greenny : start here

Fear will not go. So how does one deal with it?

By: Nehemie

I am afraid of failure. I am afraid of change. I am afraid of the future. Everyone gets afraid sometimes.

Was it possible, we could create a tool to help us look into the future, to know what’s ahead of us, to celebrate the excitement of the opportunities we see coming and to prevent problems that are soon attacking us. Good or bad, the fear of failure, change and future terrify us and make us panic. Fear is a human instinct, normal, and can’t completely vanish. No one in the world is fearless.

I’m a graduate who is building my career and life. In addition to Greenny, I work at a university where I support students and other employees with logistics. Transportation, accommodation, and user experience are my main tasks. But I didn’t plan to do this. It came up when I was job-hunting after graduating from the University of Rwanda. 

I studied Agroforestry, something completely different from what I do at the university. Before I graduate, I hoped I could only work on farms or in forests or on beaches, enjoying the breeze of the wind and the scents of the flowers, in cold places, where trees grow and animals play.

But I found myself in a fast growing city of Kigali, where I need air conditioning to cool myself, where cars release fumes on me all the way to and from work, in a big building where security is tight and where organic stuff are rare to see. But I’m not the only one who found himself in an unexpected situation. There’s many of us out there who would start their dream ventures but who are skeptical on how  to do so given the fear they collect from their salary jobs.

The past 2 years have been a complete adventure. Waking up in the morning, not knowing what to expect, and facing the toughest situations that need my attention. I wanted to pull out of my logistics job many times but always found a reason to stay.  Inspiration, peer pressure, need for experience, need for money, etc. “Working for others is like that my friend”: said my friends whom we studied together.

I can see and prove what they say. I realized fear and confusion is common to most of employees in modern institutions. Mastering your work is not easy for starters like me who usually want to impress others, who want to fit in, and who, especially, do not want to fail on their bosses’ mission. That fear of messing up your reputation or living in uncertainty is what keeps most people in stressful environments. 

The fear fact

It is a fact that changing the status quo is tough for individuals. New things take time to install and run. They take away your routines, benefits and bring you lots of sudden unknowns and discomfort. That’s why we want to keep things the way they are. That’s why I want to keep my current job and don’t want to dive deep into Greenny’s unclear mission. But what if change brings excitement, happy moments and success?

Either way, change is not easy. The reasons we want to leave our discomforts usually outweigh our reasons to stay. But fear keeps convincing us why we should stay in our safety net and proves so by showing us how much failure is in the change we anticipate to make. Like this, we become insecure and eventually get stuck. 

Will there be a time where one faces their fears with confidence and firmness? Can I leave my current, comfort job and go to start an adventurous, uncertain Greenny? Will I even succeed? Am I ready? Those questions keep popping up in my head every time I think of going Greenny fulltime. You surely know what I mean if you’re like me. 

Getting unstuck

As a chained and caged animal feels when released, so it is when you have made your absolute decision about a difficult problem of choice. Without a doubt, you’re better off. But why do we hesitate taking that opportunity very often? “Fear”.

Fear will not go anywhere. We live with it and it lives with us. I’ve been with it for the past 2 years and have realized other people have it too. It’s a normal feeling. It’s no problem to have it around. But it’s a serious problem when we let it make us do things we don’t want.

So how does one fights it to make changes and build the future they desire?

I have joined the Fearless training presented by one of my favorite bloggers Leo Babauta. So far, I’m enjoying his truths about fear and how to face it with mindfulness and purpose. I also enjoy reading some of his pieces such as this and this. It’s working for me and could work for you if you’re also seeking confidence to do what excites you.