We live in a frightening world. There are things that everyone should be scared of, or at least feel a little uneasy around; snakes, spiders, creepy dolls, dark deserted streets at night, clowns, MRI machines, taxes, and sometimes even commitments. Everyone is different, which is a good thing. It would be boring if we were all alike, so it only stands to reason that everyone would have different fears as well.
What should we do? Should we avoid the things we are afraid of at all costs? Some things ... absolutely. A fear can take us deep down to our inner core and bring us to our knees. But if a fear is just a discomfort, perhaps it is something we need to overcome for our own sake in order to build stamina and our confidence level.
If you are afraid of heights for a certain reason, maybe it's not a good idea to jump out of a plane (with a parachute, of course). But if you're afraid because you've never tried it or because you've piggy backed on to someone else's fear, that isn't good either. That fear now holds you captive.
If you cannot swim, then you should never consider cliff diving. But riding in a canoe while wearing a life jacket on a lazy river with someone who is experienced on the water might be worth considering.
What things should we never be afraid of? To try something new. Failure. Falling off the horse and getting back on (metaphorically speaking). We will never be able to control certain aspects of our lives, but whoever said that we would? The world has lots of unknowns; some good, some not so much. We have to deal with whatever cards we are dealt and learn to not only find a way to cope, but hopefully bring something good out of it as well.
I've known people who have dealt with sickness, with grief, and with overcoming unthinkable odds. But they didn't let their situations define who they were or who they wanted to be. Through the process they learned things about themselves they never knew. They discovered their inner strength, they discovered their courage, and they discovered their voice.
It's okay to be afraid, when needed, but don't let it stop you from reaching for the stars, from attaining your dreams, or from letting your voice be heard.
What are you afraid of? How do you handle it? Have you been able to get past it?