“I don’t know how it gets better than this. You take my hand and drag me head first, fearless.” Don’t worry, this isn’t an ode to Taylor Swift. But she’s got the right idea with this song. There is something so innately freeing about living life fearlessly. Terrifying sometimes, sure, but, as I’m constantly learning, so worth the effort.
Let me give you a little background information. I have always been an extremely reserved person. Nothing wrong with that but add in crippling social anxiety to the mix and life gets a little more difficult. Because of this winning personality combination, I have always avoided conflict or problems, choosing to flee instead of fight my way through anything. Until two years ago. See, two years ago, fresh out of college, I landed an internship with Disney. Yeah that’s right, Walt Disney World: the happiest place on earth. Except I hated every second of it. The masses of people and some extreme personalities in coworkers and guests that I had never experienced first hand before send my anxiety levels through the roof. As far as my mental health was concerned, I had never been worse. When my internship was over, I didn’t walk away from Disney, I ran. And then I realized that that was my problem; instead of facing any of the difficulties I had encountered at the internship, I kept running away from them all. In no way had that helped me. In fact, I probably made things ten times worse for myself. So I decided to change. I decided to start facing my fears.
Because music is my everything, let me share with you some more song lyrics that have played a crucial role in helping me live fearlessly. They’re from a song called “Proof” by my all time favorite band Paramore. “If I’m woman with no fear, just like I claim I am.” Simple, straight to the point, this line in a song has become a personal mantra of sorts. Any time I feel like I can’t face something, those words immediately spring into my head and, crazy as it sounds, give me the strength to keep moving forward.
Living fearlessly does not mean a total absence of fear. Just because I made a conscious decision to face my fears doesn’t mean I suddenly have none. It actually means the opposite. Living fearlessly is about me acknowledging the many things that scare me or make me uncomfortable and deciding that I am capable of confronting and working through them. It takes a lot of practice, a lot of baby steps. Living fearlessly is not about being perfect. Just like with everything, there are times when I succeed and times when I fall short. But it’s about looking back and realizing how truly far I’ve come, and with that realization comes a new confidence, a new inner strength. A woman with no fear, just like I claim I am.