This week for the weekly word of wave, it is all about FEAR. Yes, you heard right. We are going to focus all on what scares us and how this affects our goal setting and the obstacles we overcome in our lives. Personally, FEAR is something that I associate with a barrier rather than a phobia. Growing up (flash back to the early 2000s), I was very afraid to try new challenges and deviate away from my routines that were instilled within me. Entering high school, I was a shy student who avoided try out for multiple sports teams, join clubs, and voice my opinion within a group or classroom setting. As I entered the older grades, something changed and I was not sure what it was. I felt out of place and did not seem to grasp what it was because, I myself did not know. It was a sense of uncertainty and confusion, but at the same time a feeling of anxiousness. There were so many times that I look back on my past and think ‘Wave, why did you let others make you feel that way and control your feelings?’.

Recently, I found a quote that resonated with the feelings I have had over these past years. It says that F.E.A.R. has 2 meanings: Forget everything and run away OR Face everything and rise. There have been times when I turn away from an open opportunity, because the fear has taken over and convinced me to not continue. It is a game that we often face in our lives, and can become detrimental to our individual well-being. I feared being wrong or confronting a problem, because then more attention would be placed on me. I feared expressing myself and fully being who I was, because I did not want to be excluded from my friend groups. I feared the chance to be who I was and break out of my comfort zone, because I did not want to be judged. These are just some of my past fears. Yes, these were only some of the fears/thoughts that came to my mind, but there is always a chance to overcome them. These fears still come and go, but it is up to YOU to take it into your own hands and reach out for support from others around you.

Surrounding myself with incredibly supportive and loving people, I was able to break out of these fears and grow to an extent that I could not even imagine. Entering first year of university is tough, and I can completely relate to the struggles that students experience, because I was in that same boat. Attempting to stay afloat and make friends, while balancing the endless number of assignments, projects, and just the stress of school. If you ever feel overwhelmed, afraid, or in fear, it gets better along the way. Take time for yourself and do activities that take your mind off the feelings of doubt and worry. From my own experience, the chance to meet new people and find the groups of people that will be there for you regardless, are waiting for you just around the corner. It just takes some time, but great things will happen. Thinking about the challenges that I have experienced, I decided to write ‘Wave’s mini survival guide to adapting to FEAR’.

*Feeling alone or isolated is challenging to deal with, but build your support network with like-minded people.
* Adapting to fear can be done through personal actions and/or with the help from loved ones.
*See each day as a new experience that will open up for opportunities in the future.
*Take the time to reflect on your goals and find ways to achieve them.
*Fear may be from the feeling of trying something new, so continue to seek the discomfort at your own pace.
*Being independent in your journey to achieve a goal is OKAY! You are not obligated to always have someone beside you to conquer something.
*Begin each day with an affirmation or praise, because YOU deserve to be told how incredible you are.

Fear is a barrier that I believe anyone can overcome or adapt to, because it is an internalized feeling that all begins within ourselves. The way that we look ourselves in the mirror, how we treat others, and what actions we take are just some of the ways that fear is can take over. For any fears that you have, have had, or currently being carried with you, please know that there are people around that care about you. It is nothing to be ashamed of, because everyone has stories to tell and these fears that we have are part of who we are. If you have a story to tell or want to share, do not hesitate to reach out to me in person, through social media, or other form.

‘Fear is the brain’s way of saying there is something important for you to overcome’

Sending the courage over to you,