World Writers Hub

How I Allowed Fear of Risks Keep Me In The Dark

“Keep going, don’t turn your neck, and stay focused:” Emezu said from behind.

I tried to focus, never to turn my neck, to keep going without fear but somehow fear gripped me. It was like I’d been overwhelmed by fear.

I tried to stay on track but I couldn’t, and before I could say “jack” I was on the ground. I just fell again, I’ve been trying to do this for many times now. At some point, I started believing that I wasn’t cut out for that.

As I write this, I see pictures play out in my head. I see all who laughed when I fell to the ground. I vividly see the look of disappointment on Emezu’s face as she looked at me.

Her face wore a question that asks “what the hell is wrong with you? Why are you afraid of this”?

“Listen,” she said; “if you want to learn how to do this, if you want to learn to ride a bicycle, then stop being afraid and take the risk”

I wanted to learn, but I wasn’t eager or willing to take the risk involved. Almost everyone told me “Chidera, you can’t get to learn to ride a bicycle without sustaining injuries”

Their words brought more fear to my heart. I was learning to ride a bicycle. It’s something I’d never taken seriously.

Even though we had one in the house, I never took it seriously. It was my siblings who rode it. Now, I found myself in a place where 6 to 7-year old kids could ride bicycles excellently.

Now let me break it down so you’ll understand.

I am an African, specifically, a Nigerian. I lived in the city of Lagos, a place where owning or riding a bicycle isn’t any big deal.

No one cares. If you’re good at riding, fine. If you’re not, it’s just your own plate of food. No one cares.

Then, I left the city to live temporarily in the countryside, my hometown. In my village, bicycles abound. Like, every family had at least one.

Everyone, both old and young know how to ride. The bicycle is the most common means of transportation there.

When I got home, it became important that I learn how to ride a bicycle or I’d have to walk long distances when sent on errands. That was when my training began.

Emezu is my cousin, she’d take me out in the evenings to teach me how to ride a bicycle. We’d go out for practice, and every single time I got scared.

I was scared of falling while riding. I guess that was because I’ve heard many stories of injuries associated with falling while riding.

Each time I felt like I was going to fall, I’d abruptly jump off the bicycle.

“But it wasn’t really falling, it only shook and it’s your duty to control it”

Emezu continued: ” it’s you who should determine where you want it to go. It is you who’d direct it, ride it and prevent it from falling”

“You’re the boss here, the bicycle only does what you want it to do”

I felt bad. Even though I knew I wanted to learn (or, so I thought) but I wasn’t ready to take the risk of watching my skin sustain any injury.

I wanted to play it safe. I wanted to do it the safe way, but it never worked. I ended up not learning how to ride.

At one time, I got tired. I stopped training. I allowed fear of the unknown, or rather, fear of risk stop me from learning how to ride a bicycle.

I spent 16 months full of energy yet I didn’t learn or master anything when it comes to riding bicycles. The same fear kept me from learning to ride a motorcycle. That’s another story entirely.

I’ve gone back to the city and I now regret not taking the risk required to acquire and sustain the knowledge to ride. Fear keeps us from making the best out of our lives. I know what it means to get overwhelmed by fear, how it feels to be terribly scared and afraid.

I know how it is to want to play things right; the pain that comes with regretting later in life for not taking hard necessary steps to learn important things.

And that’s why I’m writing this to you. For over 16 months I was scared of taking a risk. Sadly, I never wanted to sustain any sort of injury because of knowledge.

Honestly, that isn’t the first time I was scared. So many times, I’ve missed opportunities just because I was scared.

Scared of losing. Scared of what people would say. Scared of failures. Scared of so many things and I know you’ve probably been afraid too.

You’ve been afraid of exercising yet you want to stay fit. We just want all the good things of life without taking any crucial or difficult step to get them.

Unfortunately, only risk takers take the best of all life offers. I out of experience has derived a 3-step plan to help you master and maneuver fear.

The 3-Step Plan To Master and Maneuver Fear

1. Detoxify

Imagine what would have happened if I had taken time to get rid of all fears and doubts about not being able to ride. A countless number of people take their time to detoxify their bodies, but only a very few people understand the importance of mind detoxification.

As important as our body appears, it is not any more important than our mind. Hence, we need to guard, protect and beautify our minds the same way we do to our bodies.

Get rid of every thought that tells you that you can’t do it when you know full well that you can. You may not be able to choose your thoughts but you can choose your beliefs.

Don’t even try choosing limiting beliefs – beliefs that automatically put a bound, a limit to your ability. Always believe you can do anything you set your mind to do.

Truth is, the association we keep will always determine how much progress we can make in life. I look back today and I’m so sure that I’d have learned how to ride a bicycle if there were no people who kept telling me how they got bruises when they were learning.

Words are so powerful. As such, you need to pick whom you listen to else, you’ll end up never doing anything significant with your life. Remember, don’t be afraid of cutting negative people out of your life. Cut off and start the detoxification process now.

2. Affirm

Any rubbish can come into an open water bottle and occupy space. That’s why you have to fill your mind after detoxification. Fill your mind with the right words, thoughts, and beliefs.

Replace “I can’t” with “I can”

Replace “I don’t know how” with “I know I can do it”

Replace “it won’t just work” with “all things, everything will work out for my good”

Fill your heart with uplifting thoughts and mind-blowing words. Affirm every minute that you’re strong and blessed. Affirm that you can always succeed and prosper. Affirm that the universe will bring to you your needs. Affirm that you’re made for more.

Keep saying and believing it. Go for it and you’re a success already.

3. Research

Have you ever treated a thing lightly because you didn’t know how valuable it was and then lose it only to discover its real value?

You know how sad you felt, right? That was what happened when I stopped training only to later discover that I’d thrown an opportunity away.

At the time when I got tired and stopped, I didn’t understand how much important it is to always acquire new skills. I never thought I might be needing that skill someday. I never understood the value of what I was getting and I gave up.

Often times we fear risks not because they’re risks but because we do not understand the value of the blessing hidden in every risk.

If you don’t make (proper) research you may not know what you stand to gain from that risk you’re afraid of taking. You know, if I had written down every great thing about learning how to ride a bicycle I would not have given up.

I’d get so fascinated and thrilled by the benefits that I’d even forget the pains of learning it. To a great extent, knowing and documenting the positive side of everything we do helps in keeping us motivated.

So, instead of dwelling on the negative side of risk-taking,  why not take your time to make research, think and document everything good you’ll learn from it.

That way, risk-taking will be easier, sweeter and even profitable because things tend to work out when you’re completely positive about it.

Your Turn

Have you felt afraid before? Did feeling afraid make you lose an opportunity or something you won’t live to forget.

Share your story because I’ll love to learn from it. Thank you.

Chidera Ochuagu

Chidera Ochuagu

Chidera is a Writer, Speaker and Teen Life Coach who help teenagers find their fire and become the best version of themselves. She is the founder of Smart Teens Network. A platform dedicated to raising next teen generational leaders.

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