Don’t Let Fear Stop You From Your Dreams

486f7e926b2270b84179c3bb3b1e9c24.jpgThis is one of the most important reminders in life that we need. Last year I wrote a post called Getting Outside Of Your Comfort Zone because for a very long time I allowed my anxiety to take over my daily life.  Most fear is built up in our imagination. Once we conquer our fear, it never is as scary as you thought it would be. Playing it safe can limit us. Sometimes taking risks, challenging ourselves and breaking our safety barrier can make us stronger and wiser. Fear of Failure stops us from taking the first step. When we fear failure, we have already set ourselves up for failure in our mind. It means that we don’t give ourselves the chance to try.

Many goals and successes that someone reaches, has conquered many failures. I remember watching the ballet, The Nutcracker. The ballerinas make every move look graceful and effortless, yet it took a lot of hard work, time, energy and passion. Through all of that, they have faced their own failures. It took moments where there may have been many bad practice days or rejections from auditions, but there they were on the stage now, because they had a dream and worked hard for it. Fear tells us to not try and it tells us we’re not worth it. It stops us from enjoying life and being happy in the moment.

In order to achieve our goals, we must start with the first step. Our mind is so powerful because every thought we feed it affects the actions we’ll take. If we tell ourselves we can, then we’ll make that action to do it, and that’s when we set the path in the direction we build for ourselves. Everyone is on a different journey, and we all want to achieve different things in our life. Life is unpredictable, but having dreams is what makes it worthwhile. I saw the quote the other day, that we aren’t here to pay the bills and die. It’s absolutely true!

Life has far more meaning, and dreams are within all of us. We often want to wait for the right moment when we feel ready, but often that moment won’t really come. Most things in life start when we take the first step, just the way we learn to take the first step as a baby. We might have fallen over, but we have to keep trying until we learn to walk, and now it’s something we don’t even think about, we just do. In that moment we might have been hesitant, but when you pass that feeling of your comfort zone, there is so much you realise you have the ability to achieve. It all starts with taking the first step.

Art by Naomi Wilkinson

What Does Love Mean to You?

You’re too young to understand what love means! That was the first response my parents had when they heard I said the “L” word to my first (and fingers-crossed! last ever!) girlfriend, Mrs Meerkat at the age of 18. Looking back, I really didn’t know what love means. I am not saying I am an expert in love now, far from it actually, I’m learning something new every day about Mrs Meerkat and all the other people I love, and that to me is what matters. So I want everyone to ask themselves what does love mean to you?

Does love mean when someone eats that whole Tim Tam chocolate pack without leaving a piece of that heavenly chocolate for you, yet you don’t get mad and you buy another pack knowing fair well that they’re going to eat that as well? Does love mean you walk all the way in the rain to pick someone up with an umbrella just to make sure they don’t get wet? Or… Does love mean “I’d catch a grenade for ya~ Throw my hand on a blade for ya~ I’d jump in front of a train for ya~“?

I realised that as much as love and pain are exaggerated by Bruno Mars’ song Grenade, the two do have a correlation, and the pain I am talking about is a mental pain rather than a physical one. For those that have experienced the pain through the death of a loved one or even just a breakup, you can easily understand what I mean. Earlier in 2016, I experienced the death of a relative who was one of the closest people in my life and had always believed in me. The pain superseded every single pain I’ve ever felt and the intensity cannot be described. Through her death, I realised how she lived her whole life based on countless sacrifices and pure selflessness, which made me realise something… Love shouldn’t be always about how much you’re willing to do for others, but what you’re willing to do for each other AND yourself. I truly believe that if you do not love yourself and treat yourself right, how can you love others?

So why is loving yourself or others (whether it may be your girlfriend/boyfriend, parents, siblings, etc) so hard sometimes? I think it all comes down to how you perceive what love is. Nobody is perfect ~ and that is why, in any relationship with the people you love, there is bound to be arguments and tough times.

So how do we reach that “perfect relationship” so often publicly displayed on social media or romance films? Well, in my opinion, there is no such thing as a perfect relationship. Everyone has their own problems; every couple; every family… the list goes on. What I personally do other than reminding myself why I fell in love with Mrs Meerkat in the first place, is that I try to follow what the scriptures say about love: Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. – 1st Corinthians 13:4-8

Do I manage to achieve all those things listed in the scripture? Heck No! But I try and fail and try, again and again, because it’s what I happily and willingly do for the people I love in my life and for myself.

I’d like to personally thank Mrs Meerkat for encouraging me to post my first ever blog post and to share my views & our little world. I love you!