I’d like to see you try though. Don’t worry I’ll wait here till you’re done. 3,2,1…

 This adage isn’t challenging you to literally do the impossible but if you tried, A for effort but… You can’t outrun your shadow. Sorry. As long as you’re in contact with any sort of light and it casts on a surface, a shadow will always and forever form. Even inanimate objects have shadows; lamps, drinks, chocolate. No one and nothing is above it.

On the contrary, it is addressing our fears, doubts, and insecurities; those things we don’t necessarily like to talk about but seems to be on our mind a tad too often. It could be a bad habit or an addiction. Whatever it is, no matter how big or small, it’s just always there. The bad news is that it will always be there if you don’t do something about it. The good news? You’re not alone and something can be done about it. Everyone has things that take a stab at their confidence but instead of trying to outrun it, why not face it head on? How are my outrunning your shadow you ask? By masking it with a facade, being in self denial (one of the worst things you can do to yourself in this life),the list goes on and on. Sometimes people turns to “temporary” means like alcohol and drugs to try and forget the situation but guess what? The shadow doesn’t go away. It will always be there if you choose to do nothing about it. 

While you’re busy avoiding the problem, this shadow could use the opportunity to fester and root itself deeper within you. Do yourself a favor, turn around and face it. I know it’s wayy easier said than done because overcoming fear or a habit takes a lot of effort and in short, it’s hard. But remember that you don’t have to do it alone. Ever. Go to someone you trust and share your burdens with them. Let it all out. I am Christian so I believe God is the ultimate problem solver because nothing is too big for him. Hard times are a part of life and they WILL pass. A problem shared is a problem half solved so quit wasting your energy trying to outrun something you know deep down you can’t outrun. It’s unnecessary time and energy wasted. 

We live in a society of competition. Everyone is trying to put their best foot forward and no one wants to be the “weak” person that can’t keep up or seems like they’re struggling. I can really relate to this because of the kind of school I attend. I grateful to attend Duke University and I’m not trying to brag but it is a top notch school and I’m surrounded by extraordinarily intelligent people all day, every day. Talk about pressure. For some strange reason, there is an underlying pressure to take (and excel in) super hard classes, be president of two clubs, play a varsity sport, do research in Dfbjdglgrtgret to hopefully discover rgbfdlsbf AND still have a banging social life. Most importantly, it needs to seem “effortless”. While I’m not saying there aren’t people with similar responsibilities who do fine, most times there is the pressure to not want to let people know that you’re struggling or that you need help at some point. But realistically speaking it’s complete puffpuff because hard work DOES take EFFORT no matter how “brush-off-the-shoulder” the final results seem. Effortlessness to an extent takes effort. 

Think about models on the runway for example. How much goes on behind the scenes but when you see them, FLAWLESS (Beyonce reference heree, haha) as if nothing happened. So why put yourself under such pressure? No one is perfect. It’s okay to break down and admit “Yes, I need help”. Who knows, this same all rounded person could also be suffering from a personal crisis or addiction or what not but doesn’t want to let in anyone so their image isn’t tarnished. After all, you choose what you want to show people, right? I’m not saying you should display your insecurities to the whole world for a pity party but don’t allow yourself drown in inner turmoil because of pride. Never let your reputation define who you are as a person.

I digressed a tad but my point is to first of all acknowledge you have a problem because there is nothing worse than knowing something’s wrong but refusing to admit it. When you do, reach out for help because no matter what you’re going through, there are countless people who have (and are) going through same thing… In a lot of cases, even worse. You might be dead but you’re not. I’m taking a class that is focusing on refugees in Central and Northern Africa and when I read the accounts of their journeys to host countries, I was more than humbled and grateful. I always say, the “struggle is real” but that’s just child’s talk. For real, there are people out there that I have so much respect for and we will probably never meet. There are even more people with profound stories that have (and will) never been publicized by media. If you’re reading this right now, count yourself blessed.

Stop running. Don’t let your shadows engulf you. They are shadows for a reason.

What do you think? How do you deal with your insecurities or personal struggles? Share in the comments below!