I have never been fearless. Beneath this layer of tough and confident skin is a little girl filled with fear. Afraid of spiders and bugs with multiple legs, careening off a mountain, or falling off a ledge, I’ve dreamt of every fear imaginable. Some of my fears were illogical (like falling off a mountain, considering I will probably never go mountain climbing). Some are silly (like the spiders). Some fears, like locking the doors at night, and buckling the seatbelt in the car, are practical. But there are other fears, the ones no one wants to talk about, that are downright scary.

They are the fears inside our heads. The ones that wrap around our brains, twist inside our minds. They hold us captive, prevent us from life, keep us tied to jobs we don’t want, stop us from exploring our dreams.

I have had many fears in my life. I hid them behind hurts and scars, let them stop me from forming friendships, and even building a career. My fears stopped me from failure. But they also stopped me from success. I lived in fear, but was I really living?

Not until my accident. Until the worst fear I’d ever known paralyzed me. Until I couldn’t, or wouldn’t, answer phones and doors, or speak to others. I was afraid of everything, including my own family.

When I began to heal I realized that fear was, and always had been, ruling my life. I realized I needed to conquer my fears. I began, one small step at a time, going to the store, to the doctor by myself, taking classes, talking to others, and eventually, finding my way back to church.

I am still learning about fear, still working on conquering a few demons. Maybe I will be my whole life. But I am further along than I have ever been, and closer to the life I’ve always dreamt of.

I will probably never skydive, or parachute in the big open sky, and I can guarantee you won’t find me holding a handful of spiders anytime soon. But I don’t think any of that matters.

What matters is that I am no longer letting fear rule my life. I am determined to be fearless, to shed the tough skin and let the girl beneath live the life she was intended to live.

What fears are holding you back? Are you ready to live a fearless life?

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