|Do you see yourself in front of a lot of people?|
Kitchie has a voice that can lull even angels to sleep. She has that quality of voice that soothes the exhausted senses, and makes one feel tranquil and at ease. However, her audience has yet to hear Hannah sing as she does not have the courage to do it in public.
She tried it once, when she was still in high school, but it caused her shame and pain. She can never forget that episode as she stood on the stage, holding the microphone, without any voice coming out from her. She was prepared all right, but the sight of all those people looking at her made her voice disappear.
Ever since that mortifying experience, Kitchie has never had the chance to sing in front of people again. Not that she lacked opportunities; it’s just that she could not do it, not in front of spectators. Her fear of performing in public has debilitated her for life, or so she thought.
Fear is a strong emotion which is often brought about by the knowledge of a lurking danger. It is actually a person’s response to an actual or apparent danger to one’s self. Sometimes, a person’s fear serves as a defense mechanism.
It is said that fear is usually hereditary, as in the case of a child who may have inherited certain biological traits from his parents. Such traits may have a consequence on how a person’s brain chemicals control a person’s moods and how he reacts to stimulations that may cause fear. A person’s present fears will also depend on her parents’ behavior particularly on how cautious they were, or how they reacted to danger.
Fear can be classified into many degrees but the most accepted and common are phobia, panic and terror. Phobia is an irrational and larger-than-life fear of a particular situation or object. Panic is usually characterized by a frenzied reaction to a certain stimulus. Terror, on the other hand, is the greatest degree of fear, usually causing a person to become immobilized.
A person’s fear of other people is called Anthropophobia while fear of people in general or fear of society is called Sociophobia.
A person who frequently experiences anxiety or discomfort in the presence of other people may have this phobia. People who have this phobia are still able to lead normal lives but they lean to avoid social events. It is also commonly manifested in what we call stage fright or fear of performing in front of an audience.
A person who becomes terrified will have sweaty palms, feel butterflies in his stomach, experience a drying of the throat and mouth and start to have panic attacks. Such fear can have grave effects on a person’s family life and career. A person who is frightened, and who has not in charge of his fears, loses his freedom to act.
Fear of people may be a sign of a person’s shyness or lack of confidence in meeting other people. A shy person avoids meeting people because he feels he is inferior to them. A person who has no confidence in himself may fear meeting people whom he perceives are greater or more able than him.
There is an impression of normalcy in fearing other people. It is normal to fear people who have more power in their hands, or people who may have moral dominance over you. It is also normal to fear performing in front of an audience especially if you are not used to being the center of attention.
While most of these fears are normal, a person should not let these fears take over his character. A person should acknowledge that he has these fears, and should do things to conquer such fears. Or else, he will forever be incapacitated by his fears.
If you fear meeting people in general, then try going out in public more often. Try the malls, they offer people from all walks of life. Try to talk to the salesladies or to other patrons who seem friendly to you. Talk about anything, comment on the weather, the recent news or other community affairs.
You can also start connecting to people in your community because you will be more at ease talking to them. Try to talk one new person each day until you develop the habit of greeting people you come across the streets. A simple good morning is enough to help you combat your shyness. Take little steps and progressively experiment on speaking with groups of people.
Do not let your shyness overpower you. You may have fears but other people are not exactly fear-less. What is important is you acknowledge your fears and you do something to overcome them.
This is part six of 15 (yes, fifteen!) posts about The Ultimate Guide to Improving Your Self-Confidence, subscribe to our newsletter by clicking this link to receive free updates (not to mention a FREE E-Book!).
Part I: The Shocking Truth About Self-Confidence
Part II: 5 Little-Known Factors That Could Affect Your Confidence
Part III: 5 Surprising Characteristics of Someone Who Fears Rejection
Part IV: How to Cope With the Fear of Losing Your Loved One
PartV: How to Overcome the Fear of Failure
To our success in all areas of life,
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