“To each man’s ages the Lord gives it own anxieties.” Paulo Coehlo
As children, many of us wrestled with daily anxieties. Fear of the dark. Monsters under the bed. Losing mom in the grocery store. We longed to be older - at an age where we were confident and less fearful.
Then we aged a little. Fear of the dark evolved into anxiety about SAT scores and learning to drive. Once again, we longed to be older - at an age where we were accomplished and less fearful.
Time goes on and we age even more. We take a job. We buy a house. We have a kid. A few kids. The anxieties don’t disappear, in fact, they get a little sharper. After all, there’s more at stake. We somehow think that with age that things will be easier. Not so. Each day is completely new. Sure, certain fears have evaporated, but they have been replaced with others. Scary, right?
The good news is that with age comes perspective. While we are encumbered by very real fears and anxieties as we get older, we also build our experiences and sense of awareness. Unlike our younger selves, we now have memories of all of the things we were able to accomplish and withstand even in the face of fear. Having this in mind, we can look our anxiety in the face and know that this, too, shall pass. We know that one day, this anxiety we wrestle will fade into a memory as we move on to deal with other challenges.
Our advice? Treat your fear or anxiety as a gift. It’s there to protect you, but also to help you grow. Only once you surpass it can you progress to the next summit of your journey.