When we are young, we fear what is unknown to us: the dark, the mysterious creaks in our house, the monsters in our closet. As we grow older, those metaphorical “monsters” become realities: we begin to fear rejection, loneliness, failure, etc. Our phobias become bigger as we begin to realize the infinite possibilities the world contains around us, both good and bad. Fear, by any definition of the word, is completely normal. It is something we all universally share, as humans, and it can be an empowering experience to overcome.

There are various different types of phobias, and each person handles their fear in their own distinctive way. Whether it was caused by a traumatic event or something that has been apparent since childhood, no two fears are experienced in the same way. Each person has their own ways of coping, and their own tactics that they use in their journey to ultimately overcome the anxieties they feel from their fears.

Containing a healthy fear of the world in which we live is actually fairly common in most humans. We are aware of the dangers that we could feasibly be faced with on a daily basis and in turn we begin to fear those same dangers that we could potentially come in contact with.

Being afraid goes hand-in-hand with emotional intelligence, as fear requires a strong understanding of our emotions as well as the emotions of others. By understanding others and ourselves, we consequently also understand the risks that come simply with living among said others. We begin to fear how others will perceive us, how we should act around them, and how likable we are to them. We understand that we can become emotionally damaged by the actions of others.

While fear can be intimidating and a difficult emotion to shake, there is an inevitable beauty that is accompanied along with it. Fear might seem unmanageable on the surface, but there is always a way to defeat your fears – all it takes is a little bit of courage. There are various techniques that can be done individually in order to overcome a fear that one faces, and there is always professional help that can be sought out if the fear becomes an unbearable burden that can not be handled alone.

In the words of Kelly Clarkson, all you have to do is “take a risk, take a chance, make a change.” Fear does not define you, and you have the power to take charge and overcome it. So jump off the high dive. Give a public speech. Talk to the person you have been scared to approach. You’ll slowly start to feel the fear lift off of your shoulders.

With positivity, action, and help from those you love, you’ll eventually be victorious in conquering your fears. You’ll feel empowered and liberated from something that used to constrain you. That is the beauty in being afraid – there is always time to break away from it.