Don't Let Fear Hold You Back
Entertainment

Don't Let Fear Hold You Back

Discussing my journey with fear and what I have learned along the way.

73
Christian Today

As a child, fear hardly ever surfaced from my vocabulary. Apart from when I was crawling into bed with my parents after a nightmare, I was, for the most part, fearless.

Being the youngest of three sisters, I had a competitive nature, always wanting to be as strong, fast, and tough as my older sisters. I would take whatever risks necessary to impress them, whether that meant jumping into my pond off a dare in the blistering Michigan November air, or trying a new ice cream flavor at every shop we visited.

When it came to my hobbies, I was even more driven. Yes, I was one of those crazy little kid skiers you see zipping in and out of the trees and hitting the jumps without even thinking twice beforehand. And yes, I was one of those pipsqueaks in gym class that refused to accept anyone could be stronger or faster than me, even if that meant extreme shoulder pain after a game of Red Rover.

Even in social situations I acted fearless, something that I find hard to believe now as my social anxiety seems to only increase each day. When I was 9, my sisters and I formed a band, performing at various fairs and events in our surrounding cities. One of my sisters played the piano and violin, the other played the bass guitar, I played lead guitar, and we all sang. Writing this, at just the thought of standing on a stage, in front of an anticipating crowd, my stomach starts to churn. How did I handle it so calmly as a child?

Now that I have entered into the adult world and have learned to live independently, I cannot say that fear is absent from my life. I live in fear every day, some of it being sadly rational, such as my fear of walking to school on the streets of the big city, while some of it is completely irrational, such as my fear that people will judge the tone of my voice if I partake in conversation with them.

I also show more fear in my personal endeavors, such as snowboarding. I grew up a skier, and made the switch to snowboarding a few years ago. Although I consider myself a good snowboarder, when I am approaching a jump or a rail I always have the thought, what if I break something? I wouldn’t be able to perform my daily jobs or schoolwork. I can’t do this. Or even, I don’t want to do this with all these people around. What if I fall and they make fun of me?

I often find myself wishing, about snowboarding and other recently found hobbies of mine, that I had started when I was younger. I reflect back upon my past fearless state and wonder, if I had only begun this back then, I would have easily conquered the initial fear and be an expert by now. That may not necessarily be the case, but it’s easy to think that it is, and I’m sure I’m not the only one.

So why is it that our adult lives are so full of fear when our childhood lives were absent of it? Although part of the answer may come down to our genuine concern of taking care of ourselves so we can perform our daily tasks and responsibilities, a large part of the answer lies within our pride, and our fear of failure.

When we were children, our peers were other children. It was easy not to care what mistakes we made because no one else did, and we didn’t judge others for their mistakes. When you are a functioning member of the adult world, however, the case is sadly not the same. We get reprimanded more seriously when we mess up and take the opinions of our peers more personally.

Since we cannot always ignore the negative opinions of others, we must turn to a simple alternative: letting go. Most of the fear we experience in social situations is irrational and unnecessary. We fear criticism, despite knowing that we cannot impress everyone, and we fear judgement from strangers with whom we have never spoken.

In these times, it is important to keep things in perspective, and ask yourself, “so what?” Is the risk of their negative judgement really worth keeping you from expressing yourself? Do you really care what these people think of you? Learning to deal with social-induced fear begins with learning to let go of the concern of what others may think of you, and, ultimately, we can only do our best to keep our negativity to ourselves and hope that others do the same.

Most importantly, remember this: a life lived in fear is hardly a life lived at all. Fear will hold you back from many opportunities if you give in to it, keeping you from meeting new people, trying different things, and gaining memorable experiences. So, ask yourself this, “what kind of life do I want to look back on when I’m older? A life where I was safe but sheltered, or a life full of different adventures?”

Separate your required jobs and responsibilities in society from your passions and your heart’s goals. In the end, this is your life and it is up to you to write your own story. You have to ability to control the outcome, but only if you make the conscious decision to do so. This is your one shot, so take it, and jump. Fearlessly.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Barefoot Wine Instagram

Have you noticed that you're drinking a lot more than you used to during the Pandemic? You're not alone.

I too in recent weeks have noticed that I'm drinking more than normal, and earlier in the day. I've started having a glass of wine with lunch a few days a week, something I never used to do. Although, a recent Odyssey survey shows that most Americans are starting to drink between 4 and 8 pm.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

These Phoebe Buffay Outfits Prove She's A '90s Fashion Icon — We're Replicating EVERY Single One

In case you needed another reason to love our favorite coffee shop singer.

NBC

I've always been described as the Phoebe of my friend group — not just for being a vegan, animal-loving people pleaser, but also for the false sense of confidence in my singing and athleticism.

I consider it a compliment to be labeled a Phoebe. Besides her general warmth, I was always drawn to her hippy-chic vibes and passion for environmentalism before it was even cool to be vegan or to care about the planet. The way she carelessly ran through parks flailing her limbs without a care mimicked her effortlessly eccentric style.

Keep Reading... Show less
Politics and Activism

Elijah McClain's Case Is Being Reopened — His Family Is Still Waiting For Justice

The killing of an innocent Black man will be reinvestigated, and that news that brought me to tears.

9News / YouTube

On August 24, 2019, in Aurora, CO, a 23-year-old Black man named Elijah McClain was walking home from a convenience store after buying iced tea for his brother. He was wearing a ski mask because he was anemic and easily got cold. He was listening to music and dancing while he walked when someone called 911 on this Black man simply walking home.

Keep Reading... Show less

'Tis the season for wedding fun and if you're hosting or helping plan a bachelorette party for the bride-to-be, you're going to want it to be a blast. Whether it's a social distance soiree or a virtual party, games will always spice up the time with the gals, so if you're looking for a fun and easy one to get the party started (and everyone drunk), this game is for you.

What's the name of the game? "Drink If: Bachelorette Party Edition." Here's how it works.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

I Talked To My Friend About Her Cystic Fibrosis And Wow, CF Patients Are WARRIORS

Not many people can say they've had a double lung transplant.

Alissa Katz

Forty percent of the United States lives with a chronic disease. These diseases are unique in their own way, but one thing is the same — every individual who lives with a chronic condition faces obstacles because of their disease.

Not only do these illnesses require a lot of education for the individuals who have them, but for the community as a whole. The more we as a society know about these diseases, the more well-rounded (and ideally, helpful) we'll be. If anything, we'll have a greater appreciation for the strength individuals with chronic conditions show on a daily basis.

Keep Reading... Show less

We've all been there... your brain was telling you "bad idea," but your heart was saying "but what if..." and now you're heartbroken. Whether you were actually in a relationship with the person or you never made it passed the "talking stage" before he broke your heart, it still hurts!

The good news? You're not alone and things will get better. Here are a few TikToks that will motivate you to move on, no matter what stage of the breakup process you're in.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

How To Create A Summer Reading List On Odyssey

Books are the perfect summer companions.

It's officially summer 2020, and yes, we're still in the middle of a global pandemic, which means a lot of your free time this summer is probably going to involve watching Netflix. But you can't take Netflix to the pool or on the beach.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments