The Truth of Fear, The Power of Conviction

By Samantha McKenzie

As a former “cocky New Yorker,” I grew up deathly afraid of being pushed in front of a moving train. I had read too many headlines of this gruesome act and as a precautionary measure, I chose to stand as far away from the edge as possible.


In college, the tiny frogs that leaped back and forth right outside the main entrance to my dormitory kept me in a frenzy. On nights after it had rained, I’d detour my legs and make good use of the back entrance. I should add here that in addition to these ferocious creatures, snakes and lizards still top the list of things I dread.

I joined in on a conversation about the things we fear the most and decided to tap into some of my intimate hang-ups, the ones that take up prime real estate in my psyche from time to time and on my worst days never seem to go away.

I googled the most popular human fears to see where I fit in. The top 10 list included a fear of:

  1. Public speaking
  2. Heights
  3. Insects/bugs
  4. Financial problems
  5. Deep water
  6. Illness
  7. Death
  8. Flying
  9. Loneliness
  10. And dogs (really? dogs?)

I bypassed a majority on the fear list, but couldn’t help but notice a few that were repeat offenders. Financial fears as it relates to my children often leaves me in a panic. As a divorced parent, I always fear that my decision to go it alone will someday backfire and I won’t be able to provide them with a better life. This alone has kept me up many a nights.

Then there’s loneliness. And not your typical loneliness either. I fear the loneliness that you experience even inside of a marriage or a relationship. An experience I’m all too familiar with. It scares me to think that I’d be sitting right next to my companion and never get to share the deepest, most meaningful parts of my love and my life. The part, I believe, most women desire to give, but only to those worthy, those willing to take the journey. Just beyond the caring, just below the kindness, there’s always more in her.

Fears are very real. They masquerade as worry, cause anxiety, and grip our forward steps.

But they are conquerable.

And they can be defeated.

I sometimes have to summon all of my courage to overcome them. I rely on a daily commitment to be the very best that I can be. Each time I face these fears, I remind myself of my strength, my power and my strong conviction in the “I am.” This under girds me on the very worst of days.

I believe in a power greater than myself and lean into this conviction…quite often.

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