All of a sudden, all the calmness vanished, when my little daughter exhibited the same trait “FEAR of public reactions”. I feel like I am spinning my wheels and going in circles? I am struggling to manage. Telling my kid to think positive and anticipating the momentum of negativity (Fear).
Why am I so anxious?
Is this because I love my daughter so much and don’t want her to miss out on something or anything? Is this because I don’t see flaws and negatives in right perspective? Or maybe both? I cannot imagine properly or I am not allowing myself to imagine wholly the loss caused by this fear. However, I have experienced, a horror movie left in between is more disturbing and scary than finished one. So, to overcome this anxiety I need to run the fear from the beginning till the end.
Horror movie begins
When I was a little kid, I had certain unpleasant realities at home and I also believed that my parents could not love me beyond my performances in academics, sports and social interactions. I was less confident about myself and I had great fear of public reactions to my performances. Fear was so strong that I never participated in school event. Many times, sitting among the audience, I thought I had the potential to deliver the same or a better performance than the performer on the stage has. The performer got all the appreciation, which I could have claimed easily. There was great discomfort inside me with this situation and pertaining to this emotion ‘FEAR’. The more I tried to overcome it, stronger it grew. I had longing for public acceptance, appreciation and acknowledgement of me being good at something and a fearless kid.
Life was going on like this, in so uncool fashion, until the day I saw a BBC microcomputer loaded with LOGO program in my school. It was year 1990 and I was in grade 6th. It attracted me and it was new, mysterious thing around for everyone at that time. Internet was unknown phenomenon. I started researching more, investigating more, and I became very passionate about it. It had nothing to do with public- It was between me and my computer. In year 1993, NIIT organized a computer awareness written exam on city level. I claimed second position and got my first major public acknowledgement and appreciation. Since then computer savvy became a strong part of my core and public identity.
A funny but insightful event
In year 2002, I got an electric shock, accidentally. When I resumed my consciousness, my friends asked me a computer question to be assured that I was restored completely. In professional world people seem to be awe-struck by my computer understanding.
I am an adult now. I am still afraid of public speaking from the stage even though I am known as a chatter box. My loquacious trait caused a decent girl fall for me and marry me. I have a good public and social life.
The fear had stolen some social appreciation moments and some moments, when I could have been a crush for a girl- It was obviously important. When I broaden my field of vision, when I step back and zoom out, I notice that I am not hypnotized by those moments now. Moreover, I feel that my sense of self-worth is rarely driven by social reactions. I was so afraid of them initially that I worked hard, developed strong immunity and learnt to have self-acknowledgement. It is the Purpose and not the social acclaims that derive me to do anything. I feel more content and happy.
It finally dawned on me, like a sunrise, it was my irrational fear (of public reactions) that loaded the gun (aspiration and desperation to be someone) and my passion (computers) pulled the trigger to project me where I am today- beyond public appreciation. So fear is neither a disease nor a weakness but fear is something that can be profound, insightful, provokes suspense and hence so many alternative imaginative approaches (if you see the story till the end).
Daughter, I love you unconditionally. I understand your fear baby. It is going to be okay. Take your time and live enthusiastically. Life is beautiful and you will find expression for your skills and feelings sooner or later.
See you again. 🙂