I am afraid. Afraid of a lot of things. Afraid of losing the people I love. Afraid of watching them slip from my fingertips like grains of sand. Afraid of the ocean and uncharted depths. Afraid of the sun and its brilliance, and the question of whether it will rise. And yet, I hold on. I hold on because every morning the birds sing, air bursting forth from their bellies. Because the clouds dance across the sky, flirting with the rays. Because even though there is so much I don’t quite understand, the answers come to me in time.
Because I am okay, and fear doesn’t have to be the emotion that drives me.
When I was younger, the darkness was terrifying because I didn’t understand. Now I know better. Now I know that the things we don’t know don’t have to be frightening—simply because as you step forward towards them, you begin to learn.
But it all starts with fear.
And that’s okay. Because fear inspires change. But the emotion doesn’t have to control us, but instead just push us to move.
And maybe that’s where the challenge begins—learning how to accept and navigate that fear into movement—knowing that life is scary at times, but that doesn’t mean we can’t face our battles, conquer our demons, survive.
I am afraid. Of the sound of my own voice. Of the potential of where my words could carry me. Of the direction I’m headed, even though it’s incredibly beautiful and unknown and full of promise.
Isn’t that the truth about life in general, though? We’re scared of what we don’t know, and equally scared of what we do. We’re nervous to step into undiscovered territory, and yet, just as afraid of never trying.
In the depths of our hearts, though, is a nagging pull encouraging us to step out in faith. Because the unknown doesn’t control us, can’t control us unless we allow it. Because we can choose the direction of our lives and we’re never stuck, even if we wander down a wrong path.
Because at the end of the day, what will eat us alive is not the mistakes we make, but the chances we didn’t take.
Because our days on this earth are numbered, and it’s far better to try than wonder what could have been. And so I hope we learn to walk forward without questioning our every step. I hope we quit speaking negativity to ourselves. I hope we stop listening to the itty-bitty voice of fear in our hearts and drown that whiny sound out with passion, joy, and confidence instead.
Truthfully, we don’t know what can happen—in our careers, relationships, lives—unless we try. Unless we take a chance. Unless we let ourselves be driven by purpose rather than fear.
We won’t discover whether we’re meant to be with someone unless we tell them what we feel, unless we drive across the country and share our hearts, unless we boldly move forward in faith and say, ‘I love you. I’m in.’
We’ll never know whether we can be successful in our careers if we never move from the position we’re in, if we never ask for a raise, if we never believe that we are capable of becoming something better.
We’ll never know who we’re meant to be if we’re forever standing still.
So take chances. Fall down. Fail. Lose. Break. And rebuild.
Your potential is limitless, but not if you don’t take a few risks.