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Don't Turn Back Now. Keep Going. Face Down Your Fear.

Some time ago, I listened to a vlogger discussing their experience of living through a temporary and rather unexpected situation and how they became discouraged. Living in the same state where this event occurred, I can confirm that it was definitely a challenge although of short duration. The storm passed. Nonetheless, what I found interesting was the author’s suggestion to retreat back to the city from which they originated—a city of low economy and high crime. These are persisting issues that this vlogger sought to escape through relocation.

Black man looking into the lens of a camera
Camera Action

Even more disturbing were the posts of respondents—“Yeah, you should go back home,” or some other discouraging remark. The unnamed city is a region that has long struggled to stimulate its economy and is considered to be among the poorest cities within the United States. But I will not focus on that subject too much in this blog. What I want to discuss today is the fact that adversity is everywhere and can arise in any situation at any time.

Other than the grave, there is no place in this world we can go and not experience adversity at some point in time of any duration and magnitude. Adversity is much the product of humanity as it is the forces of nature. You live in California and might experience more than a few earthquakes or fires, although neither force is exclusive to the region. In the Deep South, the residuals of historic racism persist, albeit racism and prejudice occur globally.

For the longest, severe winters were common to Northern and Midwestern states but are now extending a chilling reach to the South. Corruption and systemic oppression exists all over the globe. If you travel abroad, the same types of challenges encountered locally will be encountered at some point.

The process of climbing the career ladder is not free of challenge nor is everything made known in advance as you progress to the next level. You will experience success, delay, and failure at any time and in any order or combination. Sometimes, you'll be able to predict the outcome. The insight gives you time to prepare. Then there are times when you will not know what is going to happen because of the great unknown. And still, life and the perpetual passage of time requires us to propel forward despite the unknown.

These realities make me wonder whether any of the vlogger’s respondents lived anywhere else aside from the city and state they were born. Typically, traveled and experienced people share more insightful and multidimensional perspectives, in addition to wisdom as opposed to responding primarily from emotion, namely fear. And if one goes forth in life in fear, they may expect few accomplishments as fear hinders progress.

The Debilitating Power of Fear

Fear is a cognitive state that can keep a person in unproductive and non-progressive stages of life. I have outlined below a few fearful thoughts that may have plagued our minds.

A man dressed in a suit cowering in fear at two shadows
Incapacitated with fear
  • I can’t move “there” because this or that might happen.

  • I can’t do this or that because this or that might happen.

  • I heard such and such happened there, so I can’t move there.

  • Someone told me (blank) and for that reason, I’m not going to or can’t do (blank).

To be clear (as some people may need clarification), I’m not talking about making a poor decision in which the potential consequences are definitive or living haphazardly.

  • You commit a crime, there will be legal repercussions.;

  • You enter a beehive without protective gear, there is a great chance you will be stung by one or more bees.;

  • You should not invest in a company constantly facing financial problems, as the risk of losing your investment is high.;

  • You should not buy a house without completing an inspection.

Do you get the picture?

Consider the odds of an event occurring that is associated with the fear in comparison to an entirely different outcome. Be practical, as it is impossible to know what will happen in every situation.

Understand that time is steadily advancing forward. Live in faith, hope, and common sense. Live with the knowledge that both action and inaction produce consequences.

The vlogger I speak of, is an entrepreneur who relocated in pursuit of new opportunities. Based on both appearances and testimonies, the vlogger is progressively successful. I only wish them greater success in the coming future. Had they remained in their previous location, it is without question they would have continued to experience the adversities there. It is a wonder that few respondents understood this fact—that the vlogger considered fleeing from a temporary bad situation to past and disadvantageous circumstances. This is why knowing the source of feedback is critical to decision making.

Are the people giving feedback from a perspective of knowledge and wisdom, or fear and ignorance?

Evaluate the source.

Why would you take the advice of someone who says, “move back home” when they have never moved out of their own home? Why would you listen to someone telling you not to relocate to another city when they have never lived anywhere outside of the city in which they were born, not to mention travel? Or why would you forgo the opportunity for personal growth and development by listening to someone who says, “You don’t need a degree,” when they have neither a diploma or GED, or education beyond the 12th grade?

The stages of a dandelion flower's life cycle
Cycles and Change

If you look at the cycle of life, you see that nothing stays the same. Growth and Change occur throughout each stage. Purposeful living warrants growth and change, facing fears and overcoming adversity.

I leave you with a few pointers regarding how to handle fear within personal scope and situational context:

  1. Be courageous and optimistic, effectively managing all emotions.

  2. Be psychologically and physiologically healthy. Pray constantly. Adversity takes a toll on the mind and body.

  3. Live with expectancy that adversity will challenge at some point in time and place. In living with expectation, an individual plans and prepares—living not only for today, but also tomorrow.

  4. Expect change, which will enable one to quickly adapt as change occurs.

  5. Financial Management. Whenever possible, spend less and save more in case of an emergency.

  6. Fortify and bolster resources. In a downturn, you have established a base of support during a dry/traumatic season.

  7. Know your strengths and weaknesses, but leverage the former.

  8. Join a cause (i.e., church, community service, etc.) that upholds positivity, goodness, and moral values that apply to the betterment of all people.

  9. Travel, Explore, and Learn. Experience for yourself.

  10. Surround yourself with people who will encourage and support you.

Until next time.


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