Why You Should Stop Being Fearless

Ever try to recall the most frightening moments of your life? Have you ever been held at gun point or abused? Though many experience past trauma, I will tell you that those aren't the types of fears that bother the average millennial adult. This observation has been made after seeing countless patients, and also looking into my personal life. Most people get anxious about regular life happenings, which eventually pile up. When I tried to catalogue all my previous fearful experiences,  all I kept remembering we're mediocre moments. Silly juvenile teenage things like the moments right before a good whooping or getting caught making out in an empty parking lot by the local 5-0. But nothing could compare to the fears that I know our current generation of adults experience today. We are encapsulated in small daily fears and uncertainty, but ignore it.  We fail to recognize that fear is a necessary and natural human instinct. Maybe it's time to challenge the mind frame in which we process fear. 

Fear
1 : an unpleasant often strong emotion caused by anticipation or awareness of danger
2 : anxious concern : solicitude
3 : profound reverence and awe especially toward God
— Merriam- Webster
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I know a lot of high achievers have been taught that being fearless and invincible is the way to go. Having fear almost always implies some sort of weakness or lack of resilience. I found myself becoming an expert of tucking away my fears subconsciously to uphold a societal mold. Each race has it's own cute little stereotype, but I will reference my own here- the "strong black woman". This inevitably tragic superwoman persona plagues many, even without their own consent. Yes you can do anything- but you must arrive, and not be planted there. 

I’ve had to convince a lot of people when I first tell them I’m scared about something. Common first reaction is not to believe me or brush off what I am saying. You start to illegitmize your fears because of your success.

We all know from countless Marvel movies that there is always a point where the super hero gets scared shitless and hits rock bottom. Why is that always crux, the climax, and the most intriguing part of the movie? Because it is a quintessential emotion of human life. Life without fear is a lie. Furthermore, being completely fearless is exhausting and unrealistic. It's time we come to embrace our fears. 

If you don't, feelings start to blur. You begin to lack the ability to process and sort through  underlying emotions. The end result is almost always . . . anxiety. It spirals even deeper when those around you may not notice the signs or take time to help you acknowledge your fear. Whether you live in the ghetto or Beverly Hills, mental immaturities and illnesses exist. There is power in acknowledging together. It creates normalization instead of pretending. Millennial adults pretend a lot. 

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The key in all of this is learning how to harness emotions and being mindful of what is going on in your brain. Realizing fear or anxiety often times is the first step to change. Repeated practice of this is exactly what breeds courage. In fact, without fear one might argue that courage itself could not exist. 

So the next time you experience that unrelenting return of adulthood fear, take a break from the usual "fearless" response and take time to analyze and accept what scares you. Stay away from people who can't help you do this. It is through exploration and self reflection that one is able to find peace. Life is a bitch. People will always tell you to suck it up. But you owe it to yourself to not only overcome, but also understand your fears. 

 


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