Yeah. This is one question I had been asked over and over again. I used to answer that I wasn’t afraid of anything or any man. Because man was NOT God. Well, true. Man isn’t God but it took some pretty little and even hard knocks for me to know that I can be afraid. Going through an almost- rape and robbery experience has a way of making you afraid of even your closest friends. Especially when they’re male.
I learnt that life has a way of turning the tables on you. Especially when you think you’re so tough. Hehehe. You’d be surprised at how things can just work for or against you at the snap of two fingers.
There is a German proverb that says that “Fear makes the wolf bigger than the man”. Yeah…fear does make things larger than life. But does that mean that fear is unreasonable? Or that fear is invalid?
Have you ever been afraid? What were you afraid of? What are you afraid of? The dark? The sun? Afraid of love? Of being wrong? Of not wearing the right clothes? Of not fitting in? Or even doing well at work? Are you afraid of marrying the wrong person? Are you afraid of falling in love? Of getting that promotion you want? Are you even afraid of speaking in public?
- I know you get afraid. I get afraid too. But, the first key to fear is to understand that you’re afraid. Everybody gets afraid at one point or the other. It is controlling or not controlling it that decides what fear does to you. You must know WHY you’re afraid. Most times, fear are unreasonable. They stifle motivation, creativity and innovation. So, how do I control my fear? How do or would you control your fear? But what do I do when I’m afraid? Do I let fear cripple me? Or do I stand up, shake myself and refuse to let fear dominate? Do I learn a lesson or two from being afraid? Or do I keep making the same mistakes over and over again, in the hopes that one day, I’d stop making those mistakes?
- Get comfortable with that fear. Sounds weird, I know. But as long as you’re uncomfortable with how anxious and afraid you are, you can’t make progress. I’m not trying to sound like a psychologist or anything. I’m just speaking from life experiences. But the thing is, the more you run away from fear, the more it dominates you. The best thing you can do is to move towards that fear, live it and breathe in. If possible, have it for breakfast so it doesn’t conquer you. You were made to be strong. You cannot afford to be afraid.
- Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’ You must do the thing you think you cannot do.” Cool, right? That is what someone who has lived through fear and conquered fear can say. Don’t think about what you’re afraid of. The more you think about it, the larger it grows. Yeah, like the earlier German proverb I wrote earlier.
Having a bad almost- rape experience altered my life for years. I got scared of staying out late or even having male friends. I hated anyone creeping up on me from behind. And I hated guys touching me even with my permission. Yeah, it was that bad. I had nightmares for a long while. I didn’t even date.
That’s what fear does to you. It makes you think and rethink all the probabilities that could happen but haven’t happened. It’s time you pull up fear by its collar and say, “I am not afraid of being afraid. I am strong. I will not let fear dominate me. I eat fear for breakfast. I am not afraid of reaching my full potential”.
I want you to stand up and do those things that you have been afraid of doing. You want to speak in public? Take it on! You want to write a book? Take it on! You want to sing? Take it on! You’re beautiful on the inside and out. Fear has no control over you.
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