OPINION: The courage to cope with fear is an important skill


Confidence will replace the absence of fear — or so I thought, until that life-changing doctor’s appointment. . The absence of fear most definitely was not something I felt after being told I have a mental health condition. 

Fear is scary. Fear can be dangerous. Fear can determine your future. These statements are all true. However, being fearful does not mean you lack confidence and it does not mean you cannot be a successful person. Fear is a powerful emotion that many of us face daily. Exactly. Fear is an emotion but it is not a character trait. 

I have been criticized by many for feeling more fearful than others about landing a job interview, getting a good grade on an assignment or landing the internship I wanted. This can come off as an unattractive quality in today’s society.

However, I pride myself in feeling fearful because having some fear can be healthy. It shows that I care about my goals in life. Having a “healthy” fear helps me build character. Having healthy fears gives me good instincts about situations that scare me, but that will push me and still keep “me safe.”

For example, journalism has given me a depiction of healthy fear. I am often afraid to talk to others about a story. I am fearful about looking silly when I am covering a game or writing a column I am worried nobody else will care about.

I am confident that the fear I face as a journalist is only going to make me a stronger journalist. Some of the fearful thoughts I have had about interviewing certain people have turned out to be some of the most efficient interviews I have ever conducted.

Still hearing the word fear may sound scary but from the advice of a former teacher, you are not striving for more if you don’t do something that scares you a little.

I was scared to apply for The Sunflower. I hadn’t written a story in about a year when I applied. I was scared that I may not be good enough for a staff full of writers that produced award winning work and have gone on to have successful careers in the communication field

Knowing I have fear encourages me to have confidence in who I am as a person. Having confidence helps me cope with my fear. Do something that scares you a little and I promise you will not regret it.