By Alyssa Sepulveda, Guest Writer
Fear is the root that enables humans to act. To cope, we try to act in certain ways to combat our fears, but if we’re not careful, we can reinforce them. Not all of it is our fault, as we all have had experiences that have influenced who we are and how we act and think. We’ve all been fearful in our lives.
Whether it be on our first ride on a rollercoaster or the fear of not living up to our potential, we have all had moments that have made us afraid.
We fear that we will be unsuccessful if we do not attend college. We fear that if others see the real version of ourselves, we will not be accepted. We fear not having control or power, so we have conflict and war. Everyone holds fear, and when we experience it, it can make us feel isolated.
As I have gotten older, I’ve realized how much of a cautious person I can be. I typically stay under the radar, do what I need to do and stay in my comfort zone. In all honesty, I do not like big changes because they make me feel unsafe. Coming to Xavier, while I was excited to see what college was about, I was very afraid of what my future.
Now, being a sophomore, I’ve realized if I did not take that step into the unknown, I would not be who I am today. The thing about fear is that, as Will Smith once said, “God placed the best things in life on the other side of fear.”
But, with the current culture of our world, this may sound like an unfathomable statement. How can we not be afraid? With the pandemic, as well as the racial injustices that are happening every day, we are in a constant state of alertness.
Although we may not be able to control situations on a global scale, we can control our reactions to those situations. Instead of living in fear, we must work through our fears, because we will only come out better for it.
Now, I know it is easier said than done. When we come face-to-face with fear, it can keep us immobilized. More often than I would like, fear has won in my life. I have been in situations where I remained timid out of fear of what others would think or do in response to how I decided to live my life.
But I am tired of fear winning. We live in a society that has conditioned us to be scared. The moments that feel too scary to take that leap are exactly the moments when we should jump. We cannot let past experiences influence how we live today. Instead we must learn from them to make us more confident, intentional and generous in our actions.
We take life so seriously, but no one really knows what they’re doing. It is easy to remain on autopilot and just react to situations that we encounter. But life isn’t happening to us, it is happening for us. Given current events, now the time to do things that we have been afraid to do. We must break out and speak our truth, even if our circumstances make it hard to do so.
In life, there will always be fear. But it is up to us to decide whether we let fear dictate our lives or push us to the good, to become even braver and more courageous than we were before.