The Growth Chronicles – Part I
As I continue to take leaps of faith; personally, professionally and academically, I am often addressing this emotion known as fear. Fear of the unknown, fear of loss, fear of pain, fear of nonexistence, whatever the fear may be at the moment, it is always looming. Recently I have begun facing these fears more head on and have begun to genuinely feel happier than I’ve been in a very very long time. I feel new and ready for the next steps of life…
Before any of this occurred I admitted my fears. It is a very difficult and humbling experience admitting that you have been afraid of things, opportunities etc. for years. Admitting fears to myself has been by far the most difficult thing I’ve done and the scarier part is knowing that I will continuously have to do so throughout life. This isn’t a 1 time fix; but for this feeling of pride and self fulfillment, I am willing to address them as often as needed.
The fear of being hurt closed my emotions from loving fully. The fear of letting down my teammates disabled me from performing to the best of my abilities in my collegiate athletics (ironic). The fear of scrutiny, judgement and non understanding made it easier to mesh with the crowd academically and accept mediocrity. The fear of rejection prevented me from truly pursing the woman I wanted to be with for years. The fear of embarrassment and failure prevented me from taking those necessary leaps professionally to move from being safe and average to being exceptional and under fire. The fear of death and not existing still affects me greatly. The fear of greatness prevented me from accepting who I am fully and living to the best of my abilities. The fear of facing myself about these fears allowed me to live a half fulfilling life. Yes there were spurts of true happiness and true pain but never to the full extent in either direction. I have been simply moving along through life hoping and waiting for the next “awe inspiring moment” to occur like my skydiving event of 2010 Letting It All Go. No More.
Yes I will continue working and planning for a brighter tomorrow than today. I will continue doing what needs to be done for what I want and where I want to be. But no more will I live in accordance of who I ‘should’ be. No more will I put other people’s opinions of who I am, who I should be with, what I should be doing, etc. above my own. No longer will I refuse to acknowledge my fears. Fear is a real emotion and it can consume you. By acknowledging my fears and understanding they will continue to exist in some way or another I know I can finally attack and face them as is the case today.
I know what I want in life, I know what lifestyle I want to live, I know what kind of person I want to be with in life and I know what I need to do, to be where I want to be. I finally have taken the first steps to truly begin living completely. I know I am young relatively speaking, but life has no timetable for happiness and I’d rather be living fully everyday under my own parameters than simply existing in the world according to other’s guidelines.
The missed opportunities lost to fear cannot be had again. I can only learn from these mistakes, try not to make similar ones in the future while knowing I will continuously make mistakes in life. The most important lesson learned by addressing my fears both internally and to the world has been that, while fear may be real and powerful, it is not unconquerable. Facing it is extremely humbling and difficult but it is very necessary for growth.