Tuesday 5th March – I was mugged – someone came up to me and snatched my bag and I pulled and I pulled but I let go out of fear. Running after him screaming, hoping someone would miraculously be able to stop him and get my bag back. But they couldn’t!
That night I cried a little and I slept a little.
Next day, everyone mourned the loss of my things – my phone, my purse, makeup and other little things that women have in their handbags without even realising. But what no one knew was that I might have lost those material things but I had lost something much bigger: my courage. Inside I was scared. Scared at the thought it would happen again. Scared to go back home in the fear that someone would mug me.
You see, that fear, it overcame me. It overcame me so much that, that night I didn’t protest with my dad to let me walk home.
The day after I didn’t attend my late evening Leadership session thinking that someone would attack me again. I thought maybe I should quit it altogether, why take the risk?
On Friday night, I took the day off work so I could just be safe and comfortable at home.
Saturday came and I canceled my plan to go to London because all I wanted was to stay in bed and never go outside. It had scared me to my soul. I wanted to be brave but I couldn’t find the courage I needed.
Sunday passed in a blur as I cleaned the house and prepped for the next day (I would be going back to work). I could feel the fear creeping up again, wanting to message my colleagues to say I didn’t want to come into work.
That’s when I knew it needed to stop. This was getting out of control.
As cheesy as it sounds, I looked at myself in the mirror and I said, Nabeeda you have two options:
1) You can stay at home and do nothing for the rest of your life. Give in to the fear. Miss out on the beauty this world has to offer and the amazing things you can do. The plans, the dreams and the goals in the pipeline can stay there and you can just sleep forever.
2) You can go outside and face that fear. You can look at it in the eye and do your thing. Walk the same path. Enjoy your leadership sessions and day trips to different cities and travel to different countries.
I decided that option 2 was going to be my choice. So as I woke up on Monday, I was determined to face my fear. I walked to the station, the normal route. My head kept turning every few minutes to check there was no one behind me but I knew it would take time but I would get there.
Now, it has been a couple of weeks. The reality is my head still turns to check every time I hear a sound. My heartbeat still quickens when I walk on a dark street alone.
But you know what?
I attended my leadership session again and remembered why I loved it so much. I even did the day trip to London and seeing my friends made me realise how much it was worth it.
The thing is giving in to the fear is so easy. I could just sit at home and never do anything and always feel safe. But that isn’t life. I would miss out on so much. But by facing my fear every day I get to experience new things, meet new people and most importantly, I get to be proud of myself.
Giving up is always an option but always remember, do things today that future you can be proud of.
Overcome that fear. Hour by hour, day by day, it will get easier. Just have a little faith in your power.