Wednesday, 9 February 2011

How I killed Fear

So I've been sat here for over half an hour trying to decide whether or not I should write and publish a particular blog I have in mind. You might be wondering what the big deal is but you see I'm one of those people that really cares what people think. If you knew the title of the blog in mind you may understand my concern. The dilemma got me thinking though. Why do I care so much? What's the worst that could happen? Someone may not like it or agree with me and may post a nasty comment but I'm pretty sure that's about it. I hope.

I think it might be related to this thing called fear. For me I guess in this situation it would be fear of rejection of some sort. Fear that some people may not like me. Or agree with my opinion. But I'm a grown woman for goodness sake! If I don't start sharing my opinion now, when will I? Ah, but fear has no regard for age. Both the ten year old kid and the sixty-five year pensioner are victims. Even though I'm okay with the fact that I'm not always going to be the most popular person in school or university or at work, somehow I find myself still wanting to be accepted. Nothing wrong with that you might say. But, I ask myself, accepted by whom? A bunch of people that don't even know me? Why? By my friends? Surely they know my views already and if they decide not to be friends with me any more because of something I posted online then maybe they weren't really friends in the first place right?

But seriously though, why do we care so much about what people think? I read and hear a lot of things I don't agree with personally but you don't see me going to attack the person that wrote or said it. In fact, recently, I bought a book that I thought would be very helpful to me in a particular situation I was facing. After reading just a few pages, I realised that it was a mistake (both buying the book and the book itself). The book wasn't what I thought it was. The title and an excerpt from one of the pages deceived me. In fact, I completely disagreed with the author's opinions and was a bit concerned that other people would read the book and accept everything written in it. But what did I do? I read the book to the end because I thought it was interesting (plus, I paid good money for it!). I didn't agree with it but I read it nonetheless. The guy expressed his opinion and even made some money from me in the process. Now come to think of it, maybe I should write to the author and tell him my thoughts. Anyway, the point I'm trying to make is this; Fear of what people might think or say shouldn't stop anyone from having an opinion and voicing it for that matter. Yes, we know that some people have very extreme views and are not afraid to voice it but hey, that's the world we live in.

Many a famous person in the world today got to where they are because they were willing to take a risk. Or say something. Have an opinion. Other people may not agree with it but who cares? I have to remind myself that I might not change anyone's life by my writings but then again what if I do? What if somebody read what I wrote and decided to change their life for the better? I would never know if I didn't write it. If I was too scared to press 'publish', for fear that a few people might snigger or turn their noses up. Or think I'm weird. Some of the weirdest people in the world are also the richest. But that's another topic altogether. I believe every person on this earth can make a difference. Let me borrow a quote from a certain Marianne Williamson (and not Nelson Mandela as I originally thought-thank you Google!)- 'Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate; our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure'. Or as I like to paraphrase, 'Our deepest fear is that we have so much potential within us that if we searched deep and utilised even half of it, it would blow our minds what would happen'. Someone once said that the richest places on earth are graveyards, because countless potentials are buried there. How true.

Thinking back, I realise that what I'm battling with sitting in front of my computer is the same thing I've battled with for years. Remember sitting in class and the teacher asks a question and you think you know the answer but you don't want to say anything in case you get it wrong and other students (who definitely don't know the answer) laugh at you? That happened to me a few times. I was always mad at myself though when someone else answered and said just what I was thinking and got applauded. Some people even take this same mindset into the workplace. You're in a meeting and your boss asks for innovative ideas for the next major project. You come up with a couple of ideas in your mind but you don't say them because you think they'll sound silly. Next thing, one of your colleagues suggests one of your ideas and a few months later, gets an award for it. Fear. Or my personal favourite (because I've been there several times)- You're in a lecture or listening to a presentation and something is said that you don't understand. Instead of asking the lecturer to explain the point, you stay quiet because you don't want to look stupid, or for people to think you weren't paying attention. 'Maybe it'll make sense as he goes along', you think to yourself. But it doesn't make any sense because you needed to understand that little bit to understand the rest of the presentation. So you sit there for the next forty-five minutes and the guy might as well be speaking a different language. Fear.

It's funny because as I'm writing this I'm still holding myself back from writing certain things that are on my mind. Fear. There's only one way to rise above it. Face it head-on. And that's one of the reasons I started blogging. It's about time I voiced my opinions, regardless of what people might think. Like they say, 'Feel the fear and do it anyway'. What's the worst that could happen? (That Dr Pepper advert comes to mind)

As I write this I'm thinking of the numerous times I've wanted to tell my friends about God and how much He loves them and wants to have a relationship with them. And that just being a good person isn't it. But I don't. At least not in a way that would make them really listen. Why? I mean I say I care about these people and yet I can't talk to them about the most important aspect of my life? The Gospel is supposed to be Good News but for some reason this good news doesn't seem so easy to share. I mean, I can share that I just passed my driving test, or that I got a new job, or I have free tickets to the cinema but I can't share that I have the answer to life after death? Come on!

This one's actually been going on for quite a while. Check this out; a friend of mine with slightly different beliefs actually said to me once, 'You know, what if it's true, this whole Heaven and Hell stuff?' Talk about an opportunity! It doesn't happen often I can tell you. But, I was like, 'Err...well...I think Heaven and Hell definitely exist and I hope to go to Heaven at some point...' or something along those lines. And at the same time I was thinking, 'please please, don't ask any more questions...' What??? Afterwards I was like, 'Urenna. Seriously?!' So what if I'd said a bit more and she said 'that's great Urenna, but not for me, thanks'? Would the world have come to an end? I don't think so. Or at least not at that exact moment. But what if she accepted what I had to say and joined me on this amazing journey? I believe I would've changed a life. And made a difference. And after all, isn't that why we're all placed here in the first place?


  1. God bless you. You hit the nail on the head. Actually you've hit several nails on the head with well aimed hammers. In one of my favourite blogs to read, this week the blogger said something that I would paraphrase as "It is a good thing to be able to dream big, it is an even better thing to be able to work to turn those dreams into reality." And the first step to that is overcoming fear.

    There is a "book for life" (you know I have several) that I would recommend - it is called The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho - it is the sort of book that should be read more than once in one's lifetime.

    Once again, well done for feeling the fear but doing it anywhere, and look forward to more from this mind!

  2. First of all I am dying to know what book that was. I have had my fair share of bad books with misleading titles! But like you said least they wrote a least they were able to overcome their fears and least they did something. And I am glad that you started your blog and are sharing your writing talent with the world. Goodluck!