May 21, 2018 at 7:50 am #208427
Ever since a certain event happened in my life, I’ve spent a lot of time doing a lot of things. Everything from reconnecting spiritually to sitting with myself to understand what I want out of life and why I do the things I do. One of the things I’ve realized most is that I’ve always let fear hold me back from having success.
I let fear stop me from setting higher standards.
I let fear stop me from pursuing amazing opportunities and have regrets about one of them to this day, and I’m only 19.
I let fear stop me from taking action towards my dreams because I’m too afraid of making mistakes to even try.
I don’t want to let fear stop me anymore.
Thing is, I know fear is here to stay. Fear isn’t something I can take a magic wand and ‘fix,’ just as I can’t do that with my anxiety or depressive spells in the winter. But these things aren’t flaws that need fixing. I am not broken. So even though I feel afraid right now, what actually matters is telling myself, “Let’s do it anyway.”
This year I’ve already done so much that I was terrified of, and a lot of other things I normally would have missed out on because of my fears. Where once I was terrified of taking my driver’s test I now drive an hour a day for my college education, I’ve finished my first year with all A’s. I drove somewhere I’ve never been without help for the first time and got there without a problem to meet the kid who climbed all 7 summits of the world. His story inspired me. From there, I spent a night out last minute with some new friends of mine from college to see one of my favorite Youtubers. It was one of the best nights I’ve had in a long time. I took up a new hobby, photography, and have made my own photography account, bought my own camera and have entered two different competitions already. One of the competitions, all three of my submissions were hung on the wall.
And the thing that’s got me most terrified right now? One night while in my evening class, I suddenly had the idea to ask my teacher about internships where he worked. I’ve never had a job or an internship, my instructor works at the zoo, so I convinced myself to ask. He told me about what was offered and then mentioned he was looking for an intern over the summer. The due date for application materials was in two weeks. On such short notice, I suddenly told myself I wasn’t going to wait anymore. I rapidly set out to remaking my resume, making a letter, and getting two recommendations from teachers. My materials were late, but they were accepted and I went to the interview feeling so nervous.
Funny thing is, I was there for an hour and felt it went very well. But later my fear was starting up again and had me thinking, “Well, maybe I won’t get it, maybe that’s for the best, but at least we’ve tried something new.” It was convincing me that I was too inadequate to do this right now. But then I realized it was my fear disguising itself. Before I was this close to actually getting the internship, I was so excited. Being a Biology major, it seemed like divine timing that my own professor was looking for an intern and I’d randomly had the idea to ask about it. Last semester I’d even joked about the possibility of being an intern for one of my professors at some point during my college years. I let fear kill my excitement to work in an amazing place, get some work experience and take action towards my longer term goals.
I got the internship, and it starts on Wednesday. I find myself unable to stop thinking about it, yet I know I’m making mountains out of molehills. I keep worrying I’ll do something wrong, I won’t be the best intern they’ve ever had, maybe I won’t contribute as much as I hope to, all of that. I keep trying to distract myself from my thoughts because I know they aren’t productive.
But I know I don’t want to give up. I feel like everything I’ve set out to do this year, I’m finally doing. I’m finally trying to break free of my old habits. I can’t sit here and do nothing and expect a good life. I have to make that life happen. This fear I’m feeling is because I’m finally stepping out of my comfort zone and I’m finally pushing myself to have courage and do the hard things, to take action instead of watching opportunity pass by.
So even though I’m nervous, even though a small part of me keeps whispering that it wants to turn and run the other direction, I want to celebrate. I want to tell myself for once that I’m proud of myself for how far I’ve come. I never thought I would even be here. When I had depression, I told myself I’d never go to college, never get a job, never drive a car, etc. I’ve proven myself wrong on all accounts. I know I can do more than I tell myself I can.
I’m going to be fine. I’m going to work through this fear, and I’m going to stop being upset with myself for it. Showing myself compassion will go a longer way than beating myself over the head for chances not taken. Fear is just trying to protect me from imagined threats. For once, I’m finally trying to get over myself and any victim mentality I’ve ever had. Life is too short and I need to stop thinking too deeply and start doing more. My life is my responsibility. So are my actions and reactions, what I choose to believe, and what I choose to see. I don’t want regrets. I want memories.
Reinventing myself never felt so right.May 21, 2018 at 10:56 pm #208619
It sounds like you have made fantastic progress over the past year and have done things that scare you and feel better e.g prouder, more sure of yourself for it- that’s fantastic.
Three things I can think of about your internship (but tbh from your post it sounds like you are absolutely going to ace it 🙂 ) are:
1) a good book called ‘feel the fear and do it anyway about facing your fears
2) on the first day just remind yourself of all the other scary things that you have done and overcome just as you will with this one
3) keep reminding yourself that by taking the internship you are actively pursuing your dreams and goals and that is more than some people.
Very best of luck!!