Fear is a very multi-faceted thing. Regardless of age, fear only serves two purposes with the first one being to paralyze us and to stop us from evolving and becoming everything we are made to be.

What am I afraid of? When I was younger, it was of unseen creatures that went bump in the night. Fear was that cold feeling that kept you awake and that could only be cured with a kiss Goodnight. Now, it’s of tangible things and feelings that can happen to anyone. It often arrives disguised as butterflies in my stomach as an important day approaches. Fear no longer takes the form of the Bogeyman or the Chupacabra, and it is not written in books, whose pages are stained brown with time, and are heavy with the stories of ancient myths and legends. It is an emotion stirred up by the slightest mention of a solo presentation, or upon being called on to answer a question in class. Fear is no longer about what some mythical creature can do to you, but what you might end up doing to yourself.

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?” -Marianne Williamson

I’ve had this quote on my wall for many years, and it’s only recently that I have come to understand what it truly means. For years, those words have hung over my bed, with the words imprinting themselves deeper in my mind every time I step foot in my room, every time I wake up and every time I lay down to sleep. Like an itch you can’t scratch, the words have continued to resonate within me until I could finally understand their meaning. I suppose it’s the sort of question, whose answer is earned when you reach a specific age or a certain stage in your life, because I’ve come to realize that it is that same fear that stops me from sometimes saying what needs to be said. It is that same kind of fear, which used to stop me from writing what and how I wanted to write. Yet, it is the same fear that has taught me to live boldly, laugh freely and love completely.

In other words, fear’s other purpose is to push us forward, unlock hidden skills and to show us how to wield our new found talents with a bit more grace and agility. As a whole, it serves to help us rise to the occasion or to crush us under the weight of it all. Like the straw that breaks the camel’s back, I thought that my fear of heights would be what would prohibit me from truly living my life. Yet, it has been the one thing that has shown me how much strength I truly have. In the twenty seconds of courage that it took me to step off of that zip-lining platform, I learned more about myself and about life than I ever had before. Sometimes the smallest in the right direction is all that you need to take your life in a whole new direction. It may feel scary and it may seem like the hardest thing at the time, but every other one after that will feel like you are gliding.

~Alexandra :)

How does fear affect you?