Nope, that’s not a typo. There are so many people in the world that have a fear of “flying” but over the years I have discovered that I am one of those people who has a fear of “trying”.
It started way back in childhood. The need to have straight A’s in school to impress my mother. I studied and worked hard to impress my teachers. Oh, I was a doozie. I remember actually making research projects of my own to give to my teachers. Yup…need for attention was way high! As I got older, it didn’t change much. My identity was based on what other people thought of me. If they liked me, then I liked me. A hard way to get around in life. The thought of being mocked or laughed at took over my life and not in a good way.
I never signed up for any school sports. I might look stupid if I missed catching a ball. My team mates would be mad if I didn’t run fast enough in relay races. Playday…that should’ve been a fun day. It would mix children from all different grades and create teams. There would be all kinds of games like dress up or shoe toss and you would compete against other teams. Fun right? My fear of trying led to such nervousness that I would screw up so many simple games. The year our team won 3rd place I was so excited! I ran home to show my mom and got, “How come you didn’t get first place?” Devastating.
Today’s thought isn’t about pity. It isn’t about relieving sad parts of childhood. It’s more about looking back to see how much I have grown as a person and how I finally managed to quash my fear of trying.
My first defense mechanism was humour. If I tripped going up some stairs or something I would laugh at myself first. Beat everyone to the punch. That helped a lot. It’s no fun making fun of someone if they are already making fun of themselves right?
Next, self-confidence. That was a hard one. When I realized it was most important that I impress myself instead of others it really helped me out a lot. Funny thing is that this self-awareness was not something I had realized on my own. It was when I started dating Wiseguy that I began a very interesting journey to self-awareness and confidence. It was strange having someone say to me, “do what you think is right” when it came to family situations. I didn’t know what was right. Right to me meant making everyone else happy and not caring about how felt. So, with lots of talking and analyzing he helped me figure out how that really worked.
Even trying new things. I wanted to take a writing course. He said go ahead. I was averaging 94%. When it came time to submit a story for my final exam guess what happened? Yup, fear of trying popped up again. What if they didn’t like my story? What if I failed the exam? What if … what if…and that was it. Never got my certificate. Wiseguy didn’t harass me or bug me about it. I guess he realized it was going to be quite a journey for me.
Wiseguy would take me to new places, new restaurants. We would drive someplace where he had never been before. It was all about leaving the comfort zone. That fear of failure or looking stupid in front of others would almost cripple me sometimes. Example: I would never order food in a restaurant that I would not eat easily with a fork and knife or spoon. Spaghetti? Never…what if the noodle suddenly slapped me in the face? Chicken wings…so messy. Soup…I might slurp it. Wiseguy hung in there and year after year I would get better. He would tease me about ordering the same thing so he would dare me to try something new. My Fear of Trying became the Year of Trying.
Don’t get me wrong, there are times that my stomach gets so queasy from fear and it takes me a bit of self talk to get me to realize that life is about trying new things. Failure isn’t necessarily a bad things. You learn so much from errors if you take the time to step back.
I have been asked to emcee a very important upcoming event. When first asked I got that wonderful, sickening, stomach tightening feeling. My brain began racing with the usual What ifs. Then the miracle happened as it nowadays normally does. The excitement of trying something new, like Wiseguy had taught me, was worth diving head first into the pool of life. I am sooooo excited and looking back, I can’t imagine why I would’ve turned down such a wonderful honour from someone whom I love so much.
My wish to everyone today, grab that one little fear of trying that you have. Shake hands with it, wish it well on its new journey OUT of your life. Make this your Year of Trying. ♥