The Prowler

Conquer It Before It Conquers You

Simona Vishnevsky, News Editor

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Some of us fear outer space. Some of us fear failure. Some of us fear the unknown. Whatever our fear may be, it prevents us from truly living.

When I was four, a dog jumped on me. No, it didn’t bite me or hurt me, but it did cause me to have a fear that lasted about a decade. From that day forward, I hated going on walks around my neighborhood, as I could not stand walking near the dogs being walked, I couldn’t bear going to my family members’ houses if they had dogs, and I would cover my ears every time I heard a dog’s bark. This fear caused me to live differently. While with time and age I managed to get over this, my life was impacted greatly because of it.

Today, it’s not a dog’s bark that causes my hands to shake and my heart to tremble, but my fear of the unknown. As I try to enjoy my senior year and savor every moment I have, there is a constant voice in my head reminding me that all of the constants in my life now will soon alter. My friends who live a few miles away will soon live a few states away. My name that I have worked to build throughout high school will be wiped away, and I will simply be another freshman at some school before I become anything more. In short, I fear the fact that next fall, I’ll be starting a new chapter of my life, and I can’t skip through and read ahead. I’m not saying I want to skip ahead, but I would like a SparkNotes summary of that next chapter.

Our fears, whether they be of on animal or of something intangible prevent us, scare us, and ultimately change our lives. We have two options: 1) let our fears take over or 2) take over our fears.

I completely understand that some fears are easier to conquer than others, but I also know that the way in which we go about conquering these fears is the same.

The first step is accepting it. A fear is not something to feel humiliated about. We are human, and simply cannot be okay with accepting everything the world has in store for us. So we may not love spiders, but that is not something to be ashamed about. Acknowledge the fact that something scares you, and don’t be worried of seeming to be “vulnerable” or “weak.”

The second step is actually trying to get over the fear. Whether that be through exposure therapy or guidance from a mentor, you need to want to get over the fear in order for this step to work.  

My fear of dogs subsided. I took those steps to get to where I am now. Now, I can take literal steps on those neighbored walks, and pass by dogs without shaking. However, here’s the thing: while I can sit here and tell you that you must conquer your fears, I completely empathize with the fact that not every fear is completely conquerable. No matter how hard I may try, my fear of the future won’t completely fade away, but it has lessened. I have come to terms with the fact that while yes, the future is scary, I cannot focus on it. Focusing on that will prevent me from living every present moment to it’s fullest potential.

As Franklin Delano Roosevelt said in his inaugural address, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” Fear can prevent us, hurt us, and ultimately alter our lives for the worse. With this in mind, take your best shot to conquer fear before it conquers you.

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