"That cannot be true. I don't feel fearful."
Well, when it comes to fear, the opposite is true: when you don't feel fear, that is when you're most afraid. You have been choosing all the safe options because you're afraid of choosing those that would make you uncomfortable and afraid.
There's a sure way to tell that you're living your fears - you are unhappy.
Think about the decisions you've made so far - the friends you hang out with; the school major you picked; the job you're in or just any day-to-day decisions.
Then as honest as you could be, see how many of the below are true for you:
- Fear of taking the untrodden path, you chose the one already paved.
- Fear of disapproval from others, you do what they approve.
- Fear of taking too much time figuring out yourself, you copied others.
- Fear of hard work, you took the easy way out.
- Fear of falling behind while you explore, you gave up the adventure.
- Fear of losing, you raced to the destination and skipped the journey.
- Fear of being not good enough, you settled.
- Fear you can't make a living out of it, you chose what would pay.
- Fear of what others might say, you followed the conventions.
- Fear of doing it alone, you went along with others' decisions.
- Fear of rejection, you chose not to say.
- Fear you might not succeed, you didn't even try.
- Fear you might ACTUALLY succeed, you hid your true gifts. Because success is more uncertain than failure.
You have not been living your true desires but your fears, in the name of practicality. Feelings of discontent and unhappiness are actually your greater self, the one that wants you to live your best self calling you out for what you are not doing right.
Healthy fear is a human instinct to help us survive - so that we will exercise due diligence and use our intelligence to keep ourselves out of danger. But modern people have allowed unhealthy fear - that are meant to seek approval/ certainty/ comfort - to stop them from doing that which pose no real danger to their lives except for feeling uncomfortable/ uncertain.
While unhealthy fear keeps us safe, it also keeps us from exposing ourselves to possibilities; from achieving our potentials and living the fulfilling life that would make us whole and happy. And the more times you choose approval, certainty and comfort, the more you reinforce unhealthy fear.
Don't let unhealthy fear keep you from doing what is important to you; would make you better, lift you higher and definitely happier. And have a plan to make it happen. Because really, what's the worst that could happen that you can't deal with? It's just more work on your part.
Before you knew it, life would be near its end. Come that time, would these fears that you have now still matter or would you fear not having lived life the way you truly wanted more?
Live bolder. Because,
"Where fear is, happiness is not." - Seneca
A ship is safe at the dock but that is not what it is built for.