Daily Archives: August 22, 2011

fear or excitement …

“Don’t you long for something different to happen, something so exciting and new it carries you along with it like a great tide, something that lets your life blaze and burn so the whole world can see it?”   Juliet Marillier

For many people the idea of change is terrifying and change is what leads to growth and experiencing life fully.   What most people don’t realize is that the mind and the body can’t tell the difference between fear and excitement.   The same emotions and the same feelings are experienced by both fear and excitement.   How do you know which is which?

Remember the first day of school, that very first day that you realized that you were going to be doing something very different.   Maybe you were waiting for a bus to pick you up or perhaps you had to walk a few blocks to school.  This was the very first day you would be all alone (or at least you felt that way).  The reason not to go to school might have been “I don’t know anyone”, “I don’t have any friends” … or something else.   There is a first day of school story that most people know and can still remember.   Was it excitement or fear?

That moment when the doors opened on that big yellow bus  for your first time was a life defining moment.   That first big step up, and then the next and the next and then it was finding a seat.   All the faces were new and you might have been a little afraid or very excited but you didn’t know the difference.   You did know that your heart was beating faster and that the nerves weren’t very calm.

The first time you rode your bike may have been about the fear of falling and the exhilaration of making the first few turns of the pedal without anyone holding you up.   It wasn’t until you realized that you were riding without any help that you crashed but in that moment that moment of freedom you were excited and saying “Look at me, I am riding my bike!”.    It was exciting wasn’t it?

Think about other “firsts” in your life.  What was it fear or excitement.  Was it the excitement of doing something for the first time?    The second time that experience wasn’t so vivid and fresh and the third, fourth and fifth were less exciting than that very first time.

The very first plane ride was exciting.   The very first bus ride was exciting.  The very first day of school was exciting.   It was like stepping in to a whole new world and over time that excitement turned into a routine and you became an expert.  An expert at riding the bus, an expert at going to school, an expert at riding the bike and an expert at each thing that you had repeated experience in and it just became something normal didn’t it?

For many people the fear of speaking in front of a large audience is debilitating, but is it really fear or is it excitement.   Is it really about the excitement of doing something new and different or is there some real threat about speaking in front of an audience of people.   What is the worst that could happen as a speaker?   Is it a real fear?    Some people would say, “I might look bad”, or “I might sound stupid”, or “I might not look right”, whatever that is, it is really not about speaking it is about what others might think.   Is it fear or excitement?

What do you think?  When you try something new is it fear or excitement?   Think about it the next time you try something new.

“It was an image Melody would never forget. Or was it the emotions the image conjured – hope, excitement, and fear of the unknown, all three tightly braided together, creating a fourth emotion that was impossible to define. She was getting a second chance at happiness and it tickled like swallowing fifty fuzzy caterpillars.”   Lisi Harrison (Monster High)