Some say it’s healthy. Some say it means you have something to lose. But to me, it’s what paralyzes you. It’s what keeps you from moving forward.
Take a moment to think about your life. Is there anything you wish you could do but don’t? Why not?
Being in my final year at Ferris, I’ve had some time to sit back and observe my life. I am sad to say there are many regrets — regrets that stemmed from fear.
In high school, I was loud. I was the first one to raise my hand in class and the last one to be seen quietly standing on the sidelines during a school dance. I was fearless, confident and indestructible.
After graduation, things changed. For the life of me, I can’t say when or how, but as I got older I started to doubt myself. My vocabulary changed from “we should” to “maybe we could.” At first, I didn’t notice it and they were just small changes. It wasn’t until my spring 2018
course in interviews that I was called out on it.
The purpose of the interviewing course was to practice being interviewed for future and potential employers. The instructor would pick apart your interview in front of the class and, in the end, I’m glad she did, because it was then I realized I’ve been belittling myself. She told me I talk about my ideas and my thoughts as if I don’t believe they are of value. It took a few more interviews before I realized she was right.
After passing the course, I couldn’t get what I learned out of my head. I noticed how I always moved out of other peoples’ ways, how I’d submit to whatever other people said at work even if I disagreed and how I never backed my ideas with confidence.
I don’t know about you, but I find it frustrating when a professor asks the class a question and everyone is silent. You mutter what you think the answer is but are too afraid of being wrong that you don’t raise your hand. Then, of course, the professor says the answer, your answer, almost word for word. And you kick yourself for submitting to your doubt and say you won’t make that mistake again, but then you do.
I came to Ferris prepared to take on the world but instead found myself locked in my room. I was too afraid to go out and try to make friends with my roommates last year because, for the three years before that, the experiences were so negative. I was scared that would happen again. Rarely do I speak out in class or at work because I don’t want to get it wrong. Now, five years later, I’m staring graduation in the eyes, and all I can see are the things I wish I would’ve done, the person I could’ve become had I not let my fears rule me.
Don’t let fear paralyze you. Being wrong is okay. What’s not okay is letting the fear of being wrong keep you from being who you are.
So, take a look at your life. Is there anything you wish you could do but don’t? Why not? It has taken me five years to come to my realization. I only hope that it doesn’t take you as long.