“How we handle our fears will determine where we go with the rest of our lives.” -Judy Blume

There is a reason why we came up with the term “paralyzed by fear.” Fear can protect you from danger but it can also stop progress. It keeps you in the proverbial safe place that may not necessarily be the right place for your future growth and development. People who reflect on being stuck often find they remain so due to fear.

Judy Blume’s books include fun-loving children’s fiction like “Freckle Juice” and “Superfudge.” However, she also tackled controversial topics including racism, teenage sex, and puberty. One of her most famous titles, “Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret” has been banned in some schools as not being age appropriate.

Despite the fact that facing controversy can generate fear and self doubt, Blume triumphed. Her books sold over 80 million copies and have been translated into 31 languages.

Yes, there was controversy. But there was also relevant and needed discussion along with celebration. While there parents wanting to keep her books out of the library and their children’s school, there were many more who saw how she brought issues to light in a sincere, candid, and approachable style that related well to young adults. The start of essential discussion generated by these books may not have occurred if Blume allowed herself to be ruled by fear.

Likewise, the quality of your own life can also be determined by how you handle fear. Perhaps the best way to conquer fear is to assess what you are missing by letting it remain in charge. Then you realize that this new path is worth the effort of pushing past fear and reaching your potential.