One of my favorite things to do is dance. At night, I’ll typically be in my kitchen snacking and dancing rather than watching TV. I’ll also take 30 minutes or more to brush my teeth because I’m distracted by the steady stream of good dance tunes being played on my phone. The moment someone walks in, though, I stop. Now, I think I’m a decent dancer and have started to consider recording myself dance with the possibility of posting it to social media. The only problem is, I’m scared. My family’s made several jokes about my dance abilities, or lack thereof, in the past and I don’t want to record myself just to discover Taylor Swift’s dance moves as an audience member at an awards show are better than mine. I remember thinking I could sing when I was 10 or so and recording myself only to realize I should never pursue a career as a pop star. I’ve been self-conscious to sing in front of anyone since. Well, I’ll sing around my family, but they’re stuck with me. Only alcohol can get me to do it, otherwise. Shockingly, it’s usually the driving force behind getting me to dance in front of people as well. Anyway, I’m scared of realizing I’ve been delusional this whole time or actually thinking I’m good enough to share on social media only for people to think I look stupid. I’m not proud of it, but I’ve occasionally been that judgmental person (who secretly wishes they had the cojones to do it).
It got me thinking about other things that I’m scared to do. I’m not talking big things, like move to another country or hold a snake. That ain’t happenin’. (Yes, holding a snake is considered big. Creepy slithering creatures). But the things that I actually want to do where I feel fear holding me back. Now, I’ve been here before and I’ve flipped fear the middle finger, but what separates the situations where we move beyond the fear versus the ones where we continue to let it hold us back? Interestingly, fear is defined as an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat. The belief, not even the guaranteed outcome. Of course, certain situations are more risky than others. I remember being unsure of jumping off of a swing as a kid, but, then again, those plastic bag parachutes never worked as planned. I’ll justify being scared of physical fear because that’s a little easier to judge the likelihood that you’ll actually get hurt. Emotional fear, though, such as, being judged, getting your feelings hurt, embarrassing yourself, failing, and so on, is more of a gamble. Perhaps that extreme uncertainty is what’s paralyzing. My question for anyone reading this is, what things do you want to do, small or large, but are scared of doing? If you want to take it a step further, why does it scare you? I’d love to hear feedback.