Being Afraid of Your Future Is a Good Thing

You can be afraid and hopeful at the same time.

Photo by Robynne Hu on Unsplash

Can I be honest with you? I’m afraid and nervous about 2020.

I’ve set some goals I wish to reach by the end of the year, such as getting to five-thousand followers and writing an article every day, and I’m terrified I won’t reach them.

I’m frightened I won’t be able to put in the necessary work, that I’ll struggle, that I’ll fall short. There are so many fears that I kept willing myself to stop them.

“I shouldn’t be this afraid,” I thought. A couple of days later, I called bullshit on that thinking because I remembered one thing: You don’t have to stop your fears. You just can’t let your fears stop you.

What is courage?

The difference between those we label as courageous and those we label cowards isn’t the number of fears they have. It’s likely that a brave person and a “coward” have identical fears.

The difference is that the coward will let their fears consume them until they’ve become paralyzed.

The courageous person, however, will act in spite of their fears. They’ll take those screaming concerns and crush them into a small ball they throw into the corner wastebasket of their brain. Then, they begin.

I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. — Nelson Mandela

The point is, you can fear the future. You can be worried about what will happen or what won’t end up happening. But no matter what, you can’t let your fear deter you from doing what you want.

You can be afraid and hopeful at the same time

You can crush fear, throw it around like a rag doll, and you could even set it on fire, but fear is a persistent and strong motherfucker. It can’t be destroyed. This is why you have to stop trying to get rid of your fears.

You don’t want to get too comfortable with fear, but you do want to accept that it’s there and always will be.

Your job is only to make them smaller. You need to weaken your fears, and you do that by becoming stronger. You become more powerful by letting your hope, confidence, and trust come through.

As I said in the beginning, I’m terrified of many things — not reaching my goals, mainly. I thought these concerns were a bad thing, but they’re nothing. They’re nothing as long as I believe in myself.

Believe in yourself is a cliché for a reason

At this point, “Believe in yourself,” is a cliché phrase you scroll by on Instagram because you’ve seen a myriad of times. However, the phrase is still important.

You have to trust that you’re capable of reaching your goals, of winning, of getting what you’ve always desired. This hope in yourself needs to be stronger than the fears that scream the opposite.

I’m terrified of this next year, but the reason I haven’t curled up into a ball and cried in the corner of my room is that despite how big my fears are, the belief I have in myself and what’s coming is a hell of a lot stronger.

I’m going to repeat it, but this time, you can’t keep scrolling. Let it sink: believe in yourself so fucking hard.

Let that light shine over the darkness of your fears.

It’s okay to fear the future (it’s actually a good thing)

I’ve never been afraid of my future. I thought it was because we all have different fears, and that just didn’t happen to be one of mine.

I realized, though, that I was never scared because I had nothing to fear.

I ran a blog for three years, and I always had arbitrary goals and New Year resolutions, but I never truly cared about them. If you’ve read some of my other work, you know it’s because I never actually liked blogging. If I didn’t care about the work, why would I care about the goals?

This year is much different. This year, I have Medium, and that means a lot to me. This is where I want to make an impact for the next few years and where I want to earn a full-time income.

I care, and that’s why I’m afraid.

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” —
Eleanor Roosevelt

If you’re afraid of the future, maybe that’s a good thing. Perhaps you’ve stumbled upon something you care about — something you’ve never had before — and that’s why you’re scared.

Your fear doesn’t need to mean anything bad. It could just mean you’re on the right path. Own it… and then beat it.

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