Happy Halloween! — The Takeaways of Being Terrified

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I hate Halloween.

There i said it.

Ever since I was little I have always been the scaredy cat. I don’t watch horror movies, I won’t step foot in a haunted house, let alone one of those haunted trail things. And I have always hated Halloween — I don’t like being scared and I can’t understand why anyone would.

I’m afraid of spiders and the dark, chainsaw killers and ghosts. You say boo — I scream.

But despite my aversion for peeing my pants in fear, I recognize that if you allow fear to control you, you can’t grow.

If you’re not scared, you’re not taking a chance. And if you’re not taking a chance, then what the hell are you doing? — Ted Mosby, How I Met Your Mother

Change is always scary, but if you allow fear of failure to stop you from trying, you don’t give yourself a chance to succeed.

Sometimes you have to do something scary in order to move forward.

In high school, a friend of mine used to work at an amusement park haunted house. She knew how afraid I was to go in, and no matter how much I was begged, I would never join my friends on the ride.

One day while visiting her during her shift at the ride, she pushed me and my other wuss of a friend into the seat — leaving us no choice but to enter the haunted house.

After a last minute plea for help, she threw me a flashlight. With our arms wrapped around each other in fear, our cart slammed through the front door.

My friend kept her eyes closed, but I clutched the flash light and pointed it around the room.

My fear began to dissolve as I laughed at how stupid some of the “scary” skeletons and ghosts looked in the light. I urged my friend to open her eyes, and soon we both were laughing and could even spot things before they jumped out at us.

Today, when I face my fears it rarely involves ghosts and zombies.

Most recently, I was rotated to a new position at work, and I tried to resist.

I liked my current role, my boss, and I felt comfortable. But comfortable is a dangerous place to be.

Although I loved what I was doing, I realized that I was also scared of the unknown. When I realized that my fear was paralyzing my growth, I embraced the change and moved forward.

I knew that by trying something new and a little bit scary, I would learn another skill and grow as a professional.

Taking a chance and embracing change was ultimately a good decision for me. It’s been a few weeks in my new role and I’ll admit I’m still uncomfortable, but I know it’s because I’m learning and adapting.

More often than not, your fears are not what they seem. When you take a step back and shed light on what you’re really afraid of you’ll realize it’s not that scary at all.

By facing fear instead of running from it you can erase it  — and THAT is a great feeling.