As if you haven't seen/heard that quote a million times in your life already.
When I think about what I'm most of afraid, the obvious things come to mind: something bad happening to Aiden, the death of a family member, my death, spiders, clowns, airplanes, public speaking...
You know, I went to a church service a few weekends ago and the preacher was talking about fear. Bear with be folks. I'm not getting religious on you, this is actually interesting. He said that in a survey (I can't remember the source), 9 out of 10 people listed public speaking as their biggest fear over dying. The preacher said, "Basically that means if you were at a funeral, most of those people would rather be in the casket than give the eulogy!" Fear is a funny thing isn't it?
While all those things I listed above are legitimate fears of mine, there's one I didn't list that has actually had more significance in my life and that's the fear of failure. I'm willing to bet almost everyone is afraid to fail to some extent. I'd even say a lot of you have been so afraid to fail you just chose not to do whatever it was you had the opportunity to do. There are quite a few times in my life I've passed up some pretty cool opportunities because I was afraid I wouldn't be able to do it and then everyone would think I was a fool. I used to think it would be better to try so I could have control. If I didn't try, I wouldn't fail, and everyone would be none the wiser.
When I was in 7th grade I wanted to try out for the dance team. I worked my ass off during practice at school and even went to a girl's house after school practice to practice some more. I had the routine down for sure. When try out day came I started getting anxious. I knew I would have to learn a lot more and a lot more complicate routines. I became so afraid that I wouldn't be able to do it if I was chosen that I messed up at try outs on purpose so I would be cut. I regret that now because I probably would have made more friends and it probably would have forced me to come out of my shell in high school. Plus I would have had some killer legs.
When I went to college, I chose nursing as my major with the intent to get my Master's in Nurse Anesthesia. I felt like that was my dream career and I was so excited to start college and work my way toward that goal. But a month in to it I started worrying about not being able to pass all the exams I would have to take later on. I thought, "What if I can't get into nursing school after spending all this time and money? And then, even if I get into nursing school, what if I can't get into the Nurse Anesthetist program? Then I'm stuck being a nurse (which I did NOT want to do)." So, not knowing what else I would like to change my major to, I dropped out. I planned to figure it all out later and go back to school "next year." Then life happened and now 8 years later, I still don't have a degree in anything and it's taken me this long to find a real career and a great paying job. Dropping out did end up okay though because I wouldn't have liked working varying shifts at a hospital. Plus, I absolutely love what I do now.
A few months ago, when I found out about my current job position, I almost didn't even apply (I'll stop talking about my new job soon, I swear. This topic just happened to apply haha). I thought, "Well... I don't have a degree. They probably won't even consider me. I doubt I'm even good enough. They'll probably take one look at my portfolio and laugh." But then I thought, "You know what? These people don't know me. If they don't like my work, they won't contact me. I'll go in the trash like all the others who are under qualified. If they do like what they see, they'll contact me." What did I have to lose? I was barely paying my bills and I was absolutely miserable. So I stayed up until 4 o'clock in the morning fine tuning my résumé and setting up an online portfolio and I hit send. They contacted me the next day, then I got a phone interview, then I interviewed in person, and was offered (and accepted) the job on the spot. But then I had 2 weeks to find a place to live, a school for Aiden, and pack up everything to move 2.5 hours away to a city I knew nothing about. About a week into the moving process I almost called it quits. I didn't think I could do it, but I put that fear behind me and I did it anyway. It's only been a couple of months but I am so ridiculously happy with my life. I'm rediscovering myself in so many ways. I didn't realize how miserable I was until I became truly happy with life. I'm even single now. I feel like I'm a better and more patient mom to Aiden. I'm reconnecting with old high school & college friends who live here now and I'm having do much fun, I'm finally living again. And maybe I will fail. Maybe I'm riding a high right now and once the dust has settled, things won't work out like I want them to. While I truly hope that totally wrong, I'm okay with that. Because for the first time in my life, I did something outside my comfort zone. I tried. I won't have any regrets.
It's so easy to just not do something and continue your routine. "Fear is a habit. So is self-pity, defeat, anxiety, despair, hopelessness and resignation. You can eliminate all of these negative habits with two simple resolves, 'I can!' and 'I will!'"