So many people say to me “I can’t believe how easy it is for you to speak in front of people,” “well you are comfortable in large groups” or “you get don’t get nervous socializing.” They are WRONG! Don’t judge people by what you see and hear there could be so much more going on for them.
I used to be the queen of planning parties a month in advance and then spending that month building into a frenzy and then the day before being so nervous deciding I hate all my friends and wondering why I do this to myself. I bet those of you that know me are thinking this stress and fear freak out was about food, planning or something to do with the party itself. NOT SO, its people – my mind starts to tell me that I sound like an idiot, I have nothing of interest to say and everyone will see I am stressed, I will probably pass out from the rising heat of anxiety in my body and then I conclude with no one will probably come anyway.
You would think the thought of no one showing up would calm my nerves. NOPE – not comforting! This my friends leads to the awareness of my most scary fear – no one likes me. The party time arrives and I appear to all the guests that I am fine. Partly because once they are at my house I realize I like my friends and partly because unless I called to tell everyone its cancelled this event was going to happen whether I liked it or not. Truth is people tend to work themselves out at a party and if you are hosting you don’t really have a lot of time to socialize. However, I as you have read would have wasted the entire month stressing about the party and losing that month of my life to an event in the future that I truly had no control over anyway. Thank goodness I don’t have to live like that today (not to say this fear doesn’t rear its ugly head – I just have a way to deal with it).
Today it goes more like this –
A couple of months ago I finally decided I would follow my dream of writing and I found what I thought to be the perfect workshop for me. I told a friend I was going and as the date got closer I wish I hadn’t told her because now she would know if I chickened out. Ugh – but today I am committed to following my heart even if fear crops up. I drove to the site of the workshop and started to panic about going in and meeting new people and I was wondering what business I had going to a writing workshop!!! So I did my “go to” solution to all things fear – I asked for help from goodness knows what – just something out there other than me – I like to call it Spirit! I put my head down and asked for help and when I looked up I noticed a sign on the side of the building. In larger than life print it said “BE A LIGHT.” I knew right then and there that I would be fine. I could go in and be of service to others by listening and being kind even if they didn’t think I was a good writer.
We are much braver when we think of doing for others than when we think of doing for ourselves, so – I got out of my car and walked in to the workshop – no longer thinking of ME (my favorite topic) and I was rewarded. I had a blast. I was nervous don’t get me wrong – but the key was to stop thinking about me and think of the others in the group. It worked!!! When I saw the friend who knew I was going she said, “you are beaming, clearly you are following your path and you are a “writer.”” At first, I said “no I am not” and then I said, with a smile – “I wrote today, so I guess I am.”
Is there something you want to do that fear is keeping you from doing? I urge you to follow your heart’s longing and walk through the fear. You never know it may just be as amazing as my writing workshop experience; if not, you can try something else – point is you won’t know unless you walk through the fear my friend!