Recently I have been asking myself, what is holding me back? What is keeping me from living the life that I want to live, right now? The answer often consists of excuses like lack of money, time or resources. While those may be somewhat valid reasons, it honestly all stems back to fear. Fear of failure. Fear of rejection. Fear of not being enough. Fear is a thief and if you’re not careful, it will take away everything extraordinary that life has to offer.
Think back to a turning point in your life. At that moment, you were most likely confused, terrified, hurt, or even lost. Nothing made sense. Now as you look back, you are able to see how that moment shaped who you are today. What scared the hell out of you then, is not so intimidating now. When life gave you no choice but to face your fear, you grew beyond the limits you set for yourself. So with that in mind, I have to ask: What if we were more intentional about facing our fears?
My whole life I have struggled with anxiety. It is something that I have to face every day of my life. I remember the night before the first day of school, every year. I would lay in my bed, wide awake. I would think about the next day and the millions of things that could possibly go wrong. I can tell you confidently that never once did any of it happen. As I have gotten older, I often catch myself doing the same thing. I waste my time worrying about things that will never happen, while I let real life pass me by. I cannot tell you how many times, I stood backstage, hoping my cue would never come, but it did. I would go onstage and I would have fun. If instead, I chose to run the other way I would have missed out on some of my favorite high school memories. The words I have left unsaid because I was afraid to let them leave my lips, haunt me. The times I have spent on the sidelines watching others have fun because I was too scared to participate, fill me with regret. I do not want to live a regret-filled life any longer.
Instead of asking “What could go wrong?”, I now ask “What can go right?”. With this mindset, the things that scare me the most, excite me even more. I know that by breaking free of the mental barriers that have chained me down for so long, I will grow into the woman that I have always dreamed of being. I am made for more than the comfortable, ordinary life that so many are stuck living. Of course, safety is always a factor, and I will never sacrifice that. However, fear is no longer an excuse that will hold me back.