I think I was about 14 years old when I saw the movie that would come to change my life (for a period of time). The movie that gave me strength and willpower, courage and hope. The movie in which the quote that became my new motto had its origin: After Earth, starring Will and Jared Smith.
I don’t know if you’ve seen it. It came to the cinemas in 2013, and, according to me, there wasn’t much talking about it after that either. I guess it didn’t get as famous as it was expected to be, but I may be wrong. Anyways, I thought it was okay, but then they said something that made the superwoman inside of me step out. No; break free! And I had the revelation of the year.
What they said? You just read it: Fear is a choice! That’s what they said. I have no idea how it sounds to you, but to me it was as if flames and fireworks popped up by the announcement. “Fear is a choice; BAM!” That’s how I heard it, because you see Beautifuls, I had plenty of fears.
I was afraid of getting in contact with new people, especially with so called ”popular students”, because I didn’t want my dorkyness to scare them away. I was afraid of being left alone, in a room where I didn’t know anybody because I felt too insecure about myself, and I was way too comfortable in my comfort zone. However, my absolutely strongest fear was one of the dear old classics: stage fright. I loved music and I loved singing, people even told me I was good at it. Yet, whenever I would want to show it, this pain in my stomach just exploded. And I felt sick.
I was even afraid that it would always be like that, and I was almost close to giving up the whole performance-thing. Then I heard these words, and I thought ”What the heck, why am I even afraid? For what reason?!” Suddenly I felt like I could choose to be afraid or not, and I was certainly not going to stay frightened! So I decided that it was true. That fear was a choice, and that I can choose not to be scared of singing in front of a crowd.
Easier said than done… The next time I was gonna enter a stage, I wanted to run away. One thing had changed, though: I had started to see the performances as practice instead of an actual examination. The more I would do it, the easier it would get. Eventually that fear started to cease. Sure, I’m still nervous about singing in front of people, but time (and practice) made it much easier than it once was.
Now I’m looking for ways to challenge myself. When I identify a new fear, I try to expose myself to it instead of avoiding it. Examples of this taken from myself is:
- I’m not a fan of spiders – I pick it up in the palm of my hand
- I hate shots – I choose not to tell the nurse/doctor that I’m afraid and pretend as if I’m fine with the situation
- I’m not comfortable with hanging out with my new colleagues/classmates – I go to the party they invited me to (even if my nice bed calls out to me more than a party)
- Driving in heavy traffic makes me nervous – I get out in rush-hour
- I’m afraid of singing (and talking) in front of people – I get up on the stage
I think overcoming your fears only makes you stronger, additionally more comfortable with yourself. This really is easier said than done, but thinking like that will most likely hold you back. So just be aware of that, then tell yourself that fear is a choice and decide not to be scared anymore. Note that some things are okay to be scared of, though, like being rubbed or killed or something. You shouldn’t go and, you know. Don’t take this too serious!
One tip is to discover the beauty of your fears. That way you may manage to turn it around! Are you afraid of darkness? – Go out and watch the stars in the middle of the night. Are you afraid of spiders? – You’ll figure something out!
But I challenge you. Find one of your fears that you’re sick of, then go and meet it! Seriously, what have you got to lose? ♥︎