I think fear is one of our biggest enemies in life. A lot of people, myself included at times, let fear paralyze them. It holds us back from so many great experiences and opportunities.
Some examples to illustrate my point:
When I was little I loved doing gymnastics and finally convinced my mom to enroll me in a class. I think I was enjoying it pretty well until they announced we were going to start training for a competition. For some reason being judged and competing scares me. It's probably a pride thing. Anyways, after they started preparing routines for competition I promptly dropped out. That's right- I'm a gymnastic class drop out. Do I regret it? Definitely. Who knows, maybe I could have been a really great gymnast (except for the fact that I'm tall and like eating more than just egg whites).
Next example: In middle school I lived in England. My school didn't really have any organized sports team (although I did run cross country, but that's another story- although related to fear!). When I moved back to the states it seemed everyone was already really good at whatever sports they had chosen, and I, never having really played on a sports team (except little league) felt too afraid to try to learn when everyone else already seemed so good. So I went through high school thinking I wasn't very athletic or good at sports, when the truth was I had just never tried it because I was afraid I wouldn't be good at it. At BYU a lot of social life revolves around intramural sports, so I missed out. However, once I moved to Idaho I found myself surrounded by people who aren't great at sports either. Despite that, the ward put together a softball team so I decided I would join. As it turns out I'm not terrible at sports, well at least not at softball. Maybe all those seasons of little league are just paying off. In our first game I caught a pop fly, and a grounder to get someone out at second (I play short stop). Granted, I was significantly less impressive in our second game, but hey. I realized I shouldn't have let fear of being bad at something stop me from doing it.
Example #3 is a positive example. Going on a mission was scary. I definitely thought it would have been a lot easier to just stay at BYU and get married (although it's more likely I would have stayed at BYU and remained single :). But going on a mission, although it was scary and I often found myself out of my comfort zone, was the best thing I have ever done! I would have missed out on so much if I had let fear stop me!
And finally, I would be lying if I said moving out of Utah while still single wasn't scary. A year ago the idea of that terrified me. In a way I had kind of felt sad for the girls that graduated from BYU and moved to some remote location alone. I thought "Good for them" but I never saw myself being that girl. Luckily as time went on it became less and less scary. Hopefully facing this fear will pay off too!
One thing's for sure though- I won't let fear dictate my life.