Scared vs Frightened

“Do something everyday that scares you.”

– Eleanor Roosevelt

I remember hearing that quote for the first time and being really confused. I thought to myself, “If I wanted to do something everyday that scared me I would probably have to keep finding new ways of being a dare devil.” I used to think that being scared meant being frightened. Sometimes I still get those words mixed up but deep down I know they possess different meanings. Being scared is actually a lot more risqué then being frightened, at least thats how I see it. For me, being scared happens a lot more often than being frightened. When I am frightened, I am shaking with fear. The fear of something truly horrible happening to me, like death. But I am more scared in my own small ways everyday I wake up in the morning. I am scared of making a fool out of myself, making wrong decisions in my life and yes, I am also scared of what others think of me. As much as I desperately want the ability to simply brush off peoples opinions or remarks, they matter to me and can sometimes put me down. Thats what I am afraid of.

Upon reading this quote, I have come to realize how much of a whimp I truly am in my day to day life. I am shy, scared to talk to strangers, isn’t the best at making new friends and always tend to avoid the awkward moments where I am being shoved into a group of people I hardly can say two words to. You can imagine my mothers frustration now that I am a teenager about to embark on college. How sad it is to see her daughter not willing to be as out spoken or social as she. These are things that scare me. The idea of having to speak with people and converse with them, especially as much as my own mother does. She and I are polar opposites and I guess meeting her expectations is another thing that scares me.

“Do something everyday that scares you.” His words keep rolling around in my mouth. I can’t seem to shake them off. I try not to think about it too much but this one quote must have some profound meaning if I keep contemplating about it! When I look back on my life and think about all the moments I have missed out, the small things I could have done but was too scared to do, I think about the significance of this quote. I think about how everyday is a new page to a story waiting to be written. So I may have missed out on my chance to “Do something today that scared me,” but tomorrow is a new day.

Truly, there are a lot of things in this world that scare me. I am scared of public speaking, singing in front of people, acting. I am scared of opinions, negativity, unhappiness and disappointment. Perhaps this quote is too vague for someone like me. “Do something everyday that scares you, challenges you and pushes you to accept and live a life guilty free.” Does that sound better? No, no, no!  “Do something everyday that scares you without making you think about the things that put you down.”

I guess what I am trying to say is that, you don’t need roller coasters, spiders or a giant monster in your closet to truly scare you. The simple things in life such as going up on a stage in front of twenty people, singing karaoke (even though you know you suck at singing) in front of your crush, or voicing your opinion out even when you know others will disagree with you about it…those are the things that must be challenged. Those are the things that must be conquered at the end of every, scary day we live in. Fear comes in many shapes and sizes. Sometimes, they are much more physical, but most of the time, they are emotional and mentally driven. They are what propel us to make judgments, doubt our actions and ultimately put us down. You have no idea how many times I have almost wanted to do something but failed to do it because my inner fear got the best of me. “Do something everyday that scares YOU. Own up to it, and don’t let it control your fate.” I think thats sounds about right.

– The Paintress


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