Do The Things That Scare You The Most
Updated: Jul 16, 2018
Now I'm not saying to take up free-climbing and scale the side of Mount Kilimanjaro. Instead, "kindly let fear know that his services are no longer necessary."-Alyson Stoner.
Fear enjoys dictating the most important aspects of our lives. Sure, it's a survival mechanism designed to keep you out of harms way—but it's also a big fat liar. Think of it this way, fear is F.E.A.R.: False Evidence Appearing Real. That clever acronym has stuck with since I heard model Hunter McGrady say it at the women's conference I attended this weekend.
Ever since I can remember I've always had a crippling fear of the unknown. My greatest fear growing up was aliens thanks to an honest miscalculation on my dad's part and two tickets to the movie Signs. What scared me the most about aliens—besides that unforgettably scarring scene in the movie—was the possibility of them being real and us not knowing much about them. Now as an adult, I'm still creeped out by the memory, but my adult fears are less tangible and more internal.
As adults the things that scare us the most are simply that, things. Dreams and missed opportunities, romantic relationships and memorable experiences. All of these things require the will to chase after them, but more often than not fear stops us in our tracks.
Over the weekend I was invited to Entity Magazine's Love Yourself Summit where I listened to an inspiring panel of female leaders and entrepreneurs speak about self-care, mental health, networking, and body positivity.
I rarely go to big conferences or networking events because the thought of them gives me hives. But I knew this event was a big opportunity for me to get out of my comfort zone and put myself out there in order to advance further in my career and my path to self-discovery.
On the hour long drive from my house to East LA where the conference was being held, I had a lot of time to ponder and pep myself up. I made a pact with myself that I would be the person to initiate conversations instead of waiting for someone to approach me. My introvert self was shaking in her boots but I knew that if I didn't push myself no one else would.
As soon as I got there I went up to a few girls and chatted but we eventually dispersed to different corners of the room. This scenario would have normally left me feeling defeated and insecure, but on this particular day, I wanted to be someone different—someone confident and outgoing.
Eventually I gravitated towards a girl who had sat down on the couch across from me and I initiated small talk with her. She eventually moved over to the seat next to me and we struck up a deeper conversation that transgressed from talking about the event, to comparing our career aspirations and travel goals, to exchanging our social media info (the ultimate friendship validation).
In the span of just a few hours, I had conquered some of my deepest fears and come out wholly in tact with a new friend! If I hadn't overcome my fear of starting a conversation, I probably would have sat on that couch silently watching everyone else have fun.
One of the speakers at the summit credited her daily intention list with helping her overcome her daily fears by posing the question, "who do I intend to be today?" I think this is a valuable question for anyone to ask themselves when confronting their fears.
Sometimes it takes a push in the form of a breakup or a sudden tragedy to seek out the qualities we truly yearn for in our lives—adventure, creativity, or self-discovery. But it shouldn't. Do the things that scare you the most. Now I'm not saying to take up free-climbing and scale Mount Kilimanjaro. But do assert yourself to pursue that far-fetched passion project or make that move to Europe.
Do the things that scare you the most simply because you are alive and no one else will do them for you. And if fear tries to dissuade you, "kindly tell him his services are no longer necessary."