What's Your Fear?

By Catherine Okafor

Take a moment and think of your greatest fear. Name it and now go do it. Not so easy, right? I know for sure how you may be feeling. For some of us, we allow our fears to get the best of us while others go head first through it. Either one is never an easy thing to do. But the feeling of working through your greatest fear is the total reward.

One of my newfound fears is, flying on airplanes. I haven’t always been afraid to fly. My first solo trip was when I was twenty one years old and I traveled to San Francisco. Was I scared? Yes, a little. But, the thought of being on the west coast without my parents nagging me, I felt on top of the world. After that experience, I began traveling all around the country without any ounce of fear.

It wasn’t until my mom’s death that I began to feel anxiety over flying on airplanes. I’m sure there is a correlation to this. But my newfound fear is what’s keeping me from wanting to step onto a plane. Some say it’s easy to get over but I totally disagree. Overcoming your fear is something that you have to work and build up to. Even though I still have anxiety when flying, I’m working through it. I had to literally work my way through my fear as I traveled six hours on a plane as I relocated here to San Francisco. It wasn’t easy nor fun and my nerves felt like it was going to get the best of me. But, I’m so proud of myself for working through it. I can honestly say that I’m not totally “healed” or overcame my fear, I’m continuously learning to push forward through it. Below, I’ve included a short sample of things that I use to help me in pushing through my fears.

Reading & Research

One of my favorite hobbies is reading. So this is my favorite go-to whenever I need to research and learn something new. Reading books and articles about anxiety, grief and navigating your fears helps to put my mind at ease.

Speak Out

Initially, I felt silly about making a big deal about it. It wasn’t until I began talking about it to friends and family that I realized that I wasn’t the only one who held that fear. I felt validated and less ashamed. This ultimately helped me make the decision to move to California. Before, the biggest reason why I was so indecisive was that I knew that flying to relocate is the better option for me. But, I wasn’t ready nor wanting to do it.

Don’t Do It Alone

Anytime you’re thinking about working through your fear(s), don’t do it alone. Grab a friend or two and have them by your side as you navigate it. Your trusted friend will be there to offer advice and encouraging you to help you see it through. Who knows, they might be secretly carrying the same or similar fear. Why not push through it together! I’m sure it’ll be enjoyable!

So what are you waiting for? Go out and put in the work to overcome your fears. I’m sure you’ll be glad that you did. Let me know in the comment box below your fears. If you have worked through or overcame any of them – tell me your experience. I’d love to hear it!