already in place. It really sucks to see that, but we all have to learn that this is where the issue is and this is one of the things that needs to change for people to feel empowered.

On the other hand, people standing up to the issue of "standards" can very well change it and how we view other people in our society. The people that have the courage and confidence to show their true selves to the world could and will inspire others who are scared to follow in their footsteps. Doing so can cause a large shift in our world and perhaps could inspire more people to accept others and to banish the fear that once held them back.

So go on and do what you've been scared to do. Go dye your hair a different color, wear those skinny jeans, let out your true laugh, fear has no right to get in your way, but you are the one that decides that for yourself.