Fear: The Worst, the Weird, and the Aftermath
The world is a scary place. We all have our own worst fears, and we all know what it's like to be afraid of something. But I've found that the more you talk about your fears, the more you realize that they aren't actually as scary as we make them out to be.
My Worst Fear – Not reaching my full potential
I've been thinking a lot about my fears lately.
I know, I know—fear of the dark is probably the most common one out there. But it's not mine. My worst fear is that I'll never reach my full potential and become the person I'm meant to be.
It's hard to explain, but when I was younger, I felt like I had so much potential—so many possibilities before me. But as time went on, it seemed like some part of me was holding myself back from reaching those goals and fulfilling those possibilities. As an adult, this fear has only gotten worse. Now that I'm older and wiser (hopefully), the idea of never fulfilling my potential just makes me feel sad and frustrated at myself for not having done all that was possible in my life so far.
And there is the fear of snakes. Though I managed to kill one sometime last year it took a lot of encouragement and moral support from people around me, and thanks to a long stick.
My Weirdest Fear: Death and what comes next
Death is the ultimate unknown. It's something we've never experienced, and it's impossible to know what lies beyond the veil. But for me, death isn't just an unknown destination—it's also a way of life. It's the space between breaths, between thoughts, between moments of joy and sadness. It's what happens when we stop existing in this world and start existing in another one.
For the past couple of years, I've had this weird fear of death.
I don't know if it's because my grandparents all died when I was young, or because I have lost a lot of loved ones in recent years – Dad, best friend, uncle, uncles-in-law, friends, and colleagues, or because the world around me is so chaotic – lots of unnecessary killings in the country (unknown gunmen, Islamic extremist, Boko Haram, and more), or if it's something else entirely—but whatever the reason, the fear of death has become my unwelcomed neighbour.
It's not like I think about it all the time—but when I do, it makes me feel like I'm being crushed under the weight of our mortality. I don't think it's an uncommon feeling. We're all afraid of dying, after all. But for me, it goes beyond that. It's not like I want to die or anything; I just don't want to experience more ruthless killings, untimely death.
For me, death represents something much bigger: The end of our existence as a person. The end of my ability to experience life in any way at all. And that scares me. The idea that my existence on Earth and that of those I love will always be temporary is terrifying enough to keep me up at night a few times. But it also makes me cherish every moment I have here with them more than ever before—because I know how much they mean to me now that they could be taken away at any moment.
This is also complicated by the thought of what happens after we die. It's about what comes next. It's about being stuck in this world and never getting to find out what comes next.
I think that's why people are so obsessed with finding out if there's an afterlife; we want to know what happens next, but we don't want to be left behind in this world without knowing where we're going or who will be waiting for us when we get there. We're all looking for reassurance that there's more than this life—that there's more than just our current experience of being alive here on earth with other people who care about us most when they need something from us or when they're grieving over someone else's death while we're still alive ourselves (and kicking). So maybe that's why some people become religious: because religion gives them hope for an afterlife where they'll see their loved ones again someday.
So what are your worst and/or weirdest fears? what should we do with our fears? How can we face them head-on instead of letting them hold us back?