Last night marked the end of my last Spring Break ever, and it was pretty amazing to say the least. Although I didn’t escape to some tropical island, I was able to visit a few friends, go to a concert in Boston, and do something a little unorthodox for a senior on Spring Break. This is where the “amazing” part comes in. On March 14th, I was lucky enough to attend Bryant University’s 16th annual Women’s Summit. I had never been to one of these conferences before, but as soon as I heard Arianna Huffington was going to be there, I just knew I couldn’t pass up this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. With over 1,000 people in attendance, I was among the many that learned how to “aspire”, “achieve”, and “advance” in both my professional and personal aspirations. I even had the pleasure of meeting Huffington at her book signing during the summit.
Does the name Arianna Huffington ring any bells to you? If you’re thinking of the Huffington Post, then you are correct! Most notably, she is the founder and editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post Media Group. But aside from that, she is an author of thirteen books, a politician, and has been on Time Magazine’s list of 100 most influential people…twice! With all of her accomplishments, it’s hard not to admire Ms. Huffington, and I am still in complete shock that I was able to meet her. It was such an honor to have the opportunity to speak with her, and I will never ever forget that moment.
When I found out about the book signing, I opened up my Kindle app and purchased one of her books called “On Becoming Fearless”. As the title suggests, Huffington writes about what it means to be fearless in different aspects of life, and shares her own personal experiences to her readers. After the first few pages, I was immediately and completely immersed in what she had to say. I even started highlighting certain key points that I wanted to apply to my own life. Does that make me a little nerdy? Actually, please don’t answer that. It’s just that, it really got me thinking about my life and in what ways I consider myself to be fearless. Better yet, it made me really start to think about my fears.
I think everyone experiences some sort of fear throughout their lives. Whether it’s the fear of losing someone, the fear of being alone, or even the fear of rejection, we all let fear enter our minds in some way or another. But, why do we let fear get the best of us? Why is it that we’re so easily influenced by the fearful voices in our heads? I think the first step to becoming fearless is admitting you have fears. It’s important you learn how to accept them, and then figure out a way to overcome them.
Personally speaking, my biggest fear is failure, and I’m sure this is the case with many others. I’m always thinking about what could go wrong in every little thing I do, and have struggled with this fearful flaw for quite some time. But, after reading Arianna Huffington’s book, I’m finally beginning to realize that failing at something doesn’t mean I’ve failed myself. It just means I’ve made a mistake, and making mistakes are a part of life. I’m learning that it’s time for me to put my fear of failure aside and just go after my dreams. It’s time for me to be nothing but fearless.
One of my favorite quotes in “On Becoming Fearless” is where Huffington states:
The more comfortable we are with the possibility of falling down, the less worried we are of what people will think if and when we do, the less judgmental of ourselves we are every time we make a mistake, the more fearless we will be, and the easier our journey will become.”
The journey in life isn’t going to be perfect. There will always be bumps along the way and unexpected twists and turns when we aren’t paying close attention, leaving us to feel fearful. Yet, somewhere in the midst of all this fear is our ability to find the fearlessness within ourselves. And that’s where, I believe, our journey can turn into something wonderful.
-Arianna Huffington and I-