I’m afraid of heights. I’m afraid of bears. I’m afraid of being alone in the dark. I have fears, but I don’t let them control me. I don’t let them dictate my life, what I do or where I go. I have these fears, but they’re not permanent. That’s the thing about fears, they’ll only be permanent if you let them.
Now, don’t get me wrong. There are some fears that I will gladly never fix (like I don’t need to get over my fear of cockroaches, we’ll always be enemies), but it’s important to identify the BIG fears - the ones that stand in the way of your personal goals. Don’t let fear dictate your life. Understanding my fears, and using them to my advantage is something I’ve slowly been learning over the past few years.
Fears are great.
They’re great because they make you extra careful. You take extra precautions to prevent your fears from becoming reality, such as bringing a satellite phone if you’re afraid of getting lost in the middle of the woods. You prepare more when trying to conquer them, wanting to make sure you’re as okay as possible during the process. I was afraid of traveling and camping by myself, which led to my first trip being a very cautious one. I made sure to always be near heavily populated areas and trails. I camped in the center of a busy campground, to feel secure at night. I’m grateful for that fear because now I feel more prepared than I would have been otherwise.
You need to approach your fear as an obstacle, another challenge in life.
If you need extra motivation, if you’re really terrified of something but also really want to get over it, focus on this: how happy and proud you’ll be of yourself once it’s over and you’ve done it. A positive attitude, and focusing on all the good that will come of it is better than focusing on the negatives. Because once you’ve conquered that fear, you’ll realize it wasn’t that bad.
One day, I want to hike Angel’s Landing in Zion. I want to hike to the top of Half Dome in Yosemite. I want to backpack by myself at some point in Great Sand Dunes, and see the Milky Way. I want to go deep into Yellowstone’s wilderness. One day, I will.