Playing Mind Games

There are number of things I find doing scary or stressful:

  • Improvised speeches
  • Playing scary video games
  • Asking someone out on a date, especially someone I’ve never talked to
  • Asking for someone to help me out on a project
  • Auditioning for a role in a play or musical or anything in general
  • Asking for honest feedback on something I created, afraid of what he/she really thinks

The last time I did an important speech for a college class, I was very terrified, so much that I could hardly look at anyone. Noone in there obviously knew how awful I was at public speaking and so would have been surprised at my nervousness. It definitely wasn’t the first time I spent more time looking down at my notes than eyeing the class, trying to keep my legs and arms from shaking.

In these kind of situations, it pays to be surrounded by those who are most comforting to me and I know I will not be judged by. There is a vagueness and ambiguity of relying on strangers to accompany me and not knowing their intentions.

The fear in response to anything unknown or uncertain is really just a helpful mechanism being used by your mind in preparation of something dangerous being ahead. If you put that out of your mind, there is nothing to worry about at all.

When you do something scary or stressful — bungee jumping, public speaking, etc. — do you prefer to be surrounded by friends or by strangers? Why?