It's so easy to let fear dictate your life. I know, because I often find myself doing just that. I let the fear of failure stop me from stepping out, I let the fear of what people think control my value and self-esteem, I let the fear of an unknown future paralyse me from enjoying the present.
One thing I used to be afraid of was public speaking. Most people laugh when I tell them and they often reply, "You're joking right, isn't that what you do?" Well, yes, today I do speak a bit and may appear a little more confident and comfortable, but it certainly didn't come easy. It was (and sometimes still can be) a huge fear of mine.
I often recall feeling viscerally sick at just the thought of having to stand up in front of people. Strangely enough I am a total introvert by nature. No one would really know but in high school I would often sneak to the bathroom if there was any chance we might have to speak in front of the class. Honestly I hated speaking in any capacity in a public space!
Today it's what I do regularly and it's not because I am an amazing person or anything, it's because I believe the message I have to give is more important than the fear I feel.
REASONS TO PUNCH FEAR IN THE FACE
1. WE MISS OUT
Fear makes us miss out!
If we never take risks we miss great ADVENTURES!
If we don’t step outside of our comfort zones we miss huge GROWTH!
If we never say hello to people we don’t already know we miss new FRIENDS!
If we never close doors we miss new OPPORTUNITIES.
If we always play it safe we miss so much FUN!
Eleanor Roosevelt said: “You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do.”
2. OTHERS MISS OUT
It’s not just about you. Often times there is another person waiting on the other side of your courage. A while ago I had an experience that reminded me of this.
It was a Tuesday morning and as is my custom I was doing my groceries with my three-year-old daughter. As we went through the checkout, the guy behind me (a pretty buff and rough Maori looking guy) had his card declined. He looked a little embarrassed and tried convincing the check out lady there was definitely money in there.
All of a sudden I had this thought, “go and pay for his groceries”.
I ignored the voice and told it to shut up! I continued packing my bags while trying to juggle my three year old who was grabbing for a lollipop.
The voice continued, “just go pay for his groceries”. Again I replied, “zip it”.
Finally I turned around and said, “hey, I hope this isn’t weird, but can I please pay for that”.
The lady at the checkout smiled and politely took my money leaving the man standing there in disbelief. He was absolutely shocked that a stranger would show him such kindness.
He kept shaking his head muttering “Are you serious? Are you sure”?
I replied repeatedly, “yep totally fine. I want too.” I told him it was nothing and just wanted to show him that was loved and cared about.
Tears rolled down his face as he explained how he was a single dad and the last few months had been really tough. Those simple words “you are loved and cared about” meant the absolute world. Now this isn’t some kind of humble brag, like I’m just such a good person (because trust me most of the time I am not!) It simply shows how OTHERS are actually greatly impacted when we overcome the voice of fear in our head and GET BRAVE!
So Be kind. Show love. Take the job. Make the investment. Start the business. Sing the song. Open your heart and let others in.
by Sabrina Peters xo
read the original and full version on virgindiaries.com.au