The future can be a frightening thing.  It’s the thought of the unknown, of uncertainty and unfamiliarity.  But what are you scared of, exactly?  Are you afraid of your friends getting married and leaving you behind, of those awkward stare downs with an old enemy across the mall, of not finding somebody to love, of being the only one in the room who wants another drink, of getting fired from your job and being back in your parents basement? Whatever it is, it’s something that all teens and twenty-somethings deal with at one point or another. Sometimes you just have to just examine exactly why you are afraid before taking the steps to address it.

First, recognize that your fears are valid.  Everyone has them, including the over-confident person in your psychology class who seems to know everything.  But here’s something to consider the next time your fears lead to sleepless nights and your mind becomes a personal torture chamber: think of all those fears you had in the past, those old anxieties that kept you up during your freshman year of college. Where are those fears now?  They don’t matter anymore.

Fears are one of those things that you have to take head on or else they will eat you up inside. For me personally, I am one of those people who lets fear take control from time to time. It’s not an easy thing to admit, but it’s true. With that, I’ve missed a lot of good opportunities and experiences. It’s a hellish way to live and I know some people out there never break out of it. But, it is all in you to turn that around.

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David Archuleta sums it up perfectly:

“The future can be a scary thing. Because it’s something that’s always left open for anything to happen. It’s a total mystery. But at the same time, it’s so exciting. Each decision we make can alter how our future will turn out, so how we end up in the future is really our decision. We never know what will be thrown at us, but it’s up to each of us as to how we deal with whatever does come. No one else can decide that for us. While I might be wondering about what will happen down the road for me, and get nervous about it now and then, I am also really hopeful for it because I know there will be so many windows of opportunity that can really change my life if I choose to take hold of them and not be afraid to go for it.”

The best gift you could give to yourself is perspective and the ability to enjoy today without worrying about tomorrow. Recognize your fears and where they are coming from so that you can face them. Take your anxieties and fears on bit-by-bit, thus making everything more manageable. You will soon realize that the world isn’t so scary anymore, and you will enjoy living in the moment.

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