Fear is a natural emotion. We all get scared sometimes. Going to a new school. Trying out for a sports team. Asking that guy or girl you like out on a date for the first time. Learning how to drive. These might be some things you might feel afraid to do or try.
Fear of the unknown is a real thing. So is fear of failure. These fears can keep us from doing and trying different things. We think they keep us safe, but what they really do is keep us from living our lives.
I remember back to my senior year of high school. I really wanted to go to the homecoming dance, but I didn’t get asked. I wasn’t going to go… and then one of my friends suggested that I go stag (by myself) and join my group of friends and their dates for dinner and the dance.
I thought about it for awhile. I really wanted to go, but I was afraid what other people might think or say. Would they make fun of me? Would I be laughed at for going by myself? Would anyone dance with me if I went? Would people feel sorry for me that I was the only girl without a date? All of these questions flooded through my head, and I had to make a choice. Would I let all of these fears keep me from going to my last homecoming dance, OR would I go and give myself the chance to have fun with my friends and be happy?
I decided to go. I had to follow my heart and face my fears. This was a “once in a lifetime” event, and I didn’t want to have any regrets. I had bought a dress “just in case” I got asked. I got my wardrobe ready. My friend Megan invited me over to get my hair and makeup done at her house and that made me feel special. I looked beautiful and I was smiling ear to ear, excited for the night to start.
The dance was amazing, and all the fears that I had never came true. My friends were happy I was there with them. No one made fun of me or felt bad for me, they told me they admired me and that I was brave. I had so much fun dancing with everyone! I didn’t have to worry about entertaining a date, I was able to float around the dance floor and boogie down with whomever i wanted to. I had a blast and it was liberating. I’m so happy I didn’t allow my fears to keep me from attending one of the most enjoyable and memorable nights of my high school experience.
Next time your afraid to do something, or try something new, I hope you remember my story. Taking a chance is worth it. Once you step over the hump of fear and into your own courage and power, you can go after what you want and find happiness.
So like the title says, leave the fear for Halloween… you have a glorious life to start living!
About the Author: Lieutenant Colonel Theresa BODNAR, Monthly Mentor, is a full time Soldier in the Army, a certified Army Master Resilience Trainer (MRT), a Positive Psychology Practitioner, Eating Psychology Educator, Author of Get UPP!: Understanding Positive Psychology, and an aspiring Motivational Speaker. She is excited to get to know you and share all sorts of positive psychology tools, inspirational blogs, and poetry with you. Read More…