How to Quiet Your Fears and Expect the Best

by Tess


Your way begins at the other side. Become the sky. Take gaze to the prison wall. Escape. Walk out like someone suddenly born into color. Do it now."
~ Rumi 

My granddaughter turned 18 on Monday! In our last conversation, she shared with me that she's not sure she's ready to be an adult. She’s unsure of her future. 

She’s not sure which college to attend. What if she chooses the wrong one? She’s worried about a new roommate and other unknowns.

I assured her that her feelings are normal. It's impossible to be sure of the future.

I explained to her that there isn't a wrong choice. Each college has pros and cons. She’ll do fine regardless of where she goes. I told her the roommate probably feels the same anxiety she does. 

I reminded her of all that she has accomplished thus far in her short life. I reminded her of her positive past experiences and what a strong person she is. I reassured her of my love. I told her she could call me anytime.

I told her that most of us are afraid of change and new experiences.

Our ego convinces us to “expect the worst.” Yet we all have the option to “expect the best!"

How would your life be different if you trained yourself to have positive expectations? 

"Try a thing you haven’t done three times. Once to get over the fear of doing it. Twice to learn how to do it. And a third to figure out whether you like it or not". ~ Virgil Thomson 

Choose discovery and adventure. Look at what scares you from a different perspective. Life would be boring and routine if we didn’t repeatedly stretch ourselves. Try something new. Do one scary thing today and another tomorrow. 

"The first and great commandment is: Don't let them scare you." ~ Elmer Davis 

Live well. There is nothing to fear. Create balance. Exercise and eat a healthy diet. It’s good for your overall mood and spirit. When you create balance in your life you have less anxiety and more calm, less fear and more fun! 

"Fortune favors the bold." ~ Virgil

Stop avoiding. Stop the busy work. Stop playing games. Stop mindless eating and shopping. Stop watching porn. Stop all the time-wasters and mind-numbers. Just stop! If you can’t just stop, get help. 

"I have accepted fear as a part of life – specifically the fear of change…. I have gone ahead despite the pounding in the heart that says: turn back."  ~ Erica Jong 

Prioritize. Make time for gratitude, silence, and creativity. These three things will immediately deflate your fear. Fear cannot survive the bright light of these activities. You will shine!

"A cheerful frame of mind, reinforced by relaxation… is the medicine that puts all ghosts of fear on the run."  ~George Matthew Adams 

Stop. Breathe. Relax. Let go of obstacles, resistance, and doubts. Become open to change, opportunity, solutions and answers. When you can go with the flow, inspiration arrives and magic happens. Allow. Breathe. Relax. Enjoy! 

"Thinking will not overcome fear but action will." ~ W. Clement Stone Deal with gloom and doom. Stop the worrying, doubting, dreading, procrastinating, obsessing and stressing. These feed off of each other and intensify fear. Write in a journal. Go for a long walk. Do a little yoga. Change your environment. Just get up and get moving. 

"I failed my way to success." ~ Thomas Edison 

Get over it. Forgive yourself for not getting everything finished, for not being perfect, for not getting it right, for missing the deadline, or for changing your plan, again. You are OK, exactly as you are, at this moment in time. You are where you need to be. Forgive yourself. Make a plan and begin again. 

"I am kind of paranoid in reverse. I suspect people of plotting to make me happy." ~ J.D. Salinger

Live the life you want to have. Live with the happiness you want to achieve. Don’t attach your joy and happiness to the achievement of your goals. Don’t wait until someday to embrace the attitude that your life is an amazing adventure-today, this is your time. Stand up and claim it! 

What advice would you give to an 18 year who is about to enter college? Do you  have positive expectations for your future?

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{ 32 comments… read them below or add one }

Karen April 20, 2012 at 7:39 am

Your granddaughter is beautiful and your advice was perfect. It brings back fond memories of the time I left home and arrived at college with the same fears. It turned out to be one of the best years of my life. I recently found my roommate through a web search and we have been catching up after many decades of silence. The other advice I might give her is that no decision is set in stone. She can choose again if she doesn’t like the college, the roommate, the path of study, etc. Good paragraph about avoidance behaviors.
Karen´s last post…Seeds of Growth


Tess April 20, 2012 at 4:40 pm

That’s amazing that your first year of college went so well. Good for you for finding your roommate. You have a lot of catching up to do! I will remind her how she can choose again;)


Hope April 20, 2012 at 12:46 pm

I agree, you already told your granddaughter great stuff.
What would I say? It matters less where you go to college than how you go–open to new experiences and excited to learn. And take a 20 minute nap every afternoon!
Hope´s last post…Carol Dweck’s Mindset and My Yoga Mat Revelation


Tess April 20, 2012 at 4:41 pm

That’s a good point, thanks for sharing!


