2017 · Life: Help I'm Alive

On bravery

Sometimes you have to do things that scare you, or you’re not a human being but a piece of dirt.

Bröderna Lejonhjärta, Astrid Lindgren

Bravery comes in a lot of shapes and sizes. For some it can be doing a parachute jump, for others it’s talking to a stranger or standing up to a bully. I think we all have things that we’re scared to do and I also think there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s a matter of picking your battles, of whether you’re okay with being afraid of spiders or if you want to tackle that fear head on and live your life more fearless.

For me, it’s a social anxiety. I used to be more awkward in general but after going to college for a few years that’s not really a problem anymore and I’ve never had a problem with public speaking. For me, it’s telephones. I hate talking on the phone, especially when it’s someone I don’t know, even more so if it’s for business reasons. Some of this stems from valid concerns about being prepared to hand over the information asked for and having a record of what’s been said, while the more anxious part of this aversion isn’t quite so rational. If I can avoid it, I’ll go for emails or visits in person every single time over making a phone call.

I don’t believe anyone should be made fun of or be forced to face their fears unwillingly, no matter how legitimate or ridiculous you may think they are. I do however believe that some things need to be dealt with because life is so much easier if you don’t have to spend hours working up to a ten minute phone call, so I’m slowly but surely tackling my phone anxiety. Today I called the renters association to end my membership (I’m no longer a renter) and it was a short and pleasant call! The fear was more fearsome than the actual thing I was afraid of.

Maybe next time I’ll work on my crippling phobia for having blood drawn. (I won’t.)

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