Controlling My Fears – Life Update

Happy early Mother’s Day to all my mom readers! I hope you have a great weekend relaxing and enjoying family. Too often we forget to thank you for all the work you do for us. From driving us to sporting events, cooking dinner, and being our shoulder to lean on, you do more for us than “thank you” could ever cover. But nonetheless, thank you from all of us 🙂

Today, I wanted to share a little about what’s going on in my life with the semester having come to a close and me now being a senior! I have to say, the past few years have been a journey with plenty of ups and downs. I’ve changed my major three times, added a second major, participated in undergraduate research, travelled, and mentally grown like never before. I’m on a completely different path than when I first started, and I have a feeling it will change yet again. I have a general direction that I’m shooting for, but how I get there is up to life.

I know I want to work in psychology and study personality and motivation. I want to understand what makes some people more prone to seek self-improvement and others to stay stagnant. How do I do that? Right now, that looks like a PhD in social psychology. But what do I do with that? Well I’ve got a few options…

Most people with a doctorate in that field go on to do research. Typically, that’s in a university setting as a professor. While I think I’d be a great professor, I feel called to do more than that, but I wasn’t sure exactly what that “more” was…until my mom opened my eyes one night. We were on the phone talking about what was next for me when all of a sudden she said, “You should write a book.”

I sat there for a second, dumbfounded to say the least…but also slightly intrigued. If you would have told me in high school that I’d even consider being an author and speaker, I would have laughed. I hated public speaking. I hated writing. Science was where I found interest. But now that I think about it, did I hate writing and speaking because I found no interest in it or was it because I was scared…scared that it challenged me in ways science never did? Was I actually avoiding them out of fear?

College has taught me that very often, people feel fear because they are scared to do what life is truly asking of them, not because danger is imminent. I think many people never realize their calling for this very reason. Humans are hardwired to avoid fear. It’s how we’ve survived this long. But the fear we experienced throughout history is different than the fear we face today. No longer do most of us need to worry about survival in the wilderness. Rather, the majority of contemporary fear stems from becoming uncomfortable. It stems from straying from the norm, bending the rules society has set in place, and chasing our passions.

Blazing our own trail is scary, but sometimes it’s exactly what we need to do.

Is there something in your life that you feel called to do but are too scared to pursue? Ask yourself why that is. Maybe it’s the uncertainty. Maybe you’re unsure of your purpose. Maybe you’re scared that you’ll miss out on an opportunity. Or maybe you’ve had that fear for a while, but you keep distracting yourself from it. If any of these are the case, I urge you to take some time for reflection. Come to terms with why that fear is present, then confront it full force. We can’t let something as little as fear dictate our lives. Like I always say, life has a way of working itself out. So we might as well take a chance every once in a while.

It’s better to walk through the mud than to stand in the quick sand.

So what am I doing now? I’m taking summer classes while my friends relax. I’m studying for the GRE, so I can take my next steps. I’m working to gain experience mentoring students. I’m not saying this to get praise. I’m saying it because I’m walking through the mud. Trust me, I’d rather be at the beach, and I’d rather be home this weekend celebrating Mother’s Day with my mom.

But thankfully, I have a mom that understands sometimes life requires sacrifices and who pushes me to be the best person I can be. She knows that sometimes we have to do things we don’t want to in order to get where we want in life.

So that’s what I’m doing. I’m pushing myself academically and emotionally. I’m making myself uncomfortable…and I’m contemplating writing a book. I guess you could say I’m just going through life 🙂

I’ve got one more year left, and I want to make it the best one yet. You all have made the past 9 months the best ones yet. Thank you so much for your support and for challenging me every week.

As always, don’t forget to like, comment, and share. Most of all don’t let fear control you. Control it.

“Being fearless isn’t the point. That’s impossible. It’s learning how to control your fear, and how to be free from it. That’s the point.” ~ Divergent

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