I think we all have some fear in us. I know I do. It does not always manifest in that ‘I’m shaking in my boots’ way. Have you ever made up your mind to do something and almost gone through with it before thinking there’s an easier alternative? Have you ever just made up a reason why you should not go for something? Most times, this is the fear talking.
I have been afraid for a long time. Afraid to grow, afraid to change and afraid to truly show vulnerability. But in the last week, I came to a conclusion. This conclusion is not something new, but quotes that are repeated over and over again. I decided to let go.
We all talk about being unafraid and chasing our dreams or goals but seldom take on the challenge. I am taking on the challenge. You can do it with me if you want to. Fear doesn’t always manifest as we expect it to, but most times there’s a pattern.
There’s a sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach. I felt this for most of the first few weeks of my internship. Everyday as I walked to work I thought, “this is the day I get fired” even though I had done nothing wrong. It’s that kind of fear that holds us from reaching our full potential. We are scared to start our own enterprise because it might fail and this leads us to build someones else’s successfully. Think about it, with a ll the marketing knowledge or photography knowledge or whatever skill or talent you have been providing to help someone else’s business succeed, you could have been making yourself a name or brand with that skill.
The reason why most of us don’t know our worth or refuse to charge that is because we are scared we might lose people once we tell them. The “who do you think you are” principle holds us captive to our fears. The first thought is “What if I fail?” As I’m writing this, there’s a position I have to apply to. It’s something I saw while browsing the web and I thought “I’m not going to get it” so I moved on. As luck would have it, someone else came across the same opportunity and sent it to me. I have been procrastinating in the week that this was sent to me. But I am going to apply. That’s the point of this post, learning to see beyond my fears. After all, the worst thing that can happen is that I would be declined, which would have the same result as me not applying, except that now I know that there is something I have to improve to be as good as those out there who did get that position.
A few weeks ago, two banks lost their accreditation in Ghana and the public went in on them. There have been so many things people have associated with the failure of the companies. One is the decision of Kofi Amoabeng the founder of Unique Trust Financial Services not to pay tithe in the church as most Christians do. But this logic does not stand since the other institution apparently has pastors as shareholders. Every interview he did was stripped and analysed and his responses mocked. This is nothing new, but then again when I look back at it, it might be what pushes me to remain in my comfort zone. To not have anyone look at me and go “who does she think she is?”
Maybe it’s time I regained my nerve about someone asking that question. I think I am building the life I want to live, making strides to make myself happy without thinking about what others think or what will make them comfortable or happy. After all, the only reason they have time to ask who I think I am is that they have problems with their own lives and they think that tearing me down will somehow make their lives better and bring my smile down a notch.
So the question I ask myself to keep me moving forward with my head held high is “does this make you feel fulfilled?” If my answer is “yes,” I know I am on the right path. Besides, who ever got successful by paying attention to what other people thought of them personally? And if being myself and happy means a little misbehavior once in a while, I just have to remember that,
“Well-behaved women seldom make history.”
– Laurel Thatcher Ulrich.