I’ve met a lot of people along the way who have asked me how I’m so fearless, willing to try anything, and how my confidence is never skewed. This is merely a perception. The point of taking risks is being fearless. You have to be fearless in order to give your risk a chance of succeeding.
So many people are afraid of failure – I, a hardcore perfectionist and stubborn Capricorn – am PETRIFIED of failure. The fear of failing flows through every vein my body and beat of my heart. But I’ve come to learn to manage that fear and channel it into motivation, a way of pushing myself even farther.
Overcoming fear has a lot to do with self-perception and self confidence. Once you believe in yourself, you have less fear. Seems logical, right? But most people seem to think being fearless means being naïve. This is sooo not the case. If you are willing to take chances, you are not naïve. Being naïve is doing something without understanding or accepting what the outcome could be.
I’ve come to find that traveling has been the biggest gift when it comes to my confidence and ability to manage my fear. When I took off to Italy to live in Milan for a semester with no idea as to what to expect, I was nervous, anxious and most of all completely clueless. I didn’t have much international travel experience under my belt and barely knew a lick of Italian (my first biggest mistake). From the moment I arrived to the moment I left I was learning something new about myself every second of every day, and some of it I didn’t like so much.
You may wonder – what could you learn about yourself and not like? Well – I learned, or just finally came to terms with, the fact that I am hands down one of the most stubborn people on the planet. When I believe something I don’t budge. When I feel something, I don’t change my view. When I do something – I own it entirely. This isn’t such a bad thing – but it can cause one to be very closed minded. And being closed minded is a lethal trait when in a foreign country living by someone else’s culture and rules.
I use to have to have a plan for EVERYTHING- down to what time I would brush my teeth at night. Going to Italy – I had to throw that habit out the window because there were way too many things I couldn’t plan for – like the metro breaking down, power going out, walking all the way to class to find out its been cancelled, being asked on a last minute trip to another new country (sounds exciting yes but when you’re a habitual planner this can cause major anxiety), and the list goes on.
My lesson and final thoughts for you: make the most of everything you do and never be afraid to change your ways. Drop your plans, your walls, your reservations. And just live freely. You’ll be amazed where life takes you.
Once I let go of all my reservations – I had the best 6 months in Italy, the least stressful last semester of college, and jumped off the deep end by moving to LA without a job and barely knew a soul. Now I have many friends, connections and experiences.
Can’t wait to see what’s next.
Always enjoy the journey and believe in yourself – life’s too short to stay unhappy.