That was a while ago, and yet more recently, an opportunity came my way to be part of a public speaking event in St. Albert. I was flattered, but instantly started to get sweaty palms, dry mouth and a light headed feeling, as I read the email. I actually really do enjoy public speaking, but I get nervous before I have to talk. So, I immediately went into self preservation mode and wanted to avoid pain and repeat pleasure - which would mean saying a big "NO" to the offer. But after a few moments of talking myself down, I thought better of it, took a few deep breaths and waited to respond.
When it comes to using our talents, skills, and taking on new opportunities, fear can hinder us and cause us to freeze. It's an emotion that is totally made up in our minds about a worse case scenario that is most likely not going to happen. For instance, I am sure, after I calmed down, that the snake was NOT singling me out for its' next meal! We come up with "what ifs" and reasons not to pursue our dreams for fear of failure, success, rejection, not fitting in or looking "stupid."
The next time opportunity knocks and you feel like your head is spinning and your adrenaline is pumping... take a few long deep yogic breaths. Either write or say out loud your worst fear of the situation and then describe the best possible scenario. Notice how both are probably a bit extreme and unreasonable. Chances are, you'll find the outcome somewhere in the middle.
Once we can think with a level head and make decisions based on reality, not a terrible occurrence, we can start to feel a bit more at ease in our lives. Having fun and playing with new possibilities is what makes life so exciting. When new opportunities and doors open, we don't always have to have all the answers. What we can count on, is that, when we take a chance, we will inevitably grow and become stronger. But it's a journey. Take your time - conquer small fears and work your way to bigger experiences. Please just don't expect me, anytime soon, to walk through a door that leads to a snake, because I'm not quite ready for that yet...