Freedom From Fear

Freedom From Fear

Sometimes, you gotta feel it to heal it.

One of my favorite questions to ask someone is “what is your greatest fear?”

I love this question for a few reasons and one of them is because of the range of responses I typically get.

Another reason is that I think how a person responds to this can say a lot about them. People typically respond on one of two sides of the spectrum: a somewhat funny fear that they laugh about having or an incredibly deep and intense fear of isolation or loss.

For example, sometimes people tell me they’re afraid of clowns or mismatched socks.

Other times, people say they’re afraid of the dark, heights or getting stuck in elevators.

And then there’s always those who say they’re afraid of things they’ve never lived through before, like death.

I’ve learned/been told that the best way to get rid of fear is through desensitization.

“You gotta feel it to heal it” essentially.

In other words, if you’re scared of flying on planes, start by at least going to the airport.

Then, the next time, maybe walk inside of the airport.

After that, try watching the planes out of the window inside of the airport.

Subsequently after these steps, begin moving closer and closer to actually going inside of a plane and eventually, after you’ve successfully conquered all of these steps, you might be able to fly on a plane and feel okay about it.

This has always made sense to me until I realized that you can’t exactly desensitize yourself to the grander fears such as loss, failure or death.

This realization fascinated me because if the best way to get over a fear is to continually expose yourself to that fear, how can you overcome a fear where continual exposure is not necessarily an option?

I don’t have an answer for this but I thought that maybe writing about it would help form some thoughts or understanding on the subject.

Fear is somewhat inevitable, necessary and healthy to a degree. Fear is an unpleasant emotion that keeps us alive and in tune with what in our environment could be a dancer or a threat.

However, when fear becomes the guiding voice in our head instead of a fight or flight instinctual response in certain situations, we become prisoners to that fear.

One of my favorite questions to ask myself about fear is “do I positively know that this fear is true and that I have reason to be fearful of it?”

Usually, the answer is “no” because most of these fears are fleeting. They’re fleeting because they never happen.

At the end of the day, I find that fear is nothing more than an obstacle. An obstacle that we put in front of ourselves.

This is good news though because that means we have the power and control to remove that obstacle since we are the ones who put it there in the first place.

Don’t let the fear of what could happen, make nothing happen.

Cover Image Credit: Sophia Winter

Popular Right Now

I Woke up In The Middle Of The Night To Write About My Fears, They're Worse Than The Dark

One minute I'm thinking about what I want to do after college next thing I know I'm remembering the time I tried talking to a boy and choked on my spit.


It is one of those nights when I am tired, but for some reason, I can't seem to fall asleep. So, what do I do? I pull out my laptop, and I begin to write. Who knows where it will lead. It could lead to a killer article or something that does not make sense. I mean it is almost 2 A.M. In my mind, that's pretty late.

Anyways, let's do this thing.

Like many people, thoughts seem to pile up in my head at this time. It could be anything from a time when I was younger to embarrassing stories to wondering why I am "wasting" my time somewhere to thoughts about the future. All of these things come at me like a wildfire. One minute I'm thinking about what I want to do after college next thing I know I'm remembering the time I tried talking to a boy and choked on my spit.

The thought that is going through my mind as I write this is about the future. It's about the future of my fears. Let me explain. I have multiple fears. Some of my fears I can hide pretty well, others I am terrible at hiding. My fears may seem silly to some. While others might have the same fears. Shall we start?

1. My career

I don't know where to begin with this one. For as long as I can remember, my consistent dream job has been working in the world of sports, specifically hockey. A career in sports can be and is a challenging thing. The public eye is on you constantly. A poor trade choice? Fans are angry. Your team sucks? "Fans" are threatening to cheer for someone else if you can't get your sh*t together. You can be blamed for anything and everything. Whether you are the coach, general manager, owner, it does not matter. That's terrifying to me, but for some reason, I want to work for a team.

2. My family

Julie Fox

Failing with my family, whether that be the family I was born into or my future family, it terrifies me. I have watched families around me fall apart and I have seen how it has affected them. Relationships have fallen apart because of it. I have heard people talk about how much they hate one of their parents because of what happened. I don't want that.

3. Time

This could be a dumb fear. I'm not sure, but I fear time. With every minute that passes, I am just another minute closer to the end. With every day that passes that I am not accomplishing goals or dreams I have, I am losing precious time. It scares me to think of something horrible like "What if I die tomorrow because of something horrific?" or even worse, "What if I don't make it through today?" It's terrible, I know.

