If you know anything about me, it’s that personally speaking about not having fear is completely ironic, because I have an Anxiety disorder. It even freaks me out just writing about it because I know there is a stigma about mental health disorders, but I want to be as real as possible with you. So I’m not going to write and pretend that I’m never scared (since we just established that I am scared most of the time) and that my whole life is together, because it’s not. But, I can tell you how to work through the fear and use it to your advantage, because I have been there.
Having fear is okay, that is how our body usually tells us when danger is near or when to be cautious, but we can’t let it control our lives. Since we are already being super personal today let me give an example of not letting fear run the show. Now, this is a story all about how my life got flipped-turned upside down… no wait, that’s not my story. My story starts in high school when kids actually looked like kids and we had no idea what a contour kit was. It was senior year and I was going through a phase (we all had one) and I decided to embrace my fear and not speak to anyone. I was in large school so it was easy to go unnoticed. I was in a class where we spent a lot of time together each day, and part of our week out doing volunteer work. This is the class that changed my life. On the first day of class, I noticed a boy I had never seen before and I developed the biggest crush you could ever think of. Of course, my reaction was to not speak to him, even though we had hours of class together and we ate lunch together. I didn’t speak to him for the whole first semester, things were going great.
Now at this point, I still haven’t talked to him but I loved him…you know how it goes. When the semesters change so did our site for volunteering (this is where my point comes in, so stay with me) and my sister’s therapeutic equestrian center was one of the sites to choose, my crush would be perfect for the job and I knew I could work extra hours there. The only problem, I have NEVER actually talked to him and I thought he was too cool for me. The day we were writing down our top three choices for our new volunteering site we were in the library ( I can picture it perfectly) I sat across from him and I knew I had to say something, it was now or never. My heart was pounding so hard I could hardly hear or think, I was shaking all over and before I knew it the words flew out of my mouth, “You should sign up for my sister’s farm, you would be really good at it.” AHHH, I thought I would puke and the look on his face screamed “what the heck, she can speak? I thought she was mute.” But, do you know what happened? He erased his first choice and put the farm! And long story short, now we have been together six years and married for two.
That was a very long and personal story to just say, don’t let fear keep you from trying! Sure, to you it may seem like I was overreacting and could have just asked him, but to me I was petrified. What is something that you want, something you would do anything for? For me, I saw a future with the boy across the table, I wanted to marry him even if I hadn’t actually talked to him (which now sounds completely crazy). Sure it scared me to talk to him, but what scared me, even more, was the thought of missing the chance to figure out if we would be a good fit for each other. My fear of speaking to him and being embarrassed was controlling my life, but I USED the fear of what I might lose to propel me forward and achieve what I longed for. I hate to think that if I never said that one small sentence, that I would not have had the most amazing six years of my life! Write down what you want to achieve, what scares you about trying and then what you may lose if you never try. Post it somewhere that you will see every day, I personally like it on my bathroom mirror. Take that fear and control it, use it to reach your dreams instead of letting your fear control your life!