Scared All the Time But Doing It Anyway
I got the title of this article from my dear friend Margaret Stolte who is an artist and comedian in NYC. She made this really cool print and there painted, in neat, squiggly lines were the words: Scared All The Time But Doing It Anyway. I was jarred by the piece, because while I knew it was true for me, I almost didn’t realize how scared I was until I read those words.
2020 has been a year, one that has made it very common to be scared at any moment, no questions asked.
But for me, fear is this emotion that oftentimes, feels useless. Fear doesn’t propel me forward and it doesn’t lead me to acceptance.
Instead when I lean into it, I lose the bliss of being oblivious to my own emotions, and I lose the ability to keep acting like everything is okay. I am scared of a lot of things. A lot of my fears are purely circumstantial, fears that I have inherited or are not necessarily chosen by me. Other fears are purely my inner critic coming down hard on myself. It feels small to feel scared, it feels weak. When you come from cultures and homes that always prioritize strength and resilience, being scared of something, is wrong or frivolous. There’s no time to be scared, no time to sit and realize that the reason you haven’t left your job yet is because you are afraid of unfamiliarity. There is no time to examine why you are staying in a relationship that stopped serving you a long time ago.
Fear gets the bad reputation that if you give into it, or show it attention, you are succumbing to your weaknesses. But what I have found is that when I explore my fear, I find the softest and most delicate parts of me. The parts that I discarded, to persevere and be resilient. The thing about those parts, is that they hold my truest desires, the parts of me that I push down to get from one day to the next. And being scared that you might learn something new about yourself, or that you will have to let someone or something go, is incredibly normal; it’s a human emotion that oftentimes when explored, leads to the most fruitful moments in life. Being scared doesn’t stop you from living, it only stops you if you give it too much power by ignoring it. I used to think avoiding something was good, but when you confront something, it does give you the space to propel forward. Contrary to my former thought, fear didn’t hold me back, it pushed me forward. So that’s what I do now, I examine my fear often, and because I am human, I don’t believe that one day I will become fearless. Instead I learn that the true power is being scared, and doing it anyway.
To buy Margaret’s work go to her website: margaretstolte.com
Follow her on IG: @thisbitchforpresident