Junious Smith III: What's holding you back?

Junious Smith III: What's holding you back?

I said it best: The best advice usually comes from hypocrites.

In a previous column, I opened up about my anxiety when it comes to my career and it never got better. Weirdly enough, I’ll laugh sometimes when I do interviews with people on camera knowing I’ve told some of them to keep a strong, confident presence when I have issues doing the same. At least I’m trying in that aspect, but there’s a bigger issue present.

Over the previous week, I spent a lot of time inside my head, only coming out whenever I needed to write a story or get something to eat. Due to the aforementioned anxiety, I really don’t talk to people about issues — there are only a handful of people I get close to outside of work, mainly because of a conflict of interest, partly because my closest friends here moved away when I came back from Atlanta in 2015.

I did have a random conversation with one of my peers, which brought an interesting question: What’s preventing you from being the best person you can be?

It took a minute to come up with an answer, but it was a simple word: fear.

It’s a multilayered answer through the simplicity though. There’s the fear of going to a larger market after not enjoying my time at the Associated Press in Atlanta. I tell the kids I cover regularly I want to see big things manifest for them (i.e. my #flourishseason moniker) yet, why haven’t I done the same? What’s stopping me from dropping my guard a little more and enjoying the company of others locally instead of back in the hometown? Status quo is cool, but why can’t you elevate toward the next level?

To be honest, I needed Neuse News much more than the team needed me. It forces me to break out of that comfort zone even though I’ll still try to jump back inside the box at times. I needed to become better on the fly through audio and visual representation — the pen and pad can only carry me so far.

I had an idea to actually put together a Neuse News mixtape I scrapped partly because I felt it would be extremely corny, but fear did play a role. I’m usually good at handling criticism (which is wild considering that would usually trigger anxiety the most), but being spontaneous could be helpful at times.

To anyone reading this, do more of what I say rather than what I do. There are things I’m still working on and it’s a definite process, which is why I try to assist others so much. Wasted potential is a sad quality and fear will defer dreams nearly at the same rate of a poor work ethic. Continue working on being great and I’ll do the same.

By the way, that mixtape will come out Feb. 29, 2019.

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