Whenever I think of common fears, and research done on anxiety-producing situations, I always laugh at the fact that when listing common fears in order of worst to best, many people list fear of public speaking above the fear of death. This is a common topic for many a comedian’s skit.
I have to say that I would definitely have fear of death higher on the list than fear of public speaking, but I can totally understand the physical effects public speaking can have on people. I can understand because I think my physical reaction to bugs, specifically Palmetto bugs (giant cockroach-looking things) is similar to their fear of getting up in front of a crowd of people to speak.
My heart races fight or flight kicks in, and I have been known to screech if one comes out unexpectedly!
When my husband and I first moved to Southern Florida, we bought a home that needed significant renovation. There was many a morning when I would wake up and find one crawling across our kitchen counter top. I couldn’t bear the thought of killing it and feeling/hearing the crunching, so I would trap it under a bowl, put a pile of books on top and leave my husband a note to take care of it when he woke up. He found it very funny that I thought I had to put the books on top of the bowl but I figured these things have been around since dinosaur time, who knows what they are capable of?
We thankfully have completed the renovations of our home and I can say that I do not have these early morning visitors any more. I am also happy to report that I did not let my fear of these bugs prevent me from any of my daily routines.
“You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’ You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”Eleanor Roosevelt
I think it is important to recognize the things in life that cause us fear.
- Are we afraid to have certain conversations with a loved one?
- Are we afraid to ask for a raise?
- Are we afraid to venture out into our own business?
- Are we afraid to go back to school for a degree?
- Are we afraid to learn a new skill?
- Are we afraid of illness for ourselves or a loved one?
- Are we afraid to enter into a relationship with another person?
“Each of us must confront our own fears, must come face to face with them. How we handle our fears will determine where we go with the rest of our lives. To experience adventure or to be limited by the fear of it.”Judy Blume
These unprecedented times have brought up fears in all of us that we never knew were there. We can sometimes not even recognize ourselves in our actions or reactions to events.
Remember, fear can be healthy for us as it sometimes will prevent us from dangerous situations. Having fear/respect for a poisonous snake, for example, can help prevent us from being bitten. It is when the fear is irrational and prevents us from doing things we would otherwise enjoy that we need to look at ways to overcome these fears.
This can be done in many ways:
- Relaxation/calming techniques
- Physical exercising
- Practicing mindfulness
- Going out into nature
Spend time thinking of the things in your life that are causing you anxiety or fear. Ask yourself, “Is this something I can control?” Come up with something you can do to relieve your fear over this situation.
Remember self-love is crucial. Do not criticize yourself over these feelings you have. Be gentle with yourself. All that you need to succeed is within you. You only need to draw on your own strength and you will reach heights you never dreamed possible.
“The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”Nelson Mandela