Let Fear Go!

As a child, the rough neighborhoods and poor conditions I grew up in didn’t bother me until the day it was evident that I didn’t fit in anywhere. I was in middle school when we had a group project to complete for one of my classes. I offered to host my group at my house in DC. The next day, my friends came back and said their parents didn’t approve of them coming over because of where I lived. They preferred we met at one of their mansion homes in Potomac, MD. I quickly realized that I was perceived as “different” by the people around me. In my private schools I was one of the few minorities and didn’t understand the world of the “high class” to properly fit in. In my rough and underprivileged neighborhood, I was too well spoken to fit in. Among my latino community, my hair and skin were too dark and coarse to fit in.

I battled with the idea that maybe I was just meant to be another statistic. What was the point of being an honor roll student if my “friends” didn’t applaud my success? What was the point of pursuing a higher education if I had to work twice as hard as my peers to prove myself capable of taking on the same positions they would have due to their connections? What was the point of trying at all if I would face rejection, pain, and failure? I was afraid and the easiest thing to do was settle.

After months of mental turmoil, I had my “ah-hah” moment.

I saw my mother come home after 12 hour workdays to dedicate some time to the 3 young women she was raising on her own.

I saw my sisters in their adolescence sitting at the table and having conversations that sounded just like the ones I had when I was attempting to discover who I was.

I saw young girls in my community give up on their dreams because they settled for the cards they’d been dealt.

I was reminded of Ghandi’s words, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” And my world needed a lot of change! My world became my reason to get up and fight despite the fear I had of being rejected, being ridiculed, and being put down. My mother’s 12 hours shifts to give us the life she never had became my engine. My sisters developing their identities in a world where social media was the biggest influence became my fuel. The young women around me who looked up to me and the things I was striving for became the energy I needed to press forward.

I made a decision: I refused to let the fear that drove me to my comfort zones stop me from being all that I knew I could be. My story was not finished.

And neither is yours! But let me tell you, the graveyards are full of unfinished stories. I’m referring to people who didn’t live up to their fullest potential while they were alive because they got too comfortable and they let fear paralyze them.

Studies have shown that the biggest reasons we stay in our comfort zones are our fears of the unknown and failure. But if we let those fears stop us, then we draw a boundary between who we are now and all that we can be and accomplish in this life.

Whatever your desires and your goals are - whether short term or long term - I want to give you 3 keys that were evident and still are in my life to help you accomplish what you’ve set in your mind to do. Stay tuned for tomorrow’s post!