My first drawing contest
When I was a little kid, my teacher entered me in a drawing contest. I felt creative and proud for being chosen, but I didn’t know why I deserved to be in a room full of creative kids when I felt drawing was a way to escape and was something I liked to do, not a way to compete.
I remember the days leading up to the contest trying to figure out what to draw. I drew and drew but I thought nothing I did was good enough. The contest weighed my creativity down. I grew frustrated and began to second guess myself. Instead of relying on my creative instinct, I deferred to a friend for help. She drew something and I copied it. Line by line. I practiced her drawing until it became my own, but it was not mine.
I wish I hadn’t done that. I wish someone had told me affirmative words like “You’re creative. You got this! I believe in you.” or “Don’t be intimidated, just have fun. Your best work comes out when you have fun.” I lost that contest, but I learned a valuable life lesson.
I didn’t know how to express my fear then. I didn’t know how to seek help. There are still moments when I keep the fear and intimidation bottled up inside me. In those moments, I need to ask myself, “Who will benefit this if I hold this in?”
Every time I let fear take me prisoner, I feel small, paralyzed, and suffer from thoughts that are only coming from within. No one else is telling me to be fearful and no else wants me to feel that way, but I feel it through no one else’s fault but my own.
On the other hand, when I let go of my fears, the people around me have a chance to help me. I become free. I see my fears are not as big or intimidating as I deemed them to be.
What are you focusing on
Recently I had an online meeting with people I didn’t know. I was anxious all morning. I told my fiancé that I was afraid that I was going to stumble on my words or that I won’t make any sense or I look foolish and so on. Then he told me, “You’re focusing on what could go wrong. What’s the worst that could happen? Is a wolf going to eat you? You should focus on what could go right.”
I took a deep breath and started giving myself positive affirmations. I went into the meeting confident and was happy that I did! I spoke confidently in the meeting and had a good time, and none of my fears about the meeting made sense in retrospect.
Here are 6 ways to overcome fear:
- Tell someone you confide in about your fear. Once you tell someone about your fear, it stops living inside our head and you would realize how minuscule it really is.
- Meditate. I once heard someone say that having fear is living in the future. Meditation helps you to live in the present. This is a useful tool to calm your brain and senses when fear overtakes you.
- Write it down. Journaling your thoughts and feelings can give you deeper insights beyond fear. It can reveal relevant connections to your fears.
- Go for a walk. Get out and get some fresh air. It can clear your mind.
- Seek professional. If your fear is too overwhelming, go talk to a therapist who can help you. They can help you see beyond what’s on the surface.
- Breathe. It’s going to be alright 🙂
I’d love to hear from you! When was a time you overcame fear and how did you do it? If you’re struggling right now, how do you plan on kicking fear out of its throne? Are you making your fear larger than it actually is?
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