Quarter Life Crisis - Fear
Conquering physical fears are easy, it's conquering the mental ones that takes courage.
Growing up, I was told like most children that you could be whoever you want to be. I was told to be a good person, get good grades, and speak my mind. So, inevitably, I followed all three rules. However, no one prepared me for how hard my twenties would be on my mental state. They say twenties are the time when kids become adults, where they discover who they are and who they are not. The twenties are a time for discovery, trial-and-error, and growth. However, knowing all these things does not prepare you mentally for how hard it is to discover yourself, recoup from trial-and-error, and recognize opportunities that you immediately assign as future failures.
The courage and curiosity that I had as a child has somehow suppressed itself into an almost non-existent state. Ironically, I believe whole-heartedly that curiosity and courage should be what’s driving you in this decade of your life. What no one prepared me for, was the fear and doubt that I slowly grew in to, to replace the loss and sorrow that I’ve experienced.
I’m very aware of how fear is the main captain of my life. It controls my thoughts on career paths to take. It controls my reasoning behind staying in the same town I’ve miserably stayed in. It ultimately controls how I refuse to take a jump of bravery when making decisions. It has allowed me to be annoyingly comfortable with where I am at 25 years old in 2018.
I’ve managed to avoid many failures, but have no real stories of triumph to share. I consistently dread the question of “what have you accomplished or feel proud of” because fear has allowed me to be abysmally plain. Deep down though, I know I am far from it. It is the creeping drought of fear that continuously steers me on where I am going. Fear of choosing the bad choice, fear of failing and how my close ones will view me, fear of trying to do something I enjoy, and ending up regretting it in the end. Fear tells me I am comfortable, but I am certainly not happy.
I write this to encourage others, as well as myself, to recognize that fear may be what’s holding you back and nothing more, from discovering who you are. You may find disappointments, unfulfilling ventures, hell, you may even find heartbreak, but letting go of fear allows you to learn and grow. Fear has been inhibiting my ability to learn and grow because it immediately shuts down the slightest hope by disguising the potential outcome as certain failure. It tells me why bother trying when there is potential failure. But if there is even a glimpse of hope, why not go for it to create a learning opportunity and develop a deeper understanding of who you are. I stress the importance of letting go of fear in your twenties because it could be what’s holding you back from self-discovery and satisfaction.