4. Forgetting precious memories

When I was younger, I had brain surgery. It is now much harder for me to remember things. I am truly terrified that I am going to forget things I will want to hold close to me forever, but I won't be able to. I am scared I'll forget about the little things that mean a lot. I'm afraid of forgetting about old memories that may disappear. I'm worried that I'll forget about something like my wedding day. That might seem out of this world, but it's a reality for me.

5. Saying "goodbye"

I hate saying bye. It is one of my least favorite things. Saying bye, especially to people I don't know when I'll see again, is a stab in the heart for me. I love my people so much. I love being around them. I love laughing with them. Thought of never having a hello with them again scares me beyond belief.

6. Leaving places that I love

Alright, let me start off by saying this- it takes a lot for me to love a place. It has to feel like home. It has to make me feel comfortable. It has to be a place I can go to and be myself. Thankfully, I have had and still have multiple places that are like that. I have also had places I could not wait to leave. I think that's why leaving places I love is so hard and something I fear so much. I am afraid I'll never get that place "back", for lack of a better term. I guess, I'm trying to say, it's like a piece of me is leaving as well.

These six things are just the start of my fears. Some of these might seem "dumb" or "ridiculous" to you, but for me, it's my life. These are the things that I think about the most. These are the things that feel like a pit in my stomach. These six things are parts of my life that mean a lot to me.

Cover Image Credit:

Emily Heinrichs

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

We Should All Be More Like Potatoes, Hear Me Out

This is for you and all your best spuds.


Do you know what I am tired of? People are bashing potatoes whether it is describing yourself looking like a "potato" or all these diets wanting to eliminate these starchy, balls of heaven out of our diets. Using cauliflower to replace mashed potatoes or making broccoli tots rather than tater tots. This isn't a hate speech against vegetables or making healthy food decisions, this is an appreciation towards the potatoes in our lives. I understand potatoes aren't the image of healthy living and you shouldn't eat only potatoes for the rest of your lives, but in my mind, we all should be more like potatoes. Hear me out.

Potatoes are grounded, literally.

They are the roots of the potato plant and are grown underground. No matter where we go in life, how successful we become, we should always remember our roots and where we come from. We shouldn't lose sight of who we truly are as we continue to grow as people. Being grounded is realizing that we are all potatoes human and that we are not perfect. We may have a few bumps on our skin, we may look different than the person next to us, and we may go down on different paths, but in the end, we are people. Humility will take you so far in life.

Do you realize the number of varieties of potatoes there are in this world? There are over 4,000 varieties of potatoes grown worldwide. That is a lot of mashed potatoes Whether you want russet, baby red, or sweet potatoes, there is a potato for you to love. Just like people. There are so many of us in the world, 7.6 billion people to be more accurate. We all come from different places, backgrounds, beliefs, and all have a unique story to share. So do potatoes, even though there are so many different types of potatoes, they turn out to make delicious meals and can bring people together. The sooner we appreciate the differences between people but also recognize our similarities, the sooner we all can sit around a table and enjoy each others company and a serving of potatoes.

Potatoes are game changers in history, whether in the United States or all over the world. Look up their history and see how they have shaped the world one delicious potato at a time. The Smithsonian talks about the global impact potatoes have made on our world, and the thing is, you can make a global impact too. Keep in mind that if potatoes can make a difference, you can make a difference in what you want to change.

It isn't just about the simple hardy potato that comes from the soil, the amazing thing about potatoes is that they can be turned into so many things. Potatoes can be tater tots, alcohol, be ammo in a potato gun, an electrical conductor, and so many other things that potato wants to be.

Potatoes are multitaskers, even though they don't have arms or legs.

Imagine all that you can become if you start to live like a potato. They are also so universal, you can eat potatoes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert. You chow down some hash browns in the morning, have a nice sandwich on potato bread, enjoy a side dish of scalloped potatoes, and indulge in some sweet potato pie.

Who runs the world? Potatoes!

I'm not saying we all should end up becoming couch potatoes and veg out, but just like potatoes in your diet, everything in moderation. One day you want to change the world, awesome. The next day, you need to binge-watch Netflix and relax, not judgment. Just remember to be like a potato, and keep rolling on. When your best friend says they are a potato after looking at a picture of them, make sure to enlighten them on how awesome potatoes and they are.

Cover Image Credit:

Corrine Harding

Related Content

Facebook Comments