Cathy | Treatment Talk April 20, 2012 at 1:57 pm

Hi Tess,

Great advice for your granddaughter. How fun to be 18!! I would tell anyone of that age group to work on their confidence, build it up, so you feel good about yourself and your decisions. Life isn’t alway pretty, you will have your moments like we all have had, but you can get through them and have an amazing life. Be adventurous and have fun! Don’t forget to give your grandmother a great big hug and tell her how much you love her!
Cathy | Treatment Talk´s last post…5 Life-Changing Family Recovery Strategies


Tess April 20, 2012 at 4:42 pm

That’s so hard to do at that age but I certainly will remind her of that confidence factor! I’ll take the hug and love as well.


Glori April 20, 2012 at 3:35 pm

Hi Tess! You’re wisdom shine through your writing. Thank you so much. The sixth is particularly helpful for me. I am an introvert in its truest sense and I prefer to think rather act, there are many things that can’t be accomplished unless we move.
Thank you!
Glori´s last post…“No. I Am Not a Snob”: An Introvert Speaks


Tess April 20, 2012 at 4:43 pm

Hi Glori,

I’ll be your big cheerleader and inspiration. Get moving…just one small step;)


Megan Bord April 20, 2012 at 6:10 pm

With your excellent counsel on overcoming fear, I’ve learned to dive in when normally I’d sit stuff out. What’s the worst that could happen (in most cases)? Besides, being bold is fun! I loved the quotes in this post — nicely done.


Tess The Bold Life April 23, 2012 at 4:14 pm

Hi Megan,
You’re so wonderfu! I appreciate your support. xo


Ollie B April 21, 2012 at 6:33 am

You had very succinct wisdom for your granddaughter, and for anyone who is experiencing apprehension about doing something new. With you as her grandmother – she will be fine; part of this thing we call life is having people who love and support you just a cell phone away.
Apropos for me, was the avoidance nugget…I am working on it…


Tess The Bold Lifet April 23, 2012 at 4:15 pm

Good for you for working on it! I’m blessed to be her grandmother. Thanks for stopping by!


Michael April 21, 2012 at 6:53 am

Hi Tess,
Where are you going through horse!!!
Where is the nice place?

Michael´s last post…How To Pick Up Girls


Melissa April 21, 2012 at 8:05 am

I wish you were my grandmother. I could have used that advice a long time ago. My advice, only in hindsight, it to let go of the past to move on with the future. I don’t think I was ready to go to college when the time came, and so spent so too much time holding on to old boyfriends and friends that I never truly embraced the experience. I really wish I could go back and do it all over again. I would have went further away from home, with an open heart, and an open mind. Good luck to your granddaughter, she is lucky to have an open minded adult (other than a parent), who has her best interests at heart, to talk to. Btw, I just recently discovered your blog and I have to say, I find it very inspirational and it reminds me of who I used to be, and where I hope to get back to.


Tess The Bold Life April 23, 2012 at 4:17 pm

Hi Melissa,
Thanks so much for your compliments. I’m glad you’re here! Let me know how I can help you


Ciara April 21, 2012 at 11:18 am

Hi Tess, it really is amazing how many silly things hold us back, I have a lot of publicity coming up for new book and i’m nervous about speaking on the radio and on TV but at the same time I’m excited and can’t wait to have it done as I know it will go well and I will be so delighted when I have done it.
Ciara´s last post…7 Steps to Get it Out of your Head and into a System


Tess The Bold Life April 23, 2012 at 4:18 pm

Oh you can do this. Make it fun and you’ll get better as you go. Enjoy the journey. Breathe.


Erika Awakening April 22, 2012 at 1:15 am

Hi Tess,

Thanks for this article. I have especially been inspired by the stories about Edison and all his “failures.” I don’t even think of it as failure anymore. I think of it as one grand process of experimentation and following intuition. Now when there is a “slowing down” or apparent “setback,” I am already looking for the miracle. This happened in a really extreme way last year when my car got hit by two different cars (while parked) in one week!! Turns out the Universe was helping me get a brand new car. Or if biz slows down, I know the Universe is helping realign something for my next quantum leap. As your article shows, it’s so often how we are looking at something that determines the outcome. Thanks very much.

- Erika Awakening
Erika Awakening´s last post…Welcome to our Brand New Beautiful Forum!! :)


Tess The Bold Life April 23, 2012 at 4:19 pm

With your attitude the sky is the limit! You go girl.


