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Don’t let fear take the wheel

Afraid things will go downhill? Our elder admits we all make mistakes.

Don’t let them keep you off the path you’ve chosen.

Dear EWC:

I’m a college student majoring in tourism, hoping to be a tour guide or tour leader one day. While I could say that I’m good at my studies or that I’m a brilliant student, I’m scared all the time. I have quite a few job offers, but I’m too scared to take those chances, I’m afraid that I’ll mess up, afraid that things will go downhill and I won’t be able to fix it. I turned them down.

Months ago, I took one of the jobs offered to me and was really afraid at first, extremely afraid to the point where I had a panic attack. Although it went well, I really hate being afraid and experiencing panic attacks; I don’t want to experience one again. But I do know that I need to take the jobs or else I won’t get any experience. I hope you can help me, I don’t know what to do. Thank you.

JensPen replies:

Tourism is such an exciting field. You have chosen well and have so many opportunities ahead of you. I understand that you are nervous and afraid that you will mess up.

Guess what? Everyone messes up from time to time as we are all just human. I used to be very, very hard on myself. I always thought I had to be “perfect” and couldn’t mess up. That type of thinking did to me what it is doing to you.
I finally realized that we all make mistakes. As long as you own up to them and take responsibility for whatever has happened, you will move forward. Life is a series of hurdles. Some you sail over and occasionally you will trip and fall over others. What matters is the knowledge that once you trip it is already behind you and what matters is how you recover and learn from the bump in the road.

Good for you for taking that job despite your fear, and as you wrote, that “it went well.” Sometimes we just need to push ourselves out of our comfort zone. When faced with a scary or uncomfortable situation ask yourself what is the absolute worst thing that could happen. Once you figure that out you will realize that whatever it is, isn’t that bad and that you can deal with it.

How wonderful that you excel in a field that you love. Now take advantage of these opportunities and go for it! Live your dream. If you want to be a tour guide go after it. I am confident that you can move past your fears and enter into a life of adventure and new experiences. Savor them all.

I hope you will consider and act on my advice. Please feel free to write again if you have more questions. Good luck to you!

Letter #: 443434
Category: Career

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