I can’t do it mum, I’m sorry.
Oh dear. This isn’t good.
This was a bigger reaction than usual, I knew she was upset this time.
Although to be fair, if you had come out of work, picked your son up from school, driven him to the dentist, put him in the chair ready for a tooth out, only to find ‘the poor little soul has had a change of heart’ you might feel aggrieved at a completely wasted afternoon too. I sat in the waiting room trying to ready myself for one of my back teeth out, a very fake smile started to appear on my face. I couldn’t process my thoughts and the image of the dentist with a drill and a hacksaw was only getter bigger in my mind. Plus I didn’t want to let my mum down. The Fear. Oh the Fear.
What is Fear? Is it what we imagine? How many times in our lives is our imagined fear much worse than the reality? One of my favourite acronyms is-
I had a tooth out later in life, did it hurt? Mildly. Was there a dentist waiting to carve my gum open with a rusty scalpel. In short, no. What about the dreaded conversation with the angry partner, we rehearse what we are going to say all day- only to find they are sorry to. Maybe it’s the presentation at work, everyone will throw tomatoes at me and laugh at my ineptitude – only