By Allyson Larson
This piece is for anyone who has let fear creep into their life. I’m not talking about fear of the boogeyman or fear of the dark, but the fears that keep you from living your everyday life. Fears, for example, that consume you; the types of fear that lead to that feeling in your gut and those sudden strikes of anxiety. I am not citing any specific source of fear, because as we all know fear comes in all shapes and sizes.
I have personally experienced such fears in my own life. One of which being the fear in letting people see who I am, or allowing myself to make new friends. When I am feeling fearless I can make all the new friends I want, no problem. The source of my fear stems from allowing myself to go into a situation with a negative outlook. When going into a new environment I would let myself think, “I am not going to have fun. I do not want to be here. I will feel out of place.” And you know what? All those thoughts would come true. However, as soon as I would change my attitude, and actually give something a try, the outcome would be completely different.
I spent a year of my life terrified that people would think I was different, so instead of trying so break out of my shell I instead became so unlike myself in order to remain unseen. I had only two or three people I would consider my friends and the blame for that is all my own. There were a few people in my new environment that scared me off, and made me think that it just wasn’t worth it to branch out and make new friends. I let this fear dictate my life for an entire year. Until finally I took back my life and decided that I didn’t want to be that girl who moved to town a few years ago that nobody actually knew.
The next year was different. I broke free from being introverted and put myself out there. I talked to the people I wanted to talk to and made sure to keep myself positive. Sure, it isn’t the easiest thing to do, and I was definitely still scared of being embarrassed or not being liked but I was no longer going to allow that fear to be at the center of my life. To my surprise, I did make friends, I did enjoy trying new things and getting myself out there and I do not regret any of it.
So, my advice to anyone reading this is simply to stop caring so much about what could happen or what people might think of you, because there is no way of knowing what will result from taking a risk. Although fear still manages to creep its way into life every once in awhile, I am able to to overcome it now that I know that there are other people like me. You are not the only one who is scared, and you are not alone. Push yourself out of your comfort zone, because it can lead to wonderful things and experiences that you may not have known if you stayed inside your shell. You are in control of how you live your life, so don’t let fear run the show.