Saturday, December 13, 2014

Fear vs. Me #RiseAboveFear

“There is no illusion greater than fear.”
My throat was dry. Having gulped down half a bottle of water had not really helped. Beads of sweat were trickling down my spine. I shook like a leaf . Just two more minutes and I will be ripped naked. My truth will be out in the world for others to see.

Just when I was zoned out I head the teacher call out, “Disha, continue where Priya left off.” I stood up, my eyes welled up . I could barely make sense of the French Revolution. Spurted out a word or two, before my eyes couldn’t contain my tears, I could hear a faint giggle behind my back. As though it was contagious it just kept getting louder. I felt a knot in my stomach and I ran out of the room and hurled my guts out.

I was barely 12 then. But the entire episode is so well imprinted in my mind that I could still feel the tension in my shoulders, as I narrate it today. The fear of speaking in public, one of the most common fears of all. It haunted me for a good part of my schooling life. What made it worse was that my friends thought I was a looser and my teachers were these frustrated bunch of women who in the class of 84 clearly didn’t have the time or the inclination to help me out.

Fear-1, Me -0.

There were times when I knew the answers, sometimes better than others, but I just couldn’t find the strength to raise my hand. They wrote me off and I kind of got comfortable with that. But as change is the only constant, I graduated to high school and things were about to get better.

By the time I was 15, I had read more books than I had friends. One of the series that really helped me were The Chicken Soup books. They made me realize that am not the only one out here. Everyone is afraid of something. It’s just the matter of power. I decide who holds the reign in my life. Weather I give my fear the power to consume me, or I  gather up the courage to meet it head on and knock the daylight out of it.

Since I was starting college, I didn’t want to be “that girl”, the girl who froze. What helped is that these people came in with a clean slate. They had no preconceived notions  about me. So whatever they make of me was in my hands. First day of college, I had a point to prove. Not to them, but to myself. Nothing had changed, the knots came back, but this time it was just Me vs. Fear.

I decided I wanted to raise above my fear,
I’d give it my best shot. Either I could end up making a mockery of myself and hit Déjà vu , or I could kill it by having myself heard. There was only one way of finding out, by taking the plunge.I took center stage. Took a good look around, put on a big smile and I spoke. Can’t remember what exactly, but all I could remember was an encore that followed. 

 Me -1, Fear -0.

I made more friends in college than I did in my school. I had teachers who adored me. I was hated by few, cause they wanted to be me. If I had to tell them that I was once a girl that froze, they would probably never believe me. 

We all have fears. It’s up to you, if you chose to give it power or decide to overpower it. It’s OKAY to be scared. Being scared means you’re about to do something really, really brave.

Head on over to Mountain Dews FaceBook page if you are looking for inspiration to get over yours.

 The above post was inspired but the new Mountain Dew campaign: