Facing your fears
Doing things that are uncomfortable
Having the courage to do things you believe in despite tremendous resistance
These are easier said than done. All are difficult and emotionally overwhelming. Everyone has experienced these moments in their lifetimes. Each one of us had to go through moments of sheer terror until we get through and feel that we are glad to have taken the plunge. Let me share one of my experiences.
Around 7 years ago, I had to go through tremendous stage fright before giving my first speech in front of a huge audience with the fear of being judged or worse ridiculed. I don’t remember how it went, but I do remember that I was terrified. But since I had prepared and rehearsed it a gazillion times, I somehow went with the flow. My hands were trembling, my feet were cold but I spoke and blurted out whatever I had rehearsed. They just came out. Two minutes in and I got more confident. My hands got stable. I surprisingly started liking the experience for which I was worried for about a week. And it got over, done and I got warm applause.
Later I asked people how it went, and to my surprise, no one noticed my trembling hands or cold feet, and on the contrary, they said that you seemed natural at it. I was like, really?! Probably, they were unaware of how many rehearsals it took me to make it seem natural. But I just felt so good after it ended, not because it went well, okay maybe partially, but because I was able to do something which seemed uncomfortable and scary at first and later became something I started enjoying. I have given numerous talks now and am considered to be above average at it although there’s still a lot to learn I still get that fear before going in. But then I recall that moment and those trembling hands and assure myself if that could go well, this one shall go well too.
We all have these moments in our lives. Be it asking your crush out, quitting the job you hate, or something fearful, but once you overcome it and naturalize it into your own life, the uncomfortable becomes comfortable. Remember the time jumping in a swimming pool seemed scary or maybe the water seemed too cold, but when you got in, it became comfortable.
Fear in our head lingers to make the simplest of things difficult, the more you wait, the more difficult it becomes. So, the simplest way to minimize fear is to take action. As fast as you can. Action cures fear. Do some preparation but none too much.
Doing uncomfortable things and living on the edge, is like any other skill you can develop over time. It’s like a muscle that can be trained to lift more the next time. You just need to put in the reps, consistently.
And the uncomfortable becomes comfortable eventually.