Why You Should Run Straight Into Fear
I have been afraid a lot lately. I was afraid to board a plane (I love flying, but the thought equally amazes and scares me). I was afraid to go to the conference. I was afraid of making real moves to realizing my dream. Why? It is what I want; it is what I wanted since I was, I don’t know, fourteen or fifteen years old.
I have also been very comfortable. I moved home to be with my family; my old bedroom is how I like it, I’m spending time with my dog (she’s sitting on my lap as I write this). I get to decided dinner almost every night—because I’m the pickiest eater in my family. I sleep in and get way more sleep than I ever did in college.
But I’ve also been kind of unhappy. While I love my family more than anything and redoing my room has been fun, it’s not how I pictured spending my early twenties. Don’t get me wrong, I’d rather be here than in grad school (My relationship with higher education has been tumultuous, to say the least).
At first, this was exactly what I wanted. But as time went on, I felt like I was missing out on what other people my age were doing in their day to day lives. I wanted that, but I was so comfortable that I didn’t make serious moves to change. So when I got on that plane and headed to my first writer’s conference, I was scared.
Scared enough that I didn’t want to go when I was running a little late for the first session. Scared enough that I didn’t want to listen to the speakers. Scared enough that I wanted to leave early. I was scared of the change, but mostly I was scared of the rejection.
What if I spent all this time writing a book and it never got published? What if I gave up going to grad school for psychology and it never paid off? What if I spent the rest of my days sitting in my childhood bedroom, bent over a computer, too paralyzed to write, dreaming about having a book published, never doing it, and watching everyone else live their lives and dreams on Instagram? That thought crushed me.
So I sucked it up. I sucked up being late and went to the first session. I sucked up not wanting to listen to the speakers and took it all in. I sucked up wanting to go back to the hotel and stayed and listened and learned. I learned so much from the sessions; I took so many notes. I came out with information that felt like I could put me closer to publishing a book and experiencing my dream.
I still have those feelings and, of course, my life hasn’t changed overnight. I’m still at home, and I don’t have a book published. But my fear has motivated me because I’m done feeling comfortable, and I’m ready for a change.