Big topic. Simply put, fear holds you back. It can overwhelm and consume you if you feed it.
Fear has pretty well run my life until the last couple of years. It felt like I had no control over myself or my life. There are just too many fears to name but I will share a few, some I am still working on.
At school I was fairly shy. I wanted to crawl in a hole every time I was asked to answer a question. There were times I felt brave and wanted to contribute but I was so busy dealing with the fear of getting the right answer and saying the right thing that I always missed the point of what ever was being discussed at the time.
I generally don’t think things through properly before doing things which has worked for me so far. Had I been a person to properly think things through, I just wouldn’t have achieved anything in my life. I was a fearful person, but at the same time, quite brave. I would make a brave, bold declaration such as “I am going to...” then I would set my sights on this goal, pushing myself to the brink just to make whatever it was, happen.
One of my goals was to become a teacher and I’m not sure how far into my degree I was, before I realised that I had a significant fear of standing up in front of a crowd of people. Very inconvenient, considering teaching meant standing in front of a classroom and worse, school halls for assembly. Generally speaking, classes required you to do an assignment on a given topic which you would present to the group.
Oh my! The stress I went through for just one of these occasions let alone the umpteen dozen required. This is when common sense should kick in and one realises ‘Actually, I need to find an occupation that utilises my strengths.’ Oh well, live and learn. I would sweat profusely, my face would be a very shiny shade of red and I was lucky to make a sound let alone make sense to an audience.
I was very fortunate in that one of my lecturers could see that I was out of my depth. He did a number of things for me. He put me onto various services available through the university for people dealing with anxiety, yay. He counselled me through putting a presentation together, being organised and the value of practise, practise, practise and provided a supportive environment where by if I did choke (and the chances were fairly high) the audience would be relatively understanding.
Never underestimate how much of an effect an act of kindness can have. It wasn’t this lecturer’s responsibility to help me out the way he did. Anxiety was my problem, his responsibility was to teach and mark our assessments based on the criteria he had set. Luckily for me this man reached out to help a fellow person and I am utterly grateful to him for doing so.
So pushing myself, determined to achieve and learning some breathing practises, I became a teacher and although I felt completely uncomfortable doing it, I learned to sing, dance and speak in front of big audiences. There really is something to be said for ‘What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger’.
A case of fear that I am working on at the moment is feeling hypersensitive to perceived threats. This is a big part of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. At one point in my life there were times I felt uncontrollable fear just getting the mail from the mailbox. Circumstances had to be perfect for me to go out.
I have enlisted the help of two different therapies, Neuro-Training being one of them, to get on top of this fear I feel. I understand on a logical level that I and the people I care about are safe but sometimes fear just gets the better of me and I retreat. I know what I am like so I take particular care of myself in situations I feel there might be a problem. I am pushing through this by learning to be present in times of distress. It has helped to start small, achieving little, realistic goals and pushing these out to bigger achievements. I can see that it will take some time, but what else do we have?
I have found there will be infinite opportunities for me to show that I no longer let fear control me. I can’t fail, there is always tomorrow to try again.
Inner Health with Neuro-Training
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