I’ve always been obsessed with the idea of being brave.
“Be brave” is the motto I use to get through my everyday life. The quote I hear in my head when I don’t want to do something out of my comfort zone. It’s the one quality that I’ve always strived to have. This characteristic has inspired actions that have lead me to live the best life I could have imagined.
But I wasn’t always brave. For many years, I was afraid to go after what I really wanted. Whether it was a career, university, scholarship, a boy or something as simple as what I thought my group of friends should do one night; I was afraid to say what I truly wanted.
I’ve always been extremely worried about what other people thought of me and what other people would think if I went after what I desired most out of life. I didn’t think that other people thought I was smart enough, funny enough, pretty enough or worthy of going after what I wanted. I let the fear of what I thought other people thought run my life for what feels like a lifetime.
So I waited around.
I figured that if I was too afraid to go after what I wanted, I would wait around. I waited in the shadows with fear and uncertainty. Hoping that one day, just by chance, my dream would stumble upon me rather than me stumbling upon it through hard work and perseverance.
I didn’t want to put myself out there. I was too scared to tell my friends what I truly wanted. I was afraid that my family would think I was crazy for not pursuing a career that was more “worth my time.” It was completely unnerving to think about the consequences if I did not succeed in what I truly wanted.
So I continued to wait. I waited and waited and waited for what felt like years but was only a few moments in time. I recognized that I was not going to be discovered for my talents by hiding in the shadows. Getting noticed by someone else for your amazing work without trying to be noticed is a one in a million chance. Trying to get noticed by purposely hiding and hoping someone will notice you is like the Knicks trying to win the NBA Finals; it just won’t happen.
One day as I was scrolling through social media and trying to convince myself that mediocre really isn’t that bad, I came across a question that would forever change my life.
What would you do if you weren’t afraid?
I immediately had six answers to this question. I knew exactly what I would do if I wasn’t afraid. I would pursue the career I wanted, I wouldn’t be afraid to study what some people thought was a “poor profession.” I would stand tall and be confident. I would be brave and not let fear of what other people might think run my life.
Fear is a horrible figment of the mind to let stand in the way of you chasing your dreams and getting what you want out of life.
The mind plays dirty tricks. Sometimes we can be our biggest supporters and cheerleaders. But most of the time, when we let it, the mind tears us down. The mind is our biggest bully. It tells us we can’t do things that we are actually very capable of accomplishing. It can convince you that you are not good enough, the fears you have are legit and those things you’ve always wanted, are not for you. The mind will say that your dreams are too hard to accomplish and that settling is better for you. The mind, if we let it, lets fear run and ruin our lives.
In the end, fear is only a figment of our imagination. We create fear and nurture it until it prohibits us from growing and pursuing the things that we want most. To be happy, we must do the things that scare us. Living a comfortable, mundane life and not taking chances is no way to live.
So I ask you, what would you do if you weren’t afraid?
Be brave and do it.
Featured Image via We Heart It