“Do the thing you fear and the death of fear is certain.”’Ralph Waldo Emerson
Have you ever been paralyzed? Have you ever bailed right before doing something you had longed for and yet, at the very moment you were going to take action, felt so overwhelmed that you could not move forward anymore? I did, umpteen times, when I was younger, encounter that dismaying feeling. It was as though, submerged, my being was suddenly stuck, as if it were drowning in a sea of fears.
Letting the fear take control over me was the easy way out, as I believed I had no willpower stronger than the fear I was facing, whatever that may have been. This was up until the end of my first year at university. For summer 2016 did not only turn my life around but also transformed me. I referred to it as ‘The Day It All Came Crashing Down’ in a piece in which I shared this harrowing episode of my life, in an attempt to be as concise and raw as possible to convey my feelings. There was still some anger, strain, and shame at the time I wrote it, three months after the situation was seemingly sorted out. And it is only later on that I realized what that day had really meant for me.
The long hours of this 28th of July represented a paralysis. It was being powerless, facing such a shock, while witnessing these actions we could not defy in any sense. The immobility was striking. There was absolutely nothing we could do at that moment.
I never wanted to feel so impuissant ever again. As I fully grasped the meaning of that day, I had my own very real epiphany about myself. It occurred to me again the countless times I had described myself as a ‘puppet to my own life’, for all I seemed to be doing was witnessing life happening to me, whilst I was staying in my comfort zone, avoiding as many opportunities as I saw appearing before my very eyes. Eventually, with that realization, I knew. I was finally becoming aware of all that it entailed.
All in all, this meant I had to face my fears, each and every one of them.
Barely a few weeks went by. I packed my suitcases, wrote a note to myself that however daunting this experience might be I would survive, and I never looked back.
Perhaps I took the best step possible to move away from my fears. For, over time, even though I was lacking a great deal of self-confidence, I did overcome the most trivial of fears, and learned how to handle each kind of fear. From moving abroad on my own to conquering numerous other fears, I have learnt that fear can be a powerful source of joy. How exciting to do something that scares you. How empowering to achieve it. How encouraging to realize that the best things can happen to you out of fear.
Fear holds one hostage from the myriad of potential outcomes.
Fear is the disguise that self-esteem issues take.
Fear is the voice of doubts and insecurity in your head.
But fear is also what leads one to a state of enlightenment.
Fear is the path of progress.
Fear is the symbol of the first step boldly taken.
Fear has the power to turn everything around.
Fear is the embodiment of your former self, as well as the creation of your future self.
What if you asked yourself: would I rather be stuck with my present self or be aware that there is a new me waiting on the other side of fear?
Too often we praise the so-called fearless ones. Yet, fear is human. Indeed, one does not have to be fearless, but merely use their fears cleverly.
Fear is my driving force. And it can be yours too.
what is your greatest fear?