Here I am, confronted with more change. Change is good they say and feeling uncomfortable by stretching your limits is where the growth is at. I agree, but it doesn’t make it any easier.
It amazes me that I still struggle with change and the anxiety that comes along with it. Perhaps we never really get over that thrill that comes from fearing the unknown. Maybe that is the void that is opened that we are meant to fill with our new-found growth? Fear and change go hand-in-hand, in order to change, we must understand the fear.
Last week I was confronted with my fear of public speaking, more exact, I was to face my fear of hearing myself over a speaker. The new change in my life deals directly with this fear as I will now be a group fitness trainer at a local gym that I work at. This involves me to be on a mic, in front of a crew of people speaking loudly over a PA system. My mouth is now live, I can’t hide behind silence, every time I teach a class I am out there and can’t take back my words. As I dissected my fear, I realized that it is not the sound of my voice that I am scared of, it is the really the fear of putting myself out there and to open myself up for all the world to hear. The voice I hear coming from the speaker is simply just the realization that I am open to ridicule.
During a very crucial time during my social development, I became very self-conscience about what I said. I can remember being teased for saying the wrong things at the wrong times and to my fault, I never developed the confidence to just laugh at myself and move on. I would regret my words for a long time after and it would take hours or even a day to get over it. After a while, in true survival fashion in fearing not to offend someone or be judged negatively, I would meticulously choose my words to meld with the situation. With my constant people pleasing, I would never open up enough to express my true feelings. This constant filtering of my words eventually lead to me being very reserved and the strain of this “always on” filter became very energy consuming. Over time, I developed a fear of hearing my own voice as what I was saying never match what I was truly thinking.
So back to the topic of change. The anxiety that comes from a change in our lives is merely a fear left to fester. If the change in your life doesn’t bring with it some level of anxiety, then it is not a big enough change and it is not a big enough fear to conquer. Our happiness thrives around conquering our most debilitating fears. By resting in a life of no change, you are left with a false sense of contentment and shallow happiness. You are living in fear.
When we are faced with a change in our life that keeps us up at night, it pays to take a step back from the intricacies of the change and dig deep to find out what fear that we are actually feeling. To me, was my fear really speaking in front of a crowd? Or was it my disconnection to my inner voice? And then we can dig further to the point in our life where that fear started and recall the feeling that we had endured. It is only then can we find the strength to finally understand our challenge, understand our fear and follow our change to fight the fear with resounding success.