As much that we hate to admit it, we’ve all had those moments when fear got the best of us. Think of your first date, or the time when you had to make a presentation in front of your friends. Or what about sitting for your big examination and you are hardly prepared for?
All these experiences we hold close to our lives. But nahh, having the jitters is normal. Plus, fear is often an automatic reaction our body uses to help us cope.
When I was young, my greatest fear was being made to read in front of people. I have trouble to pronounce ‘R’ correctly and I was so afraid of making fool of myself. I would cringe every time my name was called.
Finally when I was 8, I decided to do something about it. I did something totally out of character; I actually volunteered to read a short story during the assembly in front of the whole school. At first I was afraid but my teacher held my hands and told me everything going to be just fine.
It was the longest 10 minutes in my entire life. And yeah I did survive. After the assembly, my friends did made fun of me. They teased my every time I’ve said something with ‘R’, but I just ignored them. Soon after that, they got tired and eventually stopped teasing me.
And somehow that incident developed my self-confidence. I’m no longer afraid when teachers called my name to read in front of the class. In fact, I actually volunteered myself whenever there was an opportunity to appear in front of the class. If the teacher wanted someone to read an essay, my hand shot up. If the teacher wanted someone to show the class how to do the maths problem, up I went. Sure, I felt afraid that I would do something wrong and the whole class would laugh, but the important thing was I did it in spite of my fear.
When I’ve entered high school, I was also extremely worried about my PMR exams, as I knew my English wasn’t that good. I was determined to do well, so I started to read a lot of English storybooks. I’ve started with Enid Blyton’s, Sweet Valley Series by Francine Pascal, Goosebumps and Sabrina The Teenage Witch. In the end, my result turned out better that I expected.
From that I learnt that you cannot run away from your fears. You have got to face them head on. The thing is, once you face your fears, you will realize that they are not really that big a deal after all. I have also come to realize that fear is a good thing. Without fear, you would never challenge yourself, and it is through challenging yourself that you become a better and stronger person.
Like they say, it’s all in the mind.