Oh, the Fear

fear

You know the feeling, we all do.  You can’t escape it. They tell you to “feel the fear and do it anyway” in books and quotes.  Yeah, it’s easier said than done when you’re heart’s pumping so hard it feels like it’s about to come through your chest, you’re hands are sweaty, knees are shaking and the words coming out of your mouth sound so unsure and so quiet.  Of course, in this case, I’m talking about public speaking.  But this goes for all other areas too.

Some of us may have a little more difficult time “feeling the fear and doing it anyway” than others.  We allow fear to stop us from doing the things we want to do.  We allow it to over power our lives.  Some of it comes from anxiety and some of it from low self esteem or confidence.  Maybe you grew up in a home that didn’t provide much guidance on how to persevere and overcome those things you fear.  And that’s completely understandable.  But we don’t have to continue staying stuck in it.

What comes to mind is my short little time I spent doing a radio show.  I got so nervous before the first show.  I had doubts and I feared I would sound stupid on the air.  The DJ introduced me and my new business.  We talked for a little bit, him asking me questions and me answering, joked around a little, then comes the first caller.  Help!  I had everything written down that I wanted to talk about and tried my best to anticipate what someone might ask me over the air.  My first caller asked me a question that I knew the answer to but my mind somehow went blank.  I stuttered a little but was able to re-focus on what was being said instead of the fear thoughts.  Fear was controlling me instead of me controlling it.  As time went on, I improved and became more confident and at ease.

That’s how it is with fear.  At first, it almost feels debilitating, it’s so frightening and so big.  But then after you push yourself to go ahead with it and take a few steps, it starts loosening up.  It’s just a matter of getting yourself to take that first step.  What I started practicing doing each time fear tries to stop me, is remind myself of all those times I made the choice to stand up to it.  I remind myself of how powerful and confident I felt when I did so.  And that helps propel me forward.

Fear is just a thought.  You anticipate in your mind what you think will happen, and it’s usually more on the negative side.  This trips people up a lot of times and they miss out on so much life has to offer.  I know I’ve missed out on a lot of opportunities I turned down out of fear.  But I got tired of listening to my fear dictate how to live my life.  So, when the fear is staring me in the face, I acknowledge it and then I say take a hike.

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