Friday, 25 August 2017

What I Learned: Facing Your Fears

Last year, I heard about the When Words Collide festival just on the day it had ended. The more I read about it, the more amazed I became. The sheer idea of being near so many talented people and getting to learn from them seemed like a brilliant idea to me, and I regretted not hearing about it sooner. I decided to that I would take part in this festival the next year.

Next year arrived in due course, and once I heard that the registration has begun for attending the festival, I didn’t waste a moment to sign up.

Okay, maybe I did waste a few moments deliberating on whether I should attend or not. For starters, I had moved away from Calgary, and wasn’t sure if I felt like driving down all the way from Edmonton (not that it was too long of a drive). On the other hand, a more personal fear held me back from participating.

I don’t do well with public speaking. Or, to be more specific, I feel that I am not good enough to be speaking in public about anything related to writing. I dread having to state my opinions as I fear that I will be ridiculed, and be made to look like a fool.

So, after much initial internal debate, I signed up, as a panelist no less! I figured that if I sucked horrendously, I could always spend out the rest of my days shut in a corner. Come to think of it, that might allow me to finish all my unfinished video games....

GETTING BACK to the point, the Saturday I spent at the When Words Collide festival had been a most magical day for me. I knew I would like being there, but even then, I didn’t anticipate how much I would enjoy being there. True, by the end of the day I was dead tired and didn’t want anything to do but crash on my bed, but I am glad I forced myself to get out of my comfort zone and do something that I was so afraid of.

For starters, I didn’t suck! I didn’t stutter much, and I stumbled less than I thought I would. Though the fears in my head kept threatening to come out every second, surprisingly I managed to keep them in check. My fear of speaking in public slowly eroded away as I went through not one, not two but three panels, almost one after the another!

Does this mean that now all of a sudden, I have completely overcome my fears, made a complete turnaround, and become overly confident in abilities for the rest of my life?


I’m still me. The fears are still there. But at least now I know that I have faced them, and I can do it again. With some forced courage, of course.

So, the lesson learnt from this experience? Sometimes we should take the big leap, and see what happens. Sure, chances are that things won’t go the way you wanted, but that could also be a good thing. The fact of the matter is, we won’t know till we try a little.

Stay tuned for the second part, where I talk in details of my panels, and why being panelist can be good for an author. I can’t wait to share my experiences! Subscribe to my blog so you don't miss it.

1 comment:

  1. Remeber the sticker I gave to you when you were in college? "Fear is not an option".