It’s scary to be a human being, for countless reasons. It just is.
So, the first thing I want to say is, whenever you feel scared, remind yourself that life is scary, being alive is scary, existence itself can just flat-out be scary. Remind yourself, contrary to much regrettable, false messaging and conditioning, that it’s utterly normal to feel scared, to feel scared a lot, for all sorts of reasons.
Don’t shame yourself for feeling scared. Ever.
Instead, give yourself a virtual hug and say something like this to yourself: “I’m scared. I may (or may not) know what I’m scared of right now. It’s okay to feel scared. I’m a human being, therefore it’s totally normal to feel scared. I’ll get through my fear, one way or another. I don’t have to pretend I’m not scared, at least not to myself. It feels good to admit to myself that I’m scared, and it feels even better to admit it to myself and not shame myself. I don’t have to be scared of feeling scared. I can be okay feeling scared.”
We can live life scared. We can. And we must. Because life’s scary. Am I repeating myself? That’s okay, because the point’s that important.
Being scared, whether a little or very, whether sometimes or often, doesn’t have to stop us from living our lives the way we’d choose to if, somehow, we weren’t as scared as we feel. It’s a great idea to become better at accepting and tolerating states of fear versus fighting them and telling ourselves things like, “What’s wrong with me? Why am I so scared? Because I’m scared, I can’t do this. Because I’m scared, I’m not willing or ready to do this. I can only feel okay about myself and my life if and when I’m feeling less scared.”
We tend to chastise and self-restrict ourselves like this, often. When’s the last (or first) time you said to yourself, when feeling really scared, “Jesus, I’m feeling really scared. But if I choose to, I can be okay with that. I can accept this. I can decide it’s really okay to feel scared, even if I’d prefer never feeling scared.”
Another thing we do routinely is to compare ourselves to others, perceiving them to be infinitely more secure, composed, self-assured and together than we are. If not consciously, then subconsciously we tend to shame ourselves when making these comparisons.
But here’s the thing—whether we can see it or not, whether it’s obvious or not, all of us are scared by similar (and different) things. All of us feel insecure about similar (and different) things. It’s simply impossible to be alive and not feel scared and insecure.
So, while others may appear to be coasting along with blissful confidence, whether you know it or not they’re carrying their own secretive fears and insecurities. Because all thoughtful, sensitive, complex, self-aware people are.
Here’s to living your life, scared!