Conquering My Fear

May 23, 2011
By oddshadow BRONZE, Saint Paul, Minnesota
oddshadow BRONZE, Saint Paul, Minnesota
4 articles 0 photos 0 comments

The middle school I used to attend in India started in the seventh grade. I entered the school turning twelve years old in May. Looking back at my winning experience in the sixth grade helped me build my self-esteem. However, something had remained the same for me and my classmates: we shared an environment where we all struggled with stage fright.

We never talked about our stage fright, but we knew about it because we felt it inside us. It was like knowing when the lunch break was over. For example, we had a counseling class after our lunch break. Our class started with the usual greeting to the teacher, and everyone sat back down on their chairs. Our counseling teacher was Miss Tendolma, who was in her mid-thirties. She stood in front of the class with her trusting smile, and she instructed us to speak on our class’s mini-bench about a topic of our choice. Sadly, no one volunteered.
Soon after, our counselor picked students out herself. She made them speak about anything. The little thin boy who sat in the front of the room was the first one to go. His name was Kunga, and he talked for two minutes about what he had for lunch. Then my friend Palkyi, who sat across from me went, and she talked about her chubby dog. The line kept going on, and every time someone spoke on that mini-bench, someone in the crowd laughed. Our classmates didn’t responded positively.
I didn’t laugh at the people who were speaking on the stage because I felt bad for them; I kept putting myself in their shoes. My mind was wandering off, wondering if that was the reason why I had stage fright. My conscience was telling me, yes, this was the reason why I had goose bumps on my skin, butterflies in my stomach, a dry mouth, and sweat on my palms. It is not a pleasant experience to be a laughing stock. My thoughts kept racing on.

Everyone in the class spoke, and the counselor wasn’t wearing her trusting smile anymore. She stood on the middle of the mini-bench, which was in front of my class. Miss Tendolma pointed to each one of us in the classroom, and she told us why it was important to master the art of public speaking. As she stared at us with hope, she told us that she had faith in us and that she wanted every single one of us to succeed in life. She made it clear that if we want to succeed, we should beat our stage fright. I sat still on my wooden chair while her words touched me deeply and inspired me to ask myself a question.
“How will I beat my stage fright?” I kept asking myself. My mind was rewinding the words our counselor had said that afternoon. I thought hard and long. To beat my stage fright, I was ready to make a conscious effort to rely on more than my luck. I then decided to speak in public at every opportunity I received until I conquered the stage fright. Time was up for me to be afraid to make a mistake, to sweat seeing the crowd, and to have shaky legs because I couldn’t hold myself still. I was sick of never being brave enough to face my fear. I found my answer; I needed to conquer my fear.

The author's comments:
Teacher makes a difference. Huge one!

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