Saturday, 10 March 2012

Life challenge - week 10 - face your fears

Facing fears is hard. Really hard! But this is what Deb wants us to do in week 10 of the challenge!

My biggest fear revolves around being in situations with people I don't know. But it's not only situations with people I don't know, but large social gatherings.  I think it's some kind of social gathering phobia.

We have a weekly morning tea at work, company of just over 100 (but never that many at morning tea). I always feel nervous going to morning tea. Who will I talk to? What will I say?  I'm not someone who can just go join a group of people and start talking. I find this hard. It shouldn't be hard. I know all these people. But what if they don't want to talk to me? What if I have nothing to say? What if I make a fool of myself?

I want to make new friends, but I don't want to talk to people first. I'm the kind of person that if someone talks to me, I will talk non-stop back to them. I just have trouble making the first move.

Wednesday night was the school AGM. The first one since Hunter had been at school.  I wanted to go. I wanted to be a member of the governing council and had put in my nomination. I like getting involved. I like being in the know behind the scenes and I feel it has to benefit my kids. I thought it would be a good way to get to know people. But boy was I nervous. What if I don't know anyone? What if I have no one to talk to and am sitting there all alone for the whole night?  I will be sad, and lonely and bored!

So I drive down to the school. Park and stay in the car for a bit. I walk into the room and stand at the door to assess the situation. Groups of people talking together as there are drinks and nibbles before the AGM - argh - my worst nightmare. This means I'm going to have to either stand on my own - or walk up to an existing chatting group. Luckily for me I look over and see another Mum from Hunter's class - and with her is a Mum I met through the kindy governing council (yep I joined that one too) and another Mum who I know of, but she doesn't know me. So I joined that group. And another Mum joined later - who I knew from being in Hunter's class last year (he did 1 term last year). We had a nice chat and I sat next to one of the Mums during the AGM.

Then I had to face another fear - public speaking. There were 9 nominations for 5 positions on the governing council. There was going to have to be a vote. As we didn't know everyone - the 9 people had to stand up and give a little spiel about themselves.  Public speaking is a fear I've been working on for years. I need to talk at conferences for work so I have done numerous courses, and practised a lot at conferences. But usually I have practised (lots) before getting up to speak - and know my stuff. Now this was an impromptu public speaking - I didn't know it was coming. Luckily we had notes from our nomination forms - and I winged it. And I did okay. But then of course along came another fear. Oh no, what if they don't like me? I'm only new, hardly anyone knows me. I'm not going to get a spot and then I will feel rejected.

At the end of the little speeches, after some discussions with the current members it was decided the Constitution could be changed so we could all be members - so I got a spot - and I even managed to get myself elected st secretary. So now I'm on the school governing council for the next 2 years - and okay with this. secretary for the next 12 months.

I know it's a silly fear - and I know that more often that not- if I make the effort to speak to someone first they will speak back. And who knows, maybe they have the same fear of speaking first as I do!


  1. Firstly, it is not a silly fear! It is a very real one and you're doing a great job taking steps to overcome it! Congratulations on getting elected as Secretary :D Public speaking is so hard and I struggle so much more when I haven't had time to plan my words! Sounds like you did a great job :)

  2. Facing fears is SUPER hard!!! I can totally identify with having trouble making the first move in friendships, or walking into a crowded room where all their are is people in groups - an introverts worst nightmare! Im so glad that you are facing this, and working through it, one event at a time, and each and every time, it has proved your fear wrong - that it is albeit scary, but more than okay xx

  3. I think we all feel the same! It is hard walking into a room of people already talking, especially if you dont really know many. Well done on seeing the meeting through!! Its a great big step!! And being a part of the school behind the scenes you are sure to meet many more people!!!

  4. I share the same fear as you and I am inspired that you were able to go full force this week and join a group of moms already talking AND join the governing council! I am still working on just getting myself to meetings, but you have given me a solid reminder that I can do it!! Thank you!

  5. I don't think this is a silly fear at all - actually it is really common. I feel it sometimes (ok often) when i am in a social situation. I just lived through it all with attending the blogging conference last week - so hard! Well done for getting out of the car and going into the meeting - you rocked it!

    Deb @ home life simplified

  6. It's so hard to put yourself into a new situation. It sounds like you have been facing that fear "head on" by joining new things. Good on you for Facing your fear of public speaking too. Two fears faced in one night - brilliant! Xx