I’ve never been one for New Years resolutions.
Instead, each year I like to choose one word that I feel my life needs to put into focus. Last year my one word was “joy”.
This year, before 2014 was even close to being over, I felt a nudging towards my new word for 2015. Fear.
Actually, it’s more like two words. Overcoming Fear.
All my life I’ve had much too many fears. It’s been sort of embedded into my daily routine. I won’t bother to share the whole list of fears I have, most of them are more ‘worries’ and not true ‘fears’ but those worries continually instill fear into me and I’ve grown rather weary of it.
I figure if I’m not able to tackle ‘fear’ at the age of 43, soon to be 44, then I will most likely succumb to my fears the rest of my life. I’m simply not ok with that.
The first step I took in overcoming ‘fear’ this late fall was to teach Adult Sunday School.
That’s a big one for me. I’m an introvert extraordinaire. I enjoy conversations, one on one, possibly one on two, one on three. But to speak in front of a group of people, and not just speak, but TEACH, was a very big step for me.
But I did it, and I survived!
I kept reminding myself that it’s a lot like a visit to the dentist. I could sit and stew, and stress, over every detail ahead of time and freak myself out real good. Only to feel totally foolish once it was over and it wasn’t as bad as I had stressed myself out to think it would be.
I could simply study for the lesson I was teaching and not even allow myself to ponder on the fact that I would be speaking to a bunch of people, and everything that could possibly go wrong. Just focus on studying, learn what I needed to teach, and concentrate on how I was going to teach it.
And that’s what I did. And I survived teaching a lesson. I taught Adult Sunday School twice actually.
I quite enjoyed it.
My next step to overcoming fear was to decide that this year I would participate in our church play. A speaking part even. Mind you, I only agreed to take on a very teeny tiny speaking part, but I was proud of myself regardless. I had never been in a play before (I don’t think being a part of the choir for Fiddler On the Roof many moons ago counts) so this was another big step for me.
Again, I decided I could either fret and stress over being on stage in front of a church full of people and all the things that could go horribly wrong.
I could simply study my line and think about my part, and how I would pull off being an old scribe. An old man at that! I even made myself a beard out of a head of hair from a waldorf doll kit I have.
It turned out to be fun. I got to spend a lot of extra time with our twins Shaylah and Julia who both LOVE to act, and, I got to show them that no matter how old you are, no matter how long you’ve lived with a bad habit (my fears), you are never too old to change your ways.
And guess what?
I survived! I think I actually did alright too.
Enough so that I may agree to a slightly larger speaking part next year…
So that’s me getting a jump start on overcoming fears for 2015!
How about you? Do you have an resolutions, goals, or plans for 2015?