Strong Enough to Outlast Your Fear

Strong Enough to Outlast Your Fear 

By Belladonna

Fear is a strange thing. It comes in many different forms, some rational, some not. One of the few things we all have in common is that we all fear something – whether it’s spiders, exams, dying alone, or death itself. Whether or not you can tell from the outside, everyone is afraid.

I am afraid that my life is not my own. Every few weeks, I realize that my life has been dependent on those around me. As the first child and only daughter in a traditional African family, I’ve always faced pressure to keep everything together while setting an example for my younger siblings. Because of that, my life mainly revolved around school and my family. As a child, I never had the urge to “rebel.” I just wanted to be a good student and a good daughter. I realized too late that, because of my rigid focus on academics and family, I never truly gave myself the chance to discover who I am.

Now I’m at the age where I should know what I want to do with my life, but I honestly have no clue. I fear that I wasted the years I should’ve been discovering myself and spent them studying. The irony of it is, I studied so much yet still don’t feel particularly smart. Now, I’m getting rebellious urges, but I’m afraid it’s too late. The balance of my life in relation to that of those around me has become so delicate that I’m afraid if I step outside the bounds, it’ll cause a domino effect. Would it be a necessary change? I don’t know. That scares me, too. There’s another fear – fear of the unknown.

However, I’ve made it this far; we all have. So, we must be doing something right. I’m a firm believer in the fact that strength is built from experience. Whatever we as individuals have experienced, we have come out stronger as a result; we’ve learned something new. So, whatever you’re afraid of, acknowledge it. The fear keeps us alert, keeps us ready for the next challenge. There’s no guarantee that there will be a tomorrow for any of us. So, be afraid today. Stare your fear in the face and acknowledge its existence. Work to overcome it. It won’t be easy, and it won’t be done in a day, but if you are fortunate enough to get a tomorrow, you’ll know that you were strong enough to outlast your fear by one day.