As I get older, I realize how much power I have given to my fears. I would refrain from putting myself out there and over time I’ve just realized how unhealthy it is. While I haven’t let it completely control my life, I have let it stop me from experiencing amazing things.
I’ll give some examples – I have always been afraid of heights so I never go on roller coasters. My friends and family would always go on them and I would just be like, “Nope, I’m good”. And I still don’t think I missed out a great deal besides just a rush of adrenaline. But I have faced that fear in other ways. I have gone zip-lining a couple of times. One time I went zip-lining in the Poconos and it was 1000 feet high! I was freaking out on the walk up but it was an amazing feeling to be able to let go.
One fear that I faced that I am insanely proud of is public speaking. It was one fear I never thought I would be facing so often and even early on in my life. When I was in grades 6-8, I would willingly participate in Oratorical Contests in school where each individual participating would have to recite a historical speech. If you were loud enough and said it with passion within 4-6 minutes, then you would progress into the next round. I wasn’t afraid to participate then. In fact, I was always so excited because I would want to win.
Once I started college, my degree required presentations and reports so as I progressed in my undergrad career, I had to give presentations. In graduate school, it was the same case. I can’t even count anymore how many times I have had to practice public speaking. Don’t get me wrong, I still get the jitters each time but I’ve definitely improved over time and I’m extremely proud of my courage.
So how does one come to face their fears? Well, for one thing, you have to understand what your fears are and if they are hindering you in any way from being a better you. Is your fear stopping you from meeting new people, from trying something new, from evolving?
What’s the best way to face that fear? In some cases, what has helped me was seeing my peers being able to face that thing that I was afraid of because it would in some sense motivate me. But the obvious answer is that you have to be able to face it and what it would mean to you personally if you do. So take baby steps, but nonetheless, take the step. If you’re afraid of heights, go on a not so scary Ferris Wheel. If you’re afraid of public speaking, practice in front of your family first, then a couple of friends, and try to ease your way into different groups and sizes.
A lot of it comes from the mental aspects. You have to believe that you are capable of overcoming that fear. Imagine yourself on the other side, a different person.
I thought this was an important issue to talk about. I hope this helps, take care!
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