Why I’m Thankful for Scary Opportunities

Fear is a funny thing. It can be rational or irrational, build up over time or come out of nowhere, it can happen at the best of times and the worst of them, and it’s incredibly predictable in its unpredictability. I’ve been afraid for most of my life, and it’s hard to be so scared all the time, but I’m thankful for the fear. It took awhile but I know now why I’m thankful for scary opportunities. It’s an odd statement I know, how can I be thankful for something that has crippled me so badly before? I question it too, but I just remember I’m thankful for scary opportunities because, without them, I never would have had the chance to be brave.

Fear is Everywhere

When I was younger, I used to think that when I was a grown up, I wouldn’t be scared anymore, I was a dumb kid and now I’m a dumb adult. Now instead of monsters under the bed, it’s the existential fear that I’ll never be good enough and that I will just waste my life until I die. And ghosts.

I realized that fear wasn’t something I was ever going to be able to get away from during a horrible depressive episode. My reaction at the time was not so great, to say the least, but after that I learned to embrace it.

We can find fear anywhere whether we look for it or not. Walking outside the house can be scary. Raising your hand in class is scary. Touching a piece of metal that might shock you is scary. For some of us, even being alive is scary. We can’t avoid fear, but we shouldn’t just give in to it. If we must live with it, we might as well embrace it because what’s the point of even being alive if we don’t.

The Scariest Opportunities Reap the Biggest Rewards

It always makes me laugh to look back on the things I was so terrified of that ended up being the best things for me. For example before I came to college, I was terrified of every possibility. During this time I was scared of new people, new environments, new knowledge, I had this odd fear of turning into a corporate marketing demon who sold cigarettes to kids. It turns out coming to college was the greatest thing I have ever done. I found a passion for marketing, I met my best friends, have learned so much and have become the best, happiest version of myself.

The fear I felt is almost like an echo in my head now, I know it was there, but it means so little compared to everything I gained. That how a lot of it feels now. Every scary opportunity that I conquer and thrive in pushes me to take bigger risks and seek bigger rewards. My success grows my confidence, and the knowledge and experience I have gained from these scary opportunities have turned me to into a more accomplished, well-rounded person. 

(Photo by Volkan Furuncu/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Failure Means the Chance to Try Again

The problem with embracing scary opportunities is that there is always the chance that you have a bad experience or even possibly fail. This possibility is essentially what stops everyone from taking the opportunities that scare them, and I get it. Failure is my biggest fear, and it has held me back for most of my life, but I’ve learned that there are lots of benefits to failing.

Failing Teaches Us to Be Better

Firstly, failing allows you to try again bigger and better. My biggest failures have helped me become a better person because they have shown me what I need to improve on, what habits I need to break and even what is and isn’t right for me. To sum it up, succeeding at everything doesn’t offer you room to grow or encourage you to change for the better. 

Failing Shows You its Ok

Secondly, bad experiences and failures teach us that it’s okay to have them. Nothing makes me feel worse than failing. Everything from awkward social interactions to bombing an assignment makes me feel so sick I don’t even want to leave my house. However, the embarrassment and the pain always fade, and life goes on. Every time I bounce back from a misstep, I get more confident that no matter how bad I stumble, I’ll always be able to get back up.

As I get older, I remember some of these failures that, at the time, seemed like the end of the world, and I realize how insignificant they all really were. I think about my life now and how everything turned out just fine, and it reminds me I’m thankful for scary opportunities.

If I Do More, I Can Do More

Each time I come out of a scary experience, I come out a braver, more experienced person, whether it was a successful or unsuccessful experience. Whenever I take that leap and go head on into something scary, I prove to myself that I can, and it pushes me to keep taking these chances. These scary opportunities have given me the experience to take on new obstacles with confidence knowing I’ll come back out of it just fine.

The more opportunities I take, the more that I am given, and it allows me to branch out into even scarier territory which is why I’m thankful for scary opportunities. Even right now, as I write this blog post, I am doing something scary to take on an even scarier opportunity. The Send Me To The Gathering campaign challenge is one of the scariest things I’ve done, and it’s all for the chance to do something even scarier. 

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