I am not a brave person. I don’t pretend to be. I would much rather be sprawled across my couch with my cats and boyfriend than out hunting for adventure, or even out where a lot of people are.
Oh, also, I startle at most loud sounds, and I hide under blankets during the scariest parts of movies.
However, I’ve noticed that this this lack of bravery affects how I interact with people. I don’t speak up for myself as often as I could, I just go along with what everyone else wants even if I really don’t want that, and I think far too often that I am annoying someone even if all I am doing is asking them a question.
As I stepped over the threshold of student into full-fletched adult, I made it a goal of mine to start being a bit braver.
They say the first step in fixing a problem is recognizing that it exists, and I completely believe that. Because even discovering a problem was hard work. It’s not like I woke up one morning and magically thought, “Hmmm, I am going to fix my fear of fear once and for all!” I didn’t really recognize I had a problem until I dug more into self-help articles and spent more and more time analyzing my own emotions. I’ve been doing those bad habits for years and years, but it wasn’t until these past few months (when I had to do things like find new friends or discover my place in a completely new location or own pets) that I saw the problem and knew it needed to change. And it wasn’t going to be pretty.
I started deciding to do things like tell a waiter they brought me the wrong food or it wasn’t cooked well, communicate to any sale associate or hair dresser exactly what I wanted, and canceling plans if I didn’t want to go. These were super small steps, but these were things I wasn’t doing earlier. Through doing these things, I find myself being okay in arguments instead of collapsing into a puddle of tears. I found myself okay with telling someone I disagreed with them. I found myself okay with discussing big issues with other people.
The big whammie that happened, however, was when I heard myself saying out loud, “I would love to play for the worship band.”
I took piano lessons for years when I was younger, and always the worst part of the process for me were the recitals. I would grow sick, sweaty, and shaky within hours of the time I would have to stand up and play. And, here I was, putting myself in the position where I would possibly be doing those things regularly.
Of course, the nerves came full force. I had plenty of nightmares of doing horribly or completely missing my call time. I had many panic attacks during work on the first day of rehearsal, like 8 hours before I was even due to play. I found myself wiping my fingers off of my jeans moments before, found myself praying harder than I have ever prayed before as I climbed the stage to the keys.
But, here’s the thing, I did it. A girl who is was consumed with anxiety and stage fright, got in front of her entire church and played an instrument (MIND YOU, there was one song that had a big solo) where people could hear when and where I went wrong.
It’s crazy, and I may be a little insane, but I did it. After surviving that experience and not playing a single wrong note, here are the five takeaways so I’m not just talking about myself, and you can learn something too:
What do you think? Are you afraid of something and is it blocking your way of living? Or do you think I’m just dumb? Let me know in the comments!