In his first inauguration speech, Franklin D. Roosevelt proclaimed the famous quote: “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” Decades later, his words are still reiterated as a reminder to never let fear restrict opportunities.

Historically, fear is notorious for ruining possibility. If a person is too afraid to try something new, they often abandon the idea as a whole, only to look back years later with regret. To avoid this trap, try looking at fear as a motivator and cultivate reasonable thinking.

It is not uncommon for fear to brainwash us into thinking of the worst possible outcome. When you get an interview for a new job, you are excited at first, but fear quickly overcomes that excitement and suddenly you feel anxious. 

Even if you nail the interview, fear follows you to the workplace, where you stress about screwing up the job and annoying your coworkers.

If you are placed in a stressful situation, fear is inevitable. It is part of being human. Learn to welcome this feeling.

Allow thoughts of failure and humiliation to pass through, and use them to drive you towards success. Combat each negative thought with an image of accomplishment, and it will become clear which mindset is more appealing.

The truth behind fear is that it is usually irrational.

We set ‘boundaries’ for ourselves based on limitations that do not exist. In the case of a job interview, perhaps fear tells us “You are lucky to even have managed an interview, there is no way you will land the position.”

But why? What disadvantage is holding you back? Question the rationality of your fears and anxieties.

Challenge your fears by focusing on the liberation that comes from breaking down invisible barriers.

Even if the restrictions you have set for yourself are only mental, there is value in overcoming them.

  • Apply for the top position.
  • Sign up for the marathon.
  • Ask your boss for a raise.
  • Voice your opinion.

Even if you end up unsuccessful in your pursuit, there is no room for regret. In fact, there is triumph regardless of the outcome, because you battled your fears and refused to submit to nonexistent boundaries.

Most importantly, never scold yourself for being afraid. Fear is natural, as is love, and makes you human. Trying to silence emotions is unhealthy and leads to mental breakdowns.

Welcome fear with open arms, and use it as a tool to become your best self.



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Julie Ciotola is a journalism student at Ohio University with a passion for fitness and nutrition writing. She runs her own blog, Running on Real Fuel, and is involved with Backdrop magazine, a student-run publication. When she is not writing, Julie practices yoga runs long distance and experiments with new recipes.