Everyone is afraid of something. In fact, most of us are afraid of a lot of things. Whether it's something completely irrational, like Gollum (which was a very real fear of mine for a ridiculously long amount of time), or something more practical, such as spiders, the dark, or being alone (wow, I know, I'm getting deep with this one), we all have fears.
Now some fears probably benefit us; they make us think in precautionary ways that are probably the best for our overall safety; i.e., locking the house at night, not drinking polluted water, but the most of them are, quite frankly, a waste of time. How many times have you avoided telling someone something because you were afraid of what they would say, or even worse, what they wouldn't say?
If we chose to let fear determine all of our choices, we might miss out on some truly great life experiences such as driving a car, or taking that 3 a.m. metro ride back to campus. And how boring would or lives be if we never did anything exciting? How can you expect to ever really experiences the joys of life if you don't take that leap past your comfort zone?
I think it's important to always try something you're afraid of if the opportunity arises. I don't mean don't anything that could severely injure you or damage your health, but just little things that give you the adrenaline rush of doing something you didn't think you could do.
Little things, like starting a conversations with the person at the table next to you at a coffeeshop, or driving on I-5 for a little stretch instead of restricting yourself to backroads, can make the biggest differences. I realize that sounds absolutely cliché, and I apologize for that, but it's true. Looking back, it's the experiences from doing something that scared me that I am the most grateful for. If I never shared my writing with other people, I never would've improved, if I didn't start doing street photography and taking pictures of people in public, I'd still probably just be doing portraits and I would've missed out on some of my best work.
I think we all have one overarching fear that dictates how the other ones emerge. I know personally, my overarching fear is not being good enough. Trust me, I've missed out on countless opportunities because I was afraid to try since there was probably someone better than me, or more qualified that "deserved it more." In the past, I've struggled to meet deadlines because I worry that the final product I've produced doesn't hold up to whatever ridiculous standard I've set for myself. I mean, how pathetic is that?
That's why it's important to challenge yourself, to learn, to allow yourself conquer fears every day. Over time, I've learned to acknowledge my fears, and move forward from them. It's important to identify that they're ridiculous and use that as a way to promote your own growth. Use your fears to motivate you, to be a better you and overcome them. Count to three, take a breath, and leap. Trust me, you're capable.