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I’m Learning not to let Fear Win

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Gettysburg chapter.

This is probably the most personal piece that I have ever written. However, I feel compelled to share it in the hopes that it might help even just one person. If I am completely honest, the past couple months have been wild in terms of emotions. I have been feeling my feelings, and there have been a lot of them. At times it has been intimidating, and I feel a bit vulnerable sharing this. This past Sunday, one emotion in particular really caught up with me. It was fear. It is hard to admit this because I think as humans we are so concentrated on appearing brave and strong; the last thing we want to admit is that we are scared. But, it’s the truth. I was feeling fear. 

I was afraid of many things: the future, finishing my last semester of college, my ability to succeed, and some other more personal things that I won’t get into. In other words, the fear really caught up with me, and in that moment, I realized that I wasn’t just feeling fear in that moment, but I had been feeling a nervous energy for about a week. I was almost jittery and not because of how much coffee I was drinking, but because I was feeling so on edge. My thoughts were racing, I wasn’t sleeping well, and I was just off. My normal response to these emotions that I have always seen as negative is to not really do anything. When I feel like this, I am usually not as productive, and I get lost in the fear and thoughts. But this time was different, and I genuinely had a realization.

I found myself with a new perspective and outlook that I had never had before. I thought to myself, if I have all of this nervous energy that feels so negative and I don’t know what to do with it, what if I turned it into positive energy? What if I turned it into productivity and determination? What if instead of being stopped by the fear and anxiety, I felt those feelings and pushed through them?

For the first time, I saw these negative emotions in a positive way. If I’m going to be scared or anxious anyways, why not try to turn this edgy energy into productivity? I thought to myself, why not feel the fear and keep going? It changed everything. It did not get rid of my emotions, and it wasn’t a cure for my fear, but it gave me a different outlook. These emotions are part of being human, and it is ok to feel these feelings. I had spent the past week (and maybe even month) really feeling my feelings, but in this moment, I realized it was time to take positive action. I showed myself that it is ok to feel my feelings, and it is also ok to change my mindset.

Emotions that appear as negative might not always be solely negative. No, I am not fear free, and I don’t expect to be, but I don’t feel as held back as I once did. I now feel these emotions, acknowledge them, and then counter them. The coolest part is I have already noticed that I am more productive than I used to be. I’m feeling the fear, the self-doubt, all of it, and I’m facing them head on and challenging them with positivity and determination. I’m determined to move through the tough feelings so that I don’t get stuck. 

Why am I sharing this? I’m sharing because for the first time in I think ever, I fought back against fear. Fear is a natural emotion and at times an important one. However, it can be really difficult to move through and handle. I wanted to share this experience because it has been so eye-opening and important for me, and I know that I am not the only one who has dealt with fear and self-doubt. If you’ve ever felt like this, know you’re not alone. It may feel scary, but these feelings and emotions are normal. Don’t forget to believe in yourself. You’re stronger than you give yourself credit for.

Mary James

Gettysburg '23

Gettysburg College '23 WGS Major Education and English Minor Coffee Connoisseur