Gavin Stevens April 22, 2012 at 8:36 am

The picture of the lady on top of the horse is too good.
And your article here is even better. It was very inspiring.

Thanks for sharing.

Gavin Stevens´s last post…how to seduce a woman


Tess The Bold Life April 23, 2012 at 4:20 pm

Thanks Gavin.


Lance April 22, 2012 at 5:22 pm

This is great advice, Tess – your granddaughter is lucky to have you in her life!

We’re just beginning the college search process with our oldest, who is a junior in high school this year. A couple of weeks ago – we went on a little college visit roadtrip (which was a whole ton of fun…).

It’s a big step…college, and moving out on your own. And I, too, am convinced that it’s not so much where you go as it is – what you do while you’re there. Get involved, try new things, meet new people, explore, learn…and have fun!
Lance´s last post…The Path Of Your Vision


Tess The Bold Life April 23, 2012 at 4:21 pm

Thanks for stopping by. Great advice. This is an exciting time for you family. For sure!


Sibyl April 22, 2012 at 8:48 pm

Hey Tess: I loved this post and this message. I think that is amazing advice you gave to your grand daughter. I loved the line — Our ego convinces us to “expect the worst.” Yet we all have the option to “expect the best! That is so tweetable:) Great post.


Tess The Bold Life April 23, 2012 at 4:23 pm

Thanks Sibyl.
I appreciate you! xo


Patricia Anderson April 23, 2012 at 2:23 am

I used to fear growing up and growing old as well. But as soon as I got to experience adulthood, it all changed. You get the chance to explore, experience, and enjoy life more than being young. :)
Patricia Anderson´s last post…MSDSonline Teams up with ASSE and Jennifer Silk for GHS Webinar on April 19


Debora April 23, 2012 at 5:45 pm

Tell your grand-daughter to thoroughly enjoy her entrance into adulthood. For maybe the only time in her life, she will have the luxury of choosing her very own path,… be it education, what to have for dinner, or when to study/relax. Tell her to have fun; work hard, play hard, make a few good friends, and to remember that you are always there for her.


Evelyn Lim April 23, 2012 at 6:32 pm

I wish I have a mentor like you when I was younger. I would not have felt so lost or alone. It can be terrifying thinking about what lies ahead at the age of 18. It will help greatly if there is someone who can give some wise advice.

As you have said, it is impossible to be sure about the future. We can expect the worst or we can expect the best. It is up to us to choose.

On the side, I hope that when my girls turn 18 or 19, they would be able to share their fears with me. I may not be able to handhold them but at least I would like them to know that I would always be there for them.
Evelyn Lim´s last post…7 Misconceptions on The Law of Attraction


Susan Gregg April 25, 2012 at 11:47 am

Aloha Tess,

I am a quoteaholic so for the quotes alone I love your post.

My first public speaking event was to a high school assembly. Talk about nerve wracking. While I sat on the plane I finally had a thought. What would have helped me when I was that age?

I openly shared my fears and started out by sharing that question along with the caveat that at that age I would never have listened to someone as old as me (I was 42 at the time).

I told them the most important thing was to love themselves and to learn to listen to their own inner voice. I reminded them happiness wasn’t found out there but began within. I talked for an hour and to my surprise they listened. Thanks for helping me remember that day, I haven’t thought of it for years.

With aloha,


Rose Byrd April 27, 2012 at 11:38 am

I just find so much helpful guidance in living from Rumi! Stepping out in a brand new color–love that one and am doing that today, as a matter of fact. I really admire your conversation with the 18-year-old here. Lead on!
Rose Byrd´s last post…“……and Jitters did WHAT for that little injured girl?”


Debi @Mystic Passage April 29, 2012 at 2:27 pm

My mom, who was always supportive and encouraging, suggested I find something different other than being a History Teacher when I told her of my “dream” when I graduated from high school more than 35 years ago because “teachers don’t make any money”. If I couldn’t do what I loved, why both to go to college? I don’t recall my mom ever saying again that one should place money above doing what you love. I just recently realized the pressure we put on children by asking “what do you want to be when you grow up?”. We have so many options … why choose just one? Better that we teach parents (and teachers) how to encourage young people to find their passion and make it happen. Build their self-esteem and provide the self-confidence for them to actively reach for the dream. How fortunate is your granddaughter to be encouraged at this pivotal moment to just have positive expectations and expect the best.
Debi @Mystic Passage´s last post…Dream Walking — Take Baby Steps


Amian August 31, 2012 at 1:12 pm

Hi dear . I am 25 year gradute student i am always
Afraiding of my future, new faces and new environmenr.
Please help me out in geting over my fear.


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