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A friend once told me he was terrified of becoming a parent. He told me he once bought a puppy, and had to return him after a week because he was too much to handle. I told him the funny thing was, even though babies are a bigger responsibility, they ease you in; puppies don’t. My daughter was easiest as a newborn, because she literally ate, pooped, peed, and slept. Super easy in my opinion (granted I definitely have what most would consider a “good” baby). But of course, babies get older, and raising a whole human gets slightly more difficult. But as your baby does one more thing every day, you learn to handle one more thing, every day. And before you know it, you realize, “oh wow, I’m really doing this parenting thing,” and you know that you’re doing an above average job when they smile and laugh at you, because all they want is your love. I struggle with a lot of things in my life (like most people), but oh, when I see that smile of hers, all those other internal struggles become trivial. When the time comes, you’ll be ready. Because you’ll just be doing it.
What if we approached everything we did in life that way, instead of worrying so much about the what ifs? We worry so much about the future, and the road to our success, we don’t even have time to appreciate the present. As humans we naturally romanticize the past, but we only do this because we overcame the obstacles of the aforementioned time? Would we worry as much if we had a 100 percent guarantee that everything was going to be ok? Of course not. And yet, we continue in our unhealthy, negative cycle of self-doubt and fear.
If you’re like me, you overthink and deal with anxiety on a daily basis. Some days, you are so sure you’re ready to take on the world, and the next day, you feel you’ve taken more steps back than forward. You feel like all the progress you put into building a positive mentality has gone out the window. You feel defeated. And no matter how many people tell you to “snap out of it,” or to “just change that mentality,” it’s never really that simple. Because that’s just not how our minds work. But it is possible to change it. It’s about training your brain just as consistently as you would train in your craft.
A few years back, I read an article that mentioned a study done by a social network. According to the article, more people had a fear of failure in their future than a fear of spiders or ghosts. Spiders are creatures that we can see with our eyes, and we can’t always recognize the species. Therefore, it makes sense that many of us fear them. But you can’t actually physically touch the future. You can’t see the future. We don’t and can’t know what the future entails. Everything could go smoothly, and, most times, it does. Even with our long-term goals, most of the time we don’t encounter half the issues we thought we would, and other times we encounter problems we couldn’t have even anticipated. The idea that we could fear something so intangible is completely illogical.
Look, my point is, we can’t worry about the details before we’ve even started the journey. It may sound cliché, but once the journey begins, just take it a step at a time. And before you know it, even if you fail along the way, you’ll just be doing the damn thing.