Eleanor Roosevelt once said that we must do one thing that scares us every day. As a student who is currently living in Spain for four months, who had to leave her whole family behind and pack her life into a suitcase, I can tell you that fear is a great motivator. I never once imagined in my entire life that I would be pursuing Spanish, let alone living in a foreign country. The idea always fascinated me; living out of the country and learning a new language. But, more than a fascination, it scared me. It still scares me. Will I have enough money? Will I be robbed? How will I manage with language barriers? There are so many fears that run through my mind every day. But that’s the beauty of this adventure, knowing there are risks and still going for it.
I offer the same advice to you, dear reader: do something every day that scares you. Let that fear flood your mind and body. Feel almost suffocated by the weight sitting on your chest that takes your breath away. But, at the last moment, come up for air and breathe deeply knowing that you will be okay. I am comforted by my boyfriend, family, professors and friends in knowing that I will not be forgotten while away, that I am supported and believed in, that I am doing the right thing for myself. I worry that I am being selfish by leaving everything I’ve ever known behind and coming to Spain, but then I remind myself that this is a time to be selfish and do all that I can to better myself. I choose to let my fears motivate me into doing the things that I do.
Now I realize that not everyone has the means or the ability to just hop on a plane and leave the country for a semester, so let’s start small. Whether it be talking to that guy in Starbucks you stand behind in line every day, or it’s as simple as saying hi to your boss at work: do something that puts you out of your comfort zone. When we live outside our comfort zones we make ourselves face our fears and learn how to deal with our stressors better. From here move onto bigger things that scare you: asking for the promotion, maybe even finding a new job, going out on a date with someone you really like or even asking the person you love to marry you. Step out of your comfort zone and do what you’re afraid of, because at the end of the day, the things that scare us the most are the things we really want.
When we live in a world where we all do the things that scare us the most, the world will be a happier place. So, my question for you is: what will you do today that scares you?