“The idea of dancing is the only thing that scares me.” -Johnny Depp
Fear is such a personal thing. For Johnny Depp it’s dancing, which my husband and sister would probably agree with, but I love to shake my groove thang, so for me dancing is just a fun way express myself or release some steam.
Sometimes it can be good to push through a fear to see what that fear is all about. What scares me? I thought I’d give a top 5 list here:
1. Something happening to my son scares me- whenever he has a problem I can feel my mom-worry-omiter on overdrive. I think it’s just a mom thing.
2. Bugs in my hair, ear, or really anywhere on me- I had a bee sting my head just the other day and then I couldn’t get it out of my hair, ouch! Now, they are a freaky fear on my scare list.
3. Public speaking/performing- which is somewhat unfortunate, because I’m a natural born performer. The truth is the desire to perform is so strong in me I rarely go to see live music, story telling, etc, because I feel an overwhelming urge to jump on stage and be the one performing.
4. Not being understood- feeling like someone is misinterpreting what I’m saying and feeling like I cannot shift their perception. I don’t like it when I can sense someone judging me in a way that I don’t feel is fair.
5. Writing- I know this sounds crazy, but writing was always my worst means of communication. I still think it’s my weakest means of expressing myself. I’ve made massive improvements and I don’t even know if writing actually scares me anymore, but it did for most of my life, so I thought I should include it on the list.
OK, so obviously I’m not going to stick a bug in my ear or put my son in some sort of peril to push through my fears in those areas, but some of the others on the list are healthy goals for me to work on- like with writing. I was scared, and I wrote anyway. I didn’t like what I wrote, so I rewrote it, then I still didn’t think it was good enough, but I published it and shared it anyway so others could read it.
If you take little baby steps in the direction of your fears you accomplish three goals at the same time:
1. You begin to whittle away the fear itself and build a large foundation of courage and strength.
2. You develop skills in areas you thought were not possible for you.
3. It’s a way of practicing managing your anxiety, which leads to better emotion self-management.
So now that writing is a smaller fear in my life, I can begin to tackle one of my biggest fears I have. My fear of performing. What’s funny is I use this skill all the time, but I’m not using it to my highest degree. Right now I’m a performer/story teller working in the medium of Facebook or personally in my conversations with others, but neither is quite the right “fit.” Facebook give me the exposure, but I cannot use my voice as effectively and personal conversations are great, but it’s only reaching one person at a time. I like one on one conversations don’t get me wrong, but I feel the desire to share on a larger scale too.
I want to be telling stories and hearing stories of my friends, so I’m in the early planning stages of starting a storytelling podcast with my friend, Cheryl Larson. More on this soon.
I also need to be making music or at least singing. My heart needs this. From the moment I’ve begun to feel better, my heart has been begging for songs, begging for my voice to come out to play.
Music was my first creative love. My parents called me, “Jenny-bird,” when I was a baby because I mimicked the sounds I heard the birds making. My mother swears my cooing sounds were all very melodic. I spent huge chunks of my childhood making up songs, singing and twirling.
Sound has always been important to me. If I hear a sound I like, I will repeat it, no matter where I am. My son seems to have the same sort of weird sound affliction and together we’ll make harmonies of random sounds we hear- so say a vending machine makes a strange whirring sound, if I like it I’ll repeat it in a different complimentary tone, then my son will get in on the act and we’ll have a three part harmony to a vending machine and if I’m really feelin’ it, I’ll syncopate my rhythm of the tune. I can’t help myself when I hear something I like, I just have to repeat it, or dance to it, witness it and/or express it in some way.
The safest thing I could do would be to sit at home and make some craft project, which is what I’ve done for years now. The scariest thing would be to sing publicly, tell a story publicly, record it and share it publicly or do some other public speaking type of thing- which I have done before, but I’m not over the fear hump yet. I want to do this and I’m afraid of it too, but you better believe that I’ll be doing some version of my voice being heard publicly in the very near future, so stay tuned!
Now, my question for you is, what are you afraid of that you might consider overcoming?
We do a weekly feature over on The Maven Circle called “Truthy Tuesday“ with different topics each week. We’d love to have people post their experiences around those topics on their own blogs too, to encourage more truthiness around blogland and openly talk about some of these things!