Much of the unhappiness we have in our lives stems from fear. Such as fear to start something new, stray away from the norm, or failure.
Starting anything new can be a daunting task. Maybe you want to start a new hobby, such as knitting or playing billiards. First, perhaps you fear not having an adequate amount of time for either one of these interests. Yet, we should have a creative outlet, make time for it, and find new ways to enjoy ourselves. Secondly, maybe once you’ve set time aside, you feel you are too old to be any good at knitting or billiards because they take years to perfect. What matters when finding an enjoyable hobby is not necessarily that you are a professional at it, but that you relish your time doing it.
If you’re like me, you’re incredibly competitive, and you want to be successful with anything you spend your valuable time on. But you will only find what you like by experimenting and trying things out. How would you ever know if you enjoyed knitting or playing pool if you never picked up knitting needles and yarn, or racked up billiard balls and shot with a pool cue? The answer is, you wouldn’t. You only know if you try. Trying is the first step to conquering fear.
Change in routine
Many people fear a change in routine. Once they get acclimated to a new work schedule or way of life, that’s where they are comfortable, and every effort will be made to stop any diversion from this plan. I am a planner by nature, so for me, it is tough to stray away from my routine. I like to know details in advance, not after the fact. Spontaneity isn’t my total enemy, but let’s say it isn’t my biggest friend, either. However, over the years, I’ve learned that spontaneously switching up even the littlest things in your routine can be invigorating.
Have you ever taken a long way home on your daily commute from work because it’s farther away from the city and has picturesque trees with moss hanging down as low as you stand tall? Or drove the route over the bridge so you could see the sun reflect on the water? These are just two examples of how powerful a simple change in routine can be, if you get past the initial fear of diverting from it, to do so.
It’s often you hear people having a fear of failure. They don’t want to try something new or divert from their routine because they might fail at what they attempt to do. What if they’re offered to take on a new role at their job, but their fear of failure, especially with the immense responsibility the position entails, causes them not to accept it. Or maybe you’ve just graduated high school, and you have 2,000 dollars in your savings account. You can take that money and put it towards college tuition, as planned. Or, you can spend and do what you wanted with it the entire time, start a business.
It’s not to say spending your savings on tuition isn’t the smarter option. It’s to say, if you feel in your gut, in your soul, that you were destined to start this business you’ve been dreaming of since you were ten, and you want to use the money you’ve built up to see this dream through, that you have the prerogative to do so. Because what should never happen is letting fear be the determiner in our decision making. More specifically, you should never let your fear of failure inhibit you from enthusiastically pursuing your passions.
I started my first website in 2017, launched this one in 2020, and have yet to make any money off it. I’ve invested time, energy, money, and countless other things I’m sure I’m forgetting. If you asked me if I ever regret it, I would tell you emphatically, no. One of my most meaningful accomplishments has been creating Align. Don’t get me wrong; I had many fears when I first started. Would people accept my content and support me? Would they appreciate all of the thought and hard work that goes into merely one article?
Unfortunately, I even thought and was encouraged to think about by others if this was just a waste of my time and talents. I told myself I would make the leap and never look back. My initial fear of creating something new that others wouldn’t accept or find interesting, changing my routine for something that required a significant devotion of time and money, and ultimately, failing, almost stopped me from completing one of the most important things I’ve ever done in my life.
If you let fear control your life, you’ll go through it feeling empty-handed. You’ll have regrets that will come back to haunt you. At the end of the day, life is all about taking risks. It’s about living outside of your comfort zone, to encourage growth. It’s about conquering fear and realizing that others can assist you in that journey, but ultimately you are the only one who can overcome it.