I have a confession to make. I am terrified, terrified of speaking in front of people. Seriously, it’s borderline obnoxious. In college, I even took a public speaking course in an attempt to get over this completely irrational fear of mine. However, my plan backfired terribly and I pretty much just ended up being terrified of the class and of public speaking. The weirdest part is that I really don’t even know why I have this fear- I know that the nightmare of being laughed at and ridiculed is only that- a nightmare. But in real life, regardless of the polite interest of my audience, I inevitably end up with a shaky voice, sweaty palms, and a lot of “ummm”s and “uhhhh”s.
What are your most irrational fears? How do you deal with them (or do you deal with them)? While we all have fears, some of them are better left untouched (snakes, for instance), while others should be dealt with head on. Here are three fears that we should always face, for the sake of enriching our lives:
Being In Charge
This is where my fear comes into play- whether you’re commanding a room full of people for a few minutes with a speech or you’re leading a project at work, being the center of attention and having people listen to you can be scary. Like, really scary. And, yes, there is a certain amount of pressure that comes along with being in charge. Like it or not, these people are expecting something great from you. However, on the flip side of that coin, this can be a momentous occasion to prove that you have something to say that is worthy of their attention. Use this fear as an excuse to exceed expectations- yours and theirs.
Offering Constructive Criticism
I think that it goes without saying that people are never hoping to be criticized- constructively or otherwise. However, that does not mean that you should always refrain from offering it, when the criticism is something that could potentially really help someone. It’s not a fun thing to do, it’s rather nerve wracking, and there is always the off chance that it will not be well received. Yet, in the end, this sort of situation can end up leaving you relieved and, in many circumstances, closer and more connected to that person than before.
Having a Conversation with Someone Who You’ve Upset
It’s incredibly difficult to face someone after you’ve managed to upset or disappoint them, regardless of if you feel as if it was warranted or not. Saying ‘I’m sorry’ is something that we all fear, because as humans, we fear vulnerability. And admitting wrong-doing is, to some degree, an action that leaves us emotionally vulnerable. However, in order to strengthen bonds, it is important that we face this fear and learn the humbling art of apologizing.