When You’re Afraid of Not Being Afraid

By: Jen Fine, Regular ContributorAugust 16, 2016


Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “Do one thing every day that scares you.” Eleanor, a smart, resilient, woman with a great head on her shoulders definitely had the right idea. One thing every day that scares me, huh? So what are those things?

Women today certainly have their fair share of pressures and fears: get married before thirty, have children before that biological clock stops ticking, find someone who loves you without stifling you, don’t appear weak/vulnerable. The list goes on and on. Me, however, I fear something different–

I’m afraid of not being afraid, of not feeling that pressure to conform, or finding somebody or something that makes me happy right this instant. Sitting across the table from two of my closest friends at lunch last week, we got on the topic of standards and how mine seem to be pretty high. I allowed myself to wonder if that was a bad thing, but only for a minute. I was pretty confident in the fact that setting high standards for myself should be a priority, not something I’m ashamed of.

While being in a relationship or having my life mapped out does sound pretty nice and comfortable, I’ve never really been the kind of person who finds solace in the “nice” and the “comfortable.” Instead, I have come to terms with the fact that right now I am exactly where I am supposed to be. While I may still worry about my future, my career path, whether or not I will find the guy I’m supposed to find, etc., I am certainly no longer afraid of dying alone or giving up my sense of self for someone else.

We are all fearful of something. Some of us are afraid we will wake up unhappy lying next to the person we thought we loved. Others fear things like heights or spiders. Everybody has something that makes them weak, that makes them irrational and uncertain. The best way to overcome that fear, as my friend Eleanor said, is to do one thing every day that pushes us out of our comfort zones, our safe spaces.

So what if I’m afraid of the fact that I’m not more concerned for my future? So what if I find myself worrying about the possibility that my friends are right and I’m only sabotaging myself by setting the bar so high? SO WHAT? This is my life to take control of. If we choose to live in fear of one thing or another then so be it. The truth is each and every one of us is afraid of something. We cannot all walk through this world expecting that no harm will befall us, expecting that we will never face uneasiness or strife.

So if you’re not afraid of the typical and you’re not worried about where your life will take you next, then don’t let people convince you to be.

Let’s embrace our unique and ridiculous fears and let them make us stronger and braver than ever.

Let’s start finding solace in the unpredictable and the fact that fear is what makes us human instead. Because, after all, we are human, and with that comes being scared and fearless all at once.


Let’s Chat!

Let’s all take a note from Eleanor this week. Make a list of 7 things to try this week to break out of your comfort zone. Try a new one every day, and discover just how badass you truly are.


About Jen:

Jen.jpgJen is currently a junior majoring in Human Development and Family Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She enjoys all things sarcastic, obsessing over the New York Rangers, and is a Dunkin Donuts iced coffee fanatic. When she’s not singing in the shower, writing her feelings, or dishing out life advice to her friends, you can catch her lying around watching One Tree Hill for the third time. Feel free to check out her personal blog at jenfine.wordpress.com for more!


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  • commented 2016-08-18 21:45:04 -0700
    Me too! I totally agree. Thanks.

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