Face my 3 biggest fears in 3 days
Last week I decided to challenge myself and face my three biggest fears in just three days. We have all heard the mantra “Face Your Fears”, which ultimately stems from the fact that fears can be harmful. They can disrupt our growth and leave us frustrated and defeated. In my case, I’m tired of running away from situations out of fear, which is why I decided it was time to face my three biggest fears.
Day 1: Raise your hand in a huge conference room
Speaking in public is definitely my biggest fear, which is why I knew it would be one of the first – and most dreaded – fears I would have to face if I were to face this challenge.
Due to the online nature of most of my classes this year, I actually only have one class in a conference room. Since the start of the semester, I have been meaning to raise my hand and contribute to this sociology course. However, in each class, when the time came, I chose to reside in the corner seat at the far end of the conference room. I found it easier to silently hide behind my computer screen and shield myself from the potential embarrassment of revealing my anxiety through my shaky voice or shaking hands.
However, that day I chose to sit in the fourth row and was determined to answer a question. In fact, I was so determined that I raised my hand to the first question posed by my teacher, without even giving myself time to find an answer.
It was too late to back off now, for she was asking my name. “Salma,” I reluctantly replied. I then sat down watching her with a puzzled expression plastered to my face before she repeated the question to me. With my exciting thoughts and trembling hands, I tried to answer the question as best I could. I won’t say I answered it perfectly, but it wasn’t a total disaster – and I managed to get a point across! I left this class feeling incredibly happy and proud of myself.
Day 2: Fear of rejection
I was always afraid that I would be told “no”. I will at all costs avoid asking someone for something if I think there is a chance that I will be rejected, and that may prevent me from looking for the things I want.
That day I was at the mall with a friend and decided to talk about this fear. My friend brilliantly suggested that I approach one of the mall workers and ask him for something ridiculous that I know they don’t sell. Although I avoided this suggestion at first, then I remembered my challenge and decided to walk into a jewelry store to ask the seller if he was selling under $ 10. The salesperson was surprised and with a subtle smirk and puzzled expression suggested that I “go up” to the clothing section and look for something within my budget there.
Was it embarrassing? Yes it was – especially after I caught him enthusiastically running towards his colleagues with a wide-toothed smile. But after I left the store, I actually forgot that it had even happened for the rest of the evening.
Day 3: Make conversation with a stranger
Although I have no problem talking to strangers, my problem is approaching them myself. On the bus the other day, I was sitting next to another student (who looked older than me), and forced myself to strike up a conversation.
It started about his hoodie, but we ended up discussing classes, the off week, and finals tips. Overall, I ended up learning something from my conversation with her, and I was grateful that I decided to tackle that fear that day.
In the end, I successfully survived those three days of facing my fears, although it was not really pleasant at times. I wish I didn’t have these fears because they make me feel like there are things that are impossible. This is extremely dangerous because the feeling that something is impossible inhibits your dreams and aspirations. I end up giving up a lot of aspirations because they scare me too much. Without this blog post, I would have finished the semester without ever raising my hand in this sociology class. And honestly, I would have been disappointed in myself because I would have let my fears keep me from doing something I wanted to do.
This challenge is not over after three days. I will continue to take small risks on a daily basis, hoping that one day I will no longer have to run away from my fears. I encourage you to join me. For about a week, try to do something that scares you every day.
Contact Salma Sarkis at [email protected].