Do It. Do It Afraid.

Fear Cripples You, Here’s How.

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When I was younger, I wore heels a lot. I wouldn’t say I wore them comfortably, but I always tried despite the staggering. One time, I wore heels to church and I fell just at the entrance. Everyone around tried to help me up after chuckling, and as someone who rarely requested the help of other people, I was embarrassed. Guess how old I was when this happened? 11!

I decided to stay away from heels for a couple of weeks. A couple of weeks became months and eventually years. At 16, my mum got even more concerned as I would do one of three things: keep new heels on the shelf till they spoil, hold them in my hand and wear slippers throughout an event, or give out the heels almost immediately I get them.

I had begun noticing all the things that’d further discourage me from wearing them: my legs aren’t exactly straight, I have hairs on my legs, I’m always staggering, etc. Sometime during my 19th year, I got an invite to fine-dining with someone I really enjoyed hanging out with. I had gotten a dress and knew I just had to wear heels with it.

On the said day, I wore the heels to prove a point. I just wanted to show the other person that I could wear heels as they had teased me severally about it. I kept telling myself in the cab, “You can’t mess up. I trust you, okay?” You’d have thought it was something more severe than wearing heels. Anyway, I wore the heels well for over three hours that evening.

Last Sunday, we had a t-shirt-themed Sunday in church. People were to come in t-shirts with different inscriptions. As expected, many people wore jeans and sneakers, but I walked in with an Ankara skirt and heels. As I entered the church minutes before the opening prayer, someone said, “I just knew Olamide would wear heels.” I laughed so much and reflected on how far I had come. I am now the girl who prefers heels to sneakers.

Why am I telling you about heels? It’s more about fear actually. Fear does a lot of things: it cripples you and points out several “reasons” you are not good enough. It could be in seemingly small things like wearing a particular kind of clothing or big ones like learning a skill. You may internalize fear so much to the point where you start saying stuff like, “Oh! I just don’t like heels,” whereas, that statement is rooted in the fear of failure.

If there’s anything I’ve learnt in the past year, it is I have control over certain things, including my feelings and decisions. People might say a good way to overcome the fear of something is by saying affirmations that imply you’re not afraid. If it works for you, awesome. What works for me, however, is this mindset: I may be afraid. In fact, I am afraid, but I’m going to do it anyway.

What if you fail? But then again, what if you don’t? Take action regardless of the outcome you fear. Even if you eventually fail, you would have at least tried. What are you scared of doing?

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Olamide 'Pearl' Makinde

Olamide 'Pearl' Makinde

I kinda just like to rant here + I write tech stuff sometimes. I love hearing my readers’ thoughts; we can have a convo in the comment section, twitter, or IG.