How to overcome Fear

There is so much to fear in this world. In 22 years of existence I have seen a lot of pain and tragedy. I know I am not alone in this. The world is a scary place. Fear is normal. But fear is also useless.

I was a fearless child. At least that is how I felt. I climbed to the top of the jungle gym and walked on top of the monkey bars unafraid of the doom below. I loved feeling like I could do anything. Teachers told us that we could do anything, be anything. I believed it, why wouldn’t I? We are all created equal and with equal chance in the world to thrive and be happy and merry and …gullible… I was a gullible child. I knew of tragedy and pain, at 5 years old, I had already experienced it but they taught us we could overcome anything! I was strong and I was going to do amazing things. I could lift more than my mom and I could hold my breath and I felt smart and talented. I was fearless. I was naive.

I get called that a lot. I believe the stories of triumph over evil and adversity. For a while there, my experiences gave me strength and made me feel like I could do anything. The stories we hear are always from people who have struggled, they are the ones that get a happy ending. The stories also told me that there was a happy ending. I paid my dues and waited. Isn’t it time for the happy ending?

Fear sets in when we lose our innocence. Once we learn that good doesn’t always triumph over evil, we start to think about all the stories that aren’t told: the ones where evil won. Will that be my story? Fear starts…

Fear robs us of our ability to hope for a brighter tomorrow. It not only tells us that we wont be happy but it tells us there is no point in trying. Fear tricked me. Fear crippled my enthusiasm for life. I woke up one day and realized I wasn’t strong, I wasn’t smart, I wasn’t talented, and I couldn’t breathe. Fear tried to take over my life and I almost let it. In fear of being called naive and gullible, I let the worries of a doomed future stop me from climbing.

And when fear dared to take my life away I realized something… what I was afraid of had already happened. I had no life. I had no hope.

I was not going to accomplish any of my dreams. So what else could I be afraid of?

Fear is not real. Fear is irrational. Fear likes to make us believe that we can worry ourselves into safety, that we can somehow keep ourselves from experiencing pain and tragedy. Remember the stories we were told as children about the people who lived happily ever after, after the pain and tragedy. Life is pain. Living is not safe, every breath we take brings us closer to our death but every breath also brings us closer to the next moment of joy. The pain we endure now is worth the joy in the end. Fear tries to keep us from living but we can tell fear to leave us alone!

Today I choose to be gullible and believe that I am going to do amazing things in life. I choose to believe that a happy ending will come. I choose to be fearless.