Oct 03, 2014, 10:17AM

Don't Let Fear Control You

Remember what's important.

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I can type more than sixty words per minute. It’s effortless—the keys are second nature to me, and I can sense when I've smashed the wrong letter without having to read my mistake. I didn't mean to teach myself this skill, it just sort of happened.

The odd thing about it is that my typing is jarred when I do look at the keyboard. My fingers clumsily trip over the letters, I second-guess the instinctive placement of my hands, and precision probably drops by a large percentage. All because I'm looking—trying to help myself by focusing more intently on something that I have no problem accomplishing with my eyes closed.

It's kind of like when you notice yourself breathing. Your chest rises and falls constantly throughout the day without begging so much as a thought from you, but the second you notice the passing of air between your lips the practice becomes staggered. Breathing is not something we need to think about, so when we do it leads to comical inefficiency.

Recently I've become a part of the terrified and unemployed college graduate statistic. Applying to jobs is on par with changing my underwear as far as routine goes, and I find myself constantly counting down the days until I have to start repaying my student loans. I’m scared. My friends are scared. None of us know what we're doing, and I'm just realizing that somehow we're still doing it.

And that's the point. Unless you're able to harness your fear as a healthy source of motivation, it has no place in day-to-day life. It does nothing but cause you to dwell on upcoming financial milestones. Worrying is instinctive—and in moderation can be helpful—but it's important to remember that we've all lived without constantly biting our nails off in fear of "the next step."

The accuracy of my typing is almost completely lost when I cease trusting myself enough to keep my eyes averted. I might check the positioning of my hands occasionally to make sure my laptop hasn't moved, but if I focus for too long the letters pop up on my screen jumbled and nonsensical. I think it's the same with living. We all know what we're doing because we're constantly doing it, even if that "it" is not something we're able to articulate, or are even aware of. We just need to trust ourselves a little bit more.


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