We can walk through life with our eyes closed. And that might be an easy road to take. But there’s so much more to life than our own thoughts and opinions, our own circumstances and hardships, our own drive and fears. And they’re important. But if we open our eyes a little wider, we see a bit more of the world as it is and how it could be. If we listen a little more, we might hear how others see the world too. We can change our thoughts, our circumstances, our fears. We step closer to realising how we make it better and how we make it worse, and how we can continue to make it better. How much better the world would be if we actually look at it and listen to it with an open mind.
Have courage. It doesn’t take perfection or genius to get further in life. It takes guts. We shouldn’t be afraid of failing but afraid of not trying at all. We shouldn’t be afraid of stepping out of our comfort zone but afraid of trapping ourselves in it. We shouldn’t be afraid of our flaws but afraid of not realising their magic. We need to keep trying, keep going, to get further. We won’t ever be perfect. We won’t all be geniuses. But no matter what you think, we can all be brave. And that’s what will get us the furthest.
It’s common for us to pretend we live in a perfect, happy life and we have the strength to fight all its battles alone. Sometimes we are happy. Sometimes we are strong. But it’s also OK to admit that we aren’t always happy and we aren’t always strong. Don’t harbour your sadness or anxiety inside. Don’t ignore it. To be free of it, we have to find our own way to release it. And that only begins by acknowledging it and by expressing it in one way or another. Be honest with yourself. Share your feelings with someone who you feel comfortable with and who you can trust. Express those emotions. It can only make you happier and stronger in the end.
Instinctively, we want to run from anything that may cause us to feel anxiety, fear, vulnerability, or discomfort. And of course, in many cases, that’s sensible. But sometimes stepping out of our line of comfort and going after what we want will invite those emotions we try to avoid. But don’t let that stop you. Otherwise we’ll just be avoiding living, shying away from progress and playing it safe. And we’ll realise, perhaps too late, that playing it safe isn’t playing at all. It’s boring and unsatisfying and limiting. Live a little, don’t just exist and let life pass by.
We’re all afraid of change. It snatches away what is comfortable and controllable. But the way things are are not always the way things should be. It can be a battle to change the way things are, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try. We need to stand up and make the world better. It’s better die on your feet than to live on your knees.
Imagine your fear is a friend – a paranoid, anxious and fearful friend. How could you treat them? Would you feed the fear? Would you calm the fear? Would you ignore the fear? Sometimes it’s a combination of all kinds. But what they all have in common is compassion; we would want the best for our friend. And we should extend that same courtesy to ourselves. Sometimes we have to show ourselves a little compassion, accept that we’ve set ourselves certain limits and try to move past them. Fear is a friend we should be comfortable chatting with. Fear will always be with us, so why not treat it as a friend and let it travel this journey with you? Don’t fight it, confide in it. Don’t hate it, embrace it. Fear is a friend who’s misunderstood.
When it is light, our world thrives. When it is dark, our world hides. Sometimes our light – our hope, positivity and happiness – is swallowed up by the darkness. We become paralysed by fear, sadness and pessimism in the darkness. But why, when a new dawn breaks out of the darkness each day, do we not believe that a new dawn will break for each of us too? Look beyond the darkness. Have faith in the light. It will pierce the darkness – but you’ve got to keep your eyes open.