Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Fear gremlins - beware!

Today I started work with a student; she’s in that ‘transitional space’, that is, between school and college. I like the sound of the word ‘transition’. For me, there is a suggestion of movement, change, something exciting about to happen. I look upon it as a new journey or path to explore. I enjoy the sense of newness and the curiosity factor which encourages questions like; ‘I wonder what that will be like, who will be there, what I will learn?’ Perhaps that’s the traveller in me who likes to explore and visit new places. On the other hand, there’s also an element of concern and sometimes even fear associated with a new job, task or event. During the discussion with my student I could sense a strong fear of doing things and failing. ‘That would be terrible and so embarrassing!’ She smiled nervously.

I suggested that perhaps we look a little more closely at those ‘fear gremlins’ and devise a cunning plan to tackle and overcome them. We agreed to do that over the next few weeks.

What is it about the fear of failure that stops us in our tracks as students and fully fledged adults? What would happen if we gave ‘fear’ a wide berth or discontinued it from our thought processes?

What if …?

I’m currently re-reading Susan Jeffers book, ‘Feel the fear and do it anyway’. Susan provides some great tips on overcoming the ‘fear gremlins’ and her book is well worth a read.

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