Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Overcoming Fear

Lately I've been forced to face some of my fears, which I'm sure one day I will say is a good thing. Of course, in the moment it doesn't seem so great. In a very short amount of time I've had to confront fears I've spent years trying to avoid. It seems manageable when you are only faced with an uncomfortable situation every once in awhile, but it's been a bit overwhelming having so many things come down at once. I'm trying not to let fear determine my actions and responses, but sometimes the flight impulse is so strong it is difficult not to run away and hide in hopes everything will go away. This has made me realize that I still have many deep seated insecurities I still haven't dealt with. For me, my greatest fear is that I will do something and not be good enough, that I won't measure up and people will look at me derisively. Sometimes I would rather not even try because I would rather never have tried than to attempt something and then fail spectacularly.

So this inner battle has been going on for about a month now, but two weeks ago I heard a story that has helped me immensely so I thought I would share :)

I was listening to an interview with Tom Hanks. When he was a student at Sacramento State he and his friends decided to try out for one of the school plays. He was the only one out of all of his friends who didn't get a part. So he went out and auditioned for a local production. They liked him and gave him a role. One of the directors of this play had a lot of connections in New York and Hollywood and liked Hanks so much he helped him find other roles, which started him on the path to becoming the successful actor he is today.

I like this story, because it shows that he had the confidence to simply move on from a failure and not let it hold him back. I'm sure looking back on his life, he is glad he went out and auditioned again, but he's also probably thankful he didn't get into the production with his friends as he would probably have never met the director who helped him begin his career.

This is the challenging part for me: taking a rejection or a failure and turning it into a learning experience, and therefore a success.

I will keep you posted as I continue on this journey of building self confidence :)

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