Some of you may remember, I got a casual job back in November; working my first shift in February. I was terrified of speaking in public, being in crowds and I hate meeting new people [especially young people]. I take school groups around campus, at the head of a crowd; judgemental teenagers I’ve never met.. and talk to them.
In May, I saw an email begging for help – one of the other workers had cancelled and the spot needed to be filled for 2 days time. And I noticed some language in the email request for a worker.
“You must be confident at leading campus tours and looking after year 10s”
Every email says this. I’d worked once before. I had to lie to myself to do the job. But if I didn’t, I’d NEVER do the job.
If I am NOT confident at giving campus tours [i.e. my first ever time], I will never reply saying “I can do this”. Therefore, I will NEVER GET confident, about giving campus tours.
Through changing my self-defining language “I’m not confident, I can’t do that, I’ve never done that”; I became ABLE to do it. “I’ll do it” was perceived as “I meet this criteria, I am confident”.
And through that, I did the job and became much more confident by the end of the shift.
To be fair, I lied when I applied for the job, I lied in the interview/training day and therefore had no qualms lying about my confidence.
The job description said words to the effect of: “must enjoy meeting people, happy speaking to crowds/in public, knowledge of the campus, able to answer questions, have social skills & be flexible.”
I didn’t fit ANY of it, with my self-definition of that time.
But I realised that the only way I’d learn to speak in crowds, was to do it and not have it end badly. The only way to tolerate crowds; was to be in them and find the enjoyment.
I re-defined myself through a moment of fear.
“I hate all these things. I’m afraid of all these things. I will always be afraid of them, if I never meet with them.”
(because facing fears is scary and so I meet with mine instead)
And a little voice in my mind broke out:
“What if I could do these things?”
“Let’s say I can. Let’s re-define this fear process. I am able. I am made of the same energy every other being is. I know so many people who have pushed their boundaries and therefore, expanded them.
And I want that.”
I don’t want to be defined by my fear.
So the Re-definition occurred and now I’ve done two shifts; and I’m signed up to work five dates this month alone. And through the knowledge that I am doing this; that I am so much more confident at speaking in public.
Hell, I spoke at a conference with 2,900 social care professionals in it two weeks ago.
I also used this fear to teach Shivanata; fear of meeting new people, being judged, speaking and demonstrating in a class. Yet now I love it. I’ve loved each session and felt so content with how I’m sharing these wonderful tools with others.
So I want to ask you; what fear is holding you back? How could you re-define it and find the adventure or challenge?