I Hope Fear Is Temporary

By Nicole Cobar

I would not call myself a fearful person. I am not afraid of clowns, the dark, or heights. Death, injury, and government collapse are things that concern me. Still, they do not horrify me. I do have three fears that make my spine tingle whenever I think of them.

The first one is isolation. In my life, there have been times where I was isolated- namely from my classmates. When I started puberty two years before everyone else, a period of about three months when I had no friends, and when we did PE and I was the last one to be picked. These moments made me feel uncomfortable and caused me a great deal of unhappiness. I never want to feel that way again. Plus, I did not like being singled out socially. I love to be surrounded by people. I am a social creature, who loves to have fun, laugh, and enjoy life with my friends and family. When I was isolated, I could not enjoy life’s simple pleasures. I never want to go through that again.

My second fear is all types of failure. I believe this is a common fear that many of us share, however, I think for most this fear is more passive than it is for me. While someone might start to fear failure around exam season or after not being able to find a job, I think about failure constantly. In every assignment I do, big or small, I have to dodge failure.

My last and most prominent fear is very common: the fear of judgment. I think just about everyone is afraid of being judged, though most people would not list it as a fear since it is so prevalent. The thought of being judged petrifies me because I do not want to lose the respect of the people around me. That is why I am always prepared. I know what I will say, and how I will say it because I do not want to miscommunicate and send the wrong message to anyone since that might cause some judgment towards me. When I am in a situation where I cannot plan what I will say and do, I feel very uncomfortable and extremely vulnerable.

These fears are very similar to each other since they are not things, but circumstances. Being isolated, failing, and being judged are all situations that no one expects to find themselves in. I realize how irrational these fears are because these situations are unavoidable. At one point or another everyone fails, everyone finds themselves alone, and everyone is judged. I am fully aware that one day my worst fears will be a reality, yet I am still ghastly afraid of them.

When you look up quotes about fear, they are uplifting, encouraging everyone to stop being afraid. However, to stop fearing is not as simple as these quotes suggest. Fear is not something you easily forget about; it is something you have to conquer, little by little. I have had these three fears for as long as I can remember, and I know that they have prevented me from doing things that I want to. All my life, I have heard that fear will hold me back, and it has. I am at a point in my development when I can kick any bad traits, habits, or beliefs that I have. I think it is about time that I conquer my fears. Not because fear is bad or makes someone inferior, but because I want to grow as a person. In order to become the person I want to be, I need to overcome my fears.

In honor of October, a month that glamorizes fear, I will try to overcome my three worst nightmares. I realize that it will take a lot longer than 31 days, but I have to start sometime, so why not now?