Confronting My Irrational Fear

            We all have something (or many things) which we are terrified of for no apparent reason. Others may think these fears are silly, and they probably are. There are many things which I’m afraid of, some with good reason and some not, but the thing that I’m am currently stressing about has had me worried for well over a year and I’m going to try to deal with it tomorrow (we’ll see if I actually follow through, I’m hoping that by blogging about it I will be more likely to go through with it).

            Tomorrow I’m going to ask a professor to be my faculty advisor. Not what you were expecting was it? I know it seems ridiculous to be afraid to ask a professor to do something for you that is part of their jobs, but it scares me nonetheless. I was assigned an advisor who is in the history department when I began college and she told me from the start I would need to switch because I’m an English major. I’ve been putting it off for a variety of reasons, although fear is the most prominent, but I can’t really avoid it any longer.

            Since I’ve been thinking about my problem a lot lately (and any time advising period is coming near) I’ve begun to wonder what exactly I’m so afraid of. After much deliberation I’ve decided it is a combination of two things: (1) fear of rejection, and (2) fear of being a burden. Neither of these are really great reasons to be afraid. I don’t think a professor would really outwardly reject me, that would be kind of mean, and I wouldn’t be any more of a burden than any of their other advisees. But still, no one wants to be a burden and no one wants to be rejected, or worse, taken in merely because the other feels they have no option.

            I guess realizing my fears and where they steam from might help me to see that nothing can really go wrong. Even if both of my fears are met the only consequence will be embarrassment, which I really hate, but it’s not like a life-or-death situation. Tomorrow I’m going to try to put my fears aside, take a deep breath, and ask someone for something. I’m going to stop allowing my fears to rule my life, one little step at a time.

Update: I waited a day to post this so I could tell you if I actually went through with confronting my fear. And I did!! All throughout class I kept reminding myself of why I needed to do this, both academically and because I don’t want this one thing to dictate my life. I want to know that I can overcome my fears, and this is just one more step on a long path to becoming a braver and less shy person.

            After class I forced myself to walk up to the teacher, there would be no turning back once I was at her desk. As soon as I started talking I could feel the blood rushing to my face and my cheeks quickly warming. The professor said yes and I was so relieved I had trouble paying attention to what she was saying to me. Something about paperwork, I’ll just have to figure that out later I guess. I left the classroom smiling and shaking like a leaf.

            It feels good to have that worry off of my mind. But more so, it feels good to know that I can be the person that I want to someday become: a strong, brave woman who isn’t afraid of taking a little risk.

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