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I am responsible for my own fears and limitations. I am accountable for every thought that enters my mind and my behaviours and actions are limited by my own limitations. Fear exists all around us, and although I am unable to control the events that happen in my life, how I choose to act in the face of these situations is within my control and completely up to me.
When I think of the word fear I associate it with being in a bad situation. When I am in a situation where I experience fear my body is overcome with different emotions. “According to one contemporary definition of emotion, they “are multicomponent responses to challenges or opportunities that are important to individual’s goals”. Fear is the paradigm emotion evoked by challenges perceived as threatening. The dominating feeling or fear is an intense urge to get out of the situation”. Fear is an unavoidable emotion that everyone handles differently. There are many things in life that I fear that range from mild to paralyzing. I fear losing a loved one, disease, death, and failure. One of my biggest fears which may not be a fear at all to others, is public speaking. Public speaking has been a fear of mine for as long as I can remember, and has grown increasingly worse over the years. Public speaking for me stems from both fear and anxiety. Fear and anxiety are two terms that are often used interchangeably but their functions are distinct. Fear is a state triggered by an immediate threat whose function is to mobilize the person to defend against the threat by freezing, fleeing or fighting. Anxiety is a state triggered by the idea of a future threat whose function is to motivate the person to take steps to prevent the threat from becoming real. For most people their bodies prepare for fear through fight or flight, but the fear of public speaking is so overwhelming for me my body freezes. When I get up in front of an audience, whether its 3 people or 30 people, I know in that exact moment that I am unable to fight this situation, I am unable to flee, therefore my bodies immediate response is to become paralyzed or frozen from fear. ‘As a primary emotion, fear contributes to the experience of emotions such as anxiety, shame, repulsion, and regret”.
Before I even stand in front of an audience I already feel the anxiety of being in front of others because I fear that they will judge me based on my material, how my voice sounds or how I present myself. While I can believe that my fear stems from what other people think of me, its ultimately what I think of myself. I fear public speaking due to my own insecurities not from what I believe others think of me. I allow myself to get inside my head causing and overthink the situation. I am the only person limiting myself to this fear.
I fear many things in life, events or situations that may never happen to me. I am the only person responsible for the fears I have and how I limit myself. I have found that with all my fears there is a common theme of failure or rejection. In order to take control of my fears I need to find methods of coping so I have the ability to control my emotions. As franklin Roosevelt once said in his inaugural address “there is nothing to fear but fear itself”.
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