Finally Overcoming One of My Biggest Fears

I’ve been wanting to start posting for a while now. I couldn’t decide whether I wanted to start on Medium or create my own site. Twitter was a no-go for me. I’m not a fan of the way my mind feels after being on that site. For some reason getting started with Vivaldi led to this post happening and I couldn’t tell you why.

Maybe it was just the timing, or maybe something else is afoot and it just feels right. Who knows. One of the things I noticed about Medium, is that a lot of low-quality content is on the homepage and rife with basic spelling errors and grammar issues. Obviously no one’s perfect, but it left me with a feeling that people were not putting in much effort into their posts.

Why Am I Doing This?

There’s not really anything useful in this post. I’m just posting it to get over an irrational fear I’ve been harboring for years. A fear so intense and unbelievable I didn’t dare look at it: the notion of posting my ideas online for strangers to read. GASP. How terrifying. It sounds ridiculous (and it is) when I think about it. Nonetheless, the fear is there, waiting in the wings to swoop in any time I think of posting something. It’s clever too, whatever this fear-energy is. It comes up with all sorts of plausible-sounding reasons for not doing it. I suppose that’s the nature of fear or we wouldn’t have it in the first place.

I’ve done plenty of things that most people would never do:

  • Skydiving
  • Scuba Diving
  • Moving across the country at 19
  • I could go on, but most of it would sound insane and I’m not looking to brag, but rather point out the silliness of having had no fears about so many of these things, yet the idea of putting a post online was was far more terrifying than everything else I’ve done.

The mind is a funny thing. When I watch its rationalizations that have prevented me from posting, the mind is all over the place. Part of it thinks my posts are going to be so amazing that they’re going to attract a ton of unwanted attention. In reality, I’m guessing maybe…4 people might read this. And I kind of like it that way.

Why are there so many fears wrapped up with this?

I might as well list out all the fears since I’m doing this. I’m guessing most of them are the same for all of us. My mind looks at these like I’m going to die or something and my body reacts accordingly. I already know this will be a fun exercise and that it’s going to look obviously ridiculous the more I list.

  • I’m going to…
    • Totally blank/freeze/forget everything I rehearsed
    • Accidentally say something stupid
    • Fall off the stage or platform
    • Say something that’s awkward AF
    • Make a joke that no one laughs at
    • And then after all that happens, I’ll have a panic attack will lead to me vomiting all over the audience right before I pee and poop myself (ok, this one I totally made up, but it FEELS that way)
  • The audience is going to…
    • Be bored to death having to listen to me drone on
    • Judge the F out of me and my speaking style
    • Not be interested in the least
    • Think I’m a total moron after I’m done
    • etc. etc etc. I’ll spare you the rest, I think you get the idea

Speaking of fears, do you know what the #1 fear is for most people?

Death would seem like the obvious, rational answer, right? But we don’t have logical, rational minds unless they’re trained. The number one fear is…public speaking. Yes, most people are more afraid of speaking in front of a crowd than they are of dying…horribly, possibly in a fiery baking accident or something. And that says a lot given that we live in a culture that is terrified of death yet simultaneously enamored with it.

This is something that has fascinated me ever since I started giving public speeches. I’m no different. The border-line panic attack that is bubbling under the surface while waiting to get up on stage and present…. And then suddenly, you start speaking and the words roll out effortlessly and the speech is great. How does this make any sense? Even after experiencing this multiple times, the panic is still there before-hand. It’s more intense than if I had to fight a grizzly bear. (I mean, fighting a grizzly bear is basically instant death and would be over quickly.) Speeches on the other hand…so many possibilities to make gigantic and embarrassing mistakes that, likely, only you will notice.



I apologize to anyone reading this, yet I also appreciate you sticking it out to the end of this ramble. I know this is a low-effort post, but I just wanted to get started somewhere. I’ve been told that my writing is rather impressive with the way things just roll of my tongue with such ease and so quickly when I’m in the zone. OR, they were just saying that to make me feel good. I suppose that’s another reason I’m doing this: so I can get an accurate gauge of the quality of my writing once its torn apart by the ruthless mob of strangers on the internet. But I no longer fear that. In fact, I embrace it.

A year ago, doing this would have never happened. It would have been terrifying. Now I see it as a way to improve my writing by getting feedback, in whatever form. And even if no one reads this, it’s one more fear that I’m now uprooting. Given the nature of fears that are so deeply embedded, there is an amazing thing about getting rid of them. It isn’t just the one fear that goes, no. Fears like public speaking, sky-diving, performing, etc, whatever. Any HUGE fear we have does not exist in isolation. It has multiple tendrils that spread throughout our minds and being in ways we aren’t even aware of.

So, uprooting a major fear not only gets rid of that fear, it also pulls a ton of other garbage out with it that you didn’t even know was connected. And you won’t notice it till later. Random things that used to cause anxiety or avoidance will suddenly just not be there. It feels like they just melt away spontaneously, but they were roots that got weeded out when you took the first step of uprooting the massive fear.

I’m going to leave it here for now, but this has already given me some interesting ideas for my next post: how fears are essentially potential energy, frozen and waiting to be thawed. Unlock one, and you gain more courage to unlock the bigger ones.

Join the Conversation

  1. Thanks for this post and welcome to the Vivaldi community. I think you have chosen the right place to start your writing (at least, this is a fine place to me). It’s interesting reasoning about our fears, it’s a process that we must carry on day by day: certainly, looking into fears does not make it disappear, but we gain in knowledge so that we can start to better handle also the most problematic parts of ourselves.


  2. Great post, and I fully empathise with it! I’m retired now, but for the last 20 years of my career I did a lot of public speaking as part of my job for a banking IT company. Most of it running workshops, but also training courses. In a lot of cases the audience was not fluent in English so working through a translator added another layer of stress. I used to be terrified before every session, and it never got any easier with practice. But I confronted the fear and forced myself to perform, more often than not successfully.

    Blogging is another issue entirely. I don’t do it as often nowadays (and to be honest have no idea why that is the case) but it is certainly not fear. I write what I have to say, on any subject that piques my interest, and damn the consequences. If people read it, then great. If they provide comment or feedback (whether positive or not) even better. But that is not the point: I do it, selfishly perhaps, for ME. I enjoy doing it, it scratches this itch to create something, and that’s all.

    If you’re interested in reading my own witterings, I have a page on Vivaldi net (Stuff by Travellin’ Bob) and another on Blogger called This World, This Life (at that I’ve been publishing for 13 years and counting and that has a miniscule audience (as far as I know).

    Oh, and I’ve Followed you on this one…..I look forward to reading more of your stuff, as and when you post. Keep it up – this one was good IMHO!

    1. It’s such a peculiar phenomenon isn’t it? Even when past experience indicates that things will be just fine, our bodies still react like we’re about to step into the Colosseum to fight lions or something. That borderline panic-attack is so peculiarly blown out of proportion…even relative to the worst-case scenario.

      You’ve definitely got the right mindset, imo. We shouldn’t be afraid to share our thoughts on anything because some people are going to disagree with us. That part is inevitable. The feedback is helpful for anyone with self-awareness and humility to keep one’s self in check.

      I’m not sure which one would concern me more tbh, everyone disagreeing with my thoughts or everyone agreeing lol. Both feel like equally unattainable inverses of one another, but they have totally different hosts of problems.

      That’s amazing how long you’ve been doing this. Starting 13 years ago had to have taken some courage. It feels much easier to get over that initial hump, now, with how much content is flooding the internet minute.

  3. I don’t even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post
    was good. I don’t know who you are but certainly you are going to a famous blogger if you are not already 😉 Cheers!

  4. First off I would like to say wonderful blog! I had a quick question in which I’d like to ask if you don’t mind.
    I was curious to know how you center yourself and clear your
    mind prior to writing. I’ve had trouble clearing my mind in getting my thoughts out.
    I truly do enjoy writing but it just seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes are generally wasted simply just trying to
    figure out how to begin. Any suggestions or hints?

    1. Thank you, and that’s a good question and you actually answered it already. I have the same issue when I’m blocked. When that happens, I’ll just sit and write, stream of consciousness, whatever comes up, without judgement, for about 10-15 minutes. It doesn’t matter if it’s nonsense or made up words, the idea is to just be in the moment and type without thinking. Usually after ten minutes, whatever needed to come out unblocks and I can start writing something useful. Occasionally, some interesting nuggets come out of those 10 minutes. Don’t think of it as wasting time but warming up, like stretching before a workout.


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