Why Am I Scared Of Growing Up?

As a kid, I had high hopes and expectations for adulthood. I was the one kid going on and on about wanting to grow up and how it would be so freeing and liberating. In some ways, it has been, but in other ways, it has been a tumultuous roller-coaster filled with so many highs and lows I can’t keep up anymore.

For some reason, the older I get, the more terrified I am to grow up. Not necessarily physically age, but of just taking on more responsibility and having to make harder decisions. But why is that? Why am I scared of responsibility and life-altering decisions?

As I was pacing around my room last night it dawned on me that I was scared of growing up because I had convinced myself that every decision, I would make at 22 years old would be permanent. Somehow, I had told myself that any decision I would make right now is what my life would be, and there would be no wiggle room to change in my future.

Which after some reflection, I find a bit ridiculous? Why do we think that most of our decisions are so permanent when everything around us, including ourselves, is constantly changing? Society has conditioned us to think that the box or category we fall into at the age of 20-something is the same one we will be in when we are in our 30s or 50s. But that could not be further from the truth. First off, you are never constrained to a box or category. Second, you are allowed to change and grow, and the decisions you make now can also change and grow with you.

This idea that I would be constrained by the decisions I made as a 20-something year old for the rest of my life is terrifying. But that idea is simply not true.

The decisions you make at this point in your life are not always permanent. Yes, some things are permanent such as having children or taking care of an elderly family member. But there are so many other factors of your life that can change and grow with you as you change if you let them. If I have learned one thing, it is that nothing is permanent. Nothing is guaranteed, and everything is subject to change. Understanding this has eased my anxiety that was so intertwined with growing up and all that it entails.

Take comfort in the fact that growing up does not necessarily mean making one big decision after another and never having the ability to change it. You will always be making life-altering decisions, but that does not mean you can’t change your mind.

There will always be that opportunity to change direction, to try something new, to grow. 

The Consequence of Not Facing Your Fears

We have all had moments in our lives where our fears were staring us right in the face and we had a decision to make. Did we face them? or did we turn away from them?

More times than I can count, I have chosen to run in the opposite direction. At the time, running in the opposite direction felt like the right thing to do. In those moments, it felt safer and easier to run. I will admit, the relief I felt after not facing those fears was indescribable, but there was always a small voice in the back of my head telling me I had made a mistake.  

Little did I know that voice in the back of my head was on to something. At that moment, I would feel relieved, but in the long-run, I would pay a price for never facing my fears. This leads me to the point of today’s post. What happens when we don’t face our fears? What consequences do we face instead?

You see, when we run from our fears, we are essentially running from an opportunity to grow as a person. We take away the option of change or just seeing something different. I get it, change and growth are messy and difficult but they are vital to all of our lives. Just think for a moment, if you did not face your fears ever, who would you be today? How would you act? Who will you become?  

Things in life are meant to be done even with fear at the forefront. One of my favourite quotes about fear by Meg Cabot and says “courage is not the absence of fear but rather the judgement that something is more important than fear”. Your growth, your happiness, your development as a person, is more important than fear. There is an endless list of things in life that are more important than fear. But when we come face to face with fear, we are reminded of how easy it could be if we just backed down and turned away from it.

But unfortunately, as we will all come to learn, sometimes you can’t run from fear. You will be put in circumstances or situations where facing your fear is quite literally the only option. But you shouldn’t wait until that point to face your fears or develop the tools you need to face your fears.

It is not easy, but that’s the point, it is not meant to be easy. But turning in the other direction can harm your growth and life more in the long run. Not facing your fears stifles your growth and impedes your development as a person.

Fear can stop your life from becoming better, it can stop you from doing what’s right by you and by others, it can stop you from chasing after the life you have always dreamed of. But it doesn’t have to be that way. The consequences you will face by not facing your fears are far greater than the ones you will

My Relationship With Risk

I was always scared of taking risks. I couldn’t understand why people would choose uncertainty over predictability. However, my relationship with risk has changed dramatically – but it took a lot of work to unlearn and reverse a lot of what I was thinking.

Recently, I have been put in a situation much like everyone else in 2020, where I need to make some big decisions. The problem is, I was making those decisions based on fear, uncertainty and what could happen if I failed. I began making decisions that would force me to settle for something I knew deep down I never wanted.

I often found myself questioning is this what you want? Is it what you want right now? Are you heading in a direction to fulfills you and make you happy? Suffice it to say all those came back as a big no.

Being as I was less busy, I had a lot of time to reflect on where I was at in life, decisions I had made in the past, and what I wanted from the future. After about eight months of constant reflection, I realized that I wasn’t scared of failing; I didn’t believe in myself.

For some reason that I still do not fully understand, I didn’t believe in myself. I did not think that I could take a risk and turn it into some sort of success. Or that I could take the risk, fail, and come back swinging if you will. I did not think I was good enough to live a life that would bring me joy. I did not think I was worth enough in this life to be a part of it. What was happening was that I was tying my self-worth to how big, showy and amazing my life could appear to others. I believed that if others couldn’t see me living this great and amazing life then what was the point?

 Here is the point: life is not meant to be lived for other people. The risks you take in life are for you, or maybe for the ones you love. But they should never rest on what the rest of the world thinks of you. You deserve to take risks and live a life that makes you happy just by the sheer fact that you exist. You are here to live for yourself and yourself only. You exist to be happy, to spread joy and love. But to also live a life aligned with your values, your truth and whatever sets your soul on fire.

And one of the only ways you can do that is if you believe in yourself and you take that risk, knowing that you will be there to celebrate the success or catch yourself if you fall. You are worth the risk; you are worth it more than you know.