Why Do We Choose Fear Over Faith?

My first initial months in San Francisco could be summarized by one word: fear. Specifically, fear of the unknown. Will I land a job? Will I make rent every month? Will I find new friends? But the question that kept me up the most at night was:

Will I fail? ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

Looking back, I yearn to tell my post-grad self that I wasn’t going to fail. You’ll get that job. You’ll make those friends. The bills will be paid on time. But largely, I wish I could advise myself not to build a life around fear.

Instead of motivating myself by fixating on “What if I fail?” I would have slept easier at night if my self-talk had revolved around the question:

“What if I succeed?”

It seems simple to just choose faith over fear. But it’s easier said than done when our very own biology is at the mercy of fear. As humans we’re constantly assessing risk. And not just with large-scale matters like careers, finances and relationships, but in the everyday mundane, too: When I’m at my favorite restaurant I scan the menu and see an abundance of delicious options to grub on. But, by the time I’m up to order, I end up with my safety choice (usually chicken tenders with ranch, my dietary staple). Why? Rather than having faith that I’ll love something new, the fear of not enjoying an unfamiliar meal, fear of wasting money and fear of going hungry are more compelling factors that drive me right back to my comfort zone. Every. Single. Time. How much control can fear have?

It’s been two years since my move to San Francisco and I have a new set of goals and the corresponding slew of worries. But this time, whether it’s a new food or new career, I’m allowing my faith to be bigger than my fear. I’m going to sleep like a baby under a blanket of unwavering faith knowing that I’m going to be ok.

I’m going to make it. You’re going to make it. We’re all gonna make it.


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