Today is confession time. I have for all my life battled with being shy. Some may think that sounds weird, since I regularly write posts and spent two years of my life in another country teaching about my religion. Those who are not shy, don’t really understand what it is like. Are any of you afraid of heights (I am) or scared of spiders? Do any of you have a fear of something that logically you know is not something you should fear?
Just because I enjoy teaching people or public speaking, doesn’t mean that meeting new people doesn’t freak me out! It always has. This is not an excuse, just a statement. What most people would find as ‘kind of’ intimidating in one-on-one situations, I have anxiety to the point of allowing things to happen negatively against me than have the “scary” conversation with someone.
The solution is not to tell me to get over it
I don’t make excuses for being shy. I don’t accept being shy is the answer. My father was a double amputee. He had both legs amputated just above the knee. Growing up, I never realized how amazing it was that he did all he did. Now, it is amazing to me that he went to work and went to every single extra curricular activity of mine that he could.
What bothers me, is when someone tells me, or others like me to ‘just get over it.’ I get told this about being afraid of heights as well, some one once told me, “do you think the ground is going to come up and bite you?” I know it’s well intentioned, but who ever says things like that, doesn’t understand the problem. The problem isn’t a lack of logic, it’s an emotion that happens.
Let me explain it another way. Have you ever been in a situation that was very important, very grave and very serious. Then suddenly something funny happens. No matter how much you know that laughing isn’t appropriate at that moment, you can’t help but laugh and smile. Being shy or any ‘fear’ for that matter, is that same way. It’s an emotional response, that no matter how illogical it is, you can’t stop the emotion from happening.
What is the solution?
Well, I wish I knew. If I had mastered this, I probably wouldn’t be posting about this. I do understand that it is possible to make this a strength, just like my hero, Heber J. Grant. What I am asking of all who read this is, how do you get over you fear? How do you control that emotion and not let the emotion control you? I know I am not the only one out there who needs this advice. Share you success, or failures if you like, and maybe all of us can benefit.