Fear is a concept that every individual is innately and intimately familiar with, and yet our definition of fear changes as we grow. Ask anyone what they are scared of, and their answers can vary from “I’m scared of rats” to “I’m scared of dying alone.”

When you were a toddler, you were dreadfully afraid of vaccine shots (because let’s admit it: even as adults, they hurt like hell). Then when you were ready to start school, you cried because you were scared of all the new people, and of mommy leaving you behind. Then you grew a little more and you feared not being cool, being bullied, and your crush not liking you back.

Now, you are an adult, and you’re still scared. You fear losing your job, or losing your kids at the supermarket. You fear losing touch with your friends as you all get on with your lives, or your partner cheating on you because you’re getting fat. 

You fear things and things that may happen, and you also fear the intangible- concepts like loneliness, judgement, or heartache. You have so much fear that you are stuck in your shrinking bubble of comfort. Soon, you’ll have nothing else to do but sit in place because that’s the only thing that is safe.

Doesn’t sound exciting, does it?

If you’re tired of living in a tiny box a.k.a your comfort zone, if you want to start living your life, and if you want to conquer your fears, here’s how:

Remember that vulnerability is beautiful.

Open up to the people around you. Let them in. Be honest about who you are. Don’t be scared to trip and fall and make mistakes. We only forge genuine connections and relationships if we are open and let ourselves be vulnerable to others.

Know that you are sufficient.

You are a complete human being with your own personality, your own experiences, your own quirks and traits and interests. You have a healthy body and a sound mind and free will. You are and will always be whole, so don’t ever be scared of not being enough.

Be your authentic self.

Each and every individual is unique and beautiful in their own uniqueness. This goes from the most elemental factor of our genetic makeup- no two DNA are the same- to our personalities and life experiences. So, don’t be scared of being different. In a world where everyone is trying to conform to arbitrary standards to the point of losing sight of who they are, always be your authentic self.

Your sense of calm and peace comes from within.

A lot of things happen in the world in the span of a second. If you give everything your attention, if you let all the voices and opinions matter, if you always try to live by the pace of everyone else, you are only driving yourself to failure, and letting yourself be open to fear of being judged on everything. Don’t let the world rock you. Remember that your sense of calm and peace comes from within, not from achievements and other people’s approval.

You have the power to empower others.

You are not invisible or trivial or insignificant in the grand scheme of things. All of us in the world, we each have the power to make a meaningful change. But first, we have to stop being afraid.

So, go and conquer your fears, and help others do the same.