There is a flash and suddenly a giant boom as the clouds roll. Windows shake from the vibration and lights flicker, threatening a power outage. A child runs to their parents in the middle of the night, woken up and scared of the storm outside, their imagination running wild as the sounds persist in the dark of their bedroom.
However, there is no immediate danger. This imaginary evil only exists in the child’s mind, though the fear holds strong nonetheless. Whether what we perceive is truth or fantasy, its power can alter how we proceed in life.
While children are simply frightened by the potential monster under their bed, or a possible boogeyman in the closet, adults are as easily as scared by the unknown.
For many, the future is full of fear. When we are younger, the future seems bright, full of new words that help us express ourselves and swing sets that allow us to soar to new heights. But with age, we become tight-lipped and afraid of falling, fearing the actual essence that makes life worth living. We fear risks and decision-making and change. Remaining stagnant feels less threatening than taking a step forward even though moving may only result in a stumble or fall, while inactivity will slowly crush the soul.
To be scared stiff is to miss what could be. There will always be the chance that things will go wrong and you will have to start over. But there is an even greater chance that things will turn out wonderfully. Most of the qualms we have about the future stem from our own minds, starting off as worries and manifesting into paralyzing ‘what if’ scenarios.
But most of all, we often do not make that move forward because we are afraid what we want may actually come true. If we stop ourselves preemptively, we will always keep the dream alive, for having a dream to aspire to sometimes means more than trying and failing. However, if one never tries, one will never learn that they could very well obtain exactly what their heart desires.
Yet nothing is wasted. Every effort, every challenge is a chance to learn more about yourself and the world around you. Only fear can blind you from the beauty and possibility that surround you. And though it may sound cliché and a tad cheesy, one line from the Hilary Duff movie A Cinderella Story says it all: “Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game.”