Have you ever wondered where your fears come from? Are they innate? Are we born with these fears or perhaps we don’t realize that we may have unconsciously learned them? “Human beings are born with just two basic fears. One is the fear of loud noises. The other is the fear of falling. All other fears must be learned.” Ronald Rood
So we learn our fears of snakes, mice, the dark, rejection, asking for a raise, public speaking and many others. How do we learn them? We learn and develop a variety of fears throughout our lives, as children as well as during our adult lives, in numerous different ways. Somehow we convince ourselves that there will be a problem, challenge, or pain if we do that one thing we are afraid to do. We create false expectations about what will happen if we try something new, ask for something that we want, or go somewhere we haven’t been before. We all have that one common feeling and the natural tendency to let FEAR…False Expectations Appearing Real, decide our fates. But in some cases we are able to unlearn, dominate and conquer our fear.
I am so proud to say that I was privileged to watch many young leaders do just that last weekend. We hosted our final “Festive Forum” for our Toastmasters Young Leaders program last weekend and the students were amazing. Every student participated and regardless of any internal struggle that they may have felt, they each delivered their own eloquent, powerful message. They may still be afraid when asked to speak publicly but they now know that they can speak publicly and be comfortable. They just need to prepare and put themselves out there. So remember as I told our students:
“Any fear that you have learned can be unlearned.” – Brenda March from The Self-Esteem Guide for Women: How to Build Confidence, to be released August 2015.
The key is that you have to recognize your fear so that you can work on overcoming it. So kudos to all of our amazing young leaders who did just that, you were brave and that will serve you well in your future. Give yourself one last pat on the back for a job well done! To anyone reading this, take a cue from these amazing young people and conquer your fears.
Click below to listen to Sara Bareilles & Carole King @ the Grammy Awards singing “Brave” to inspire conquering your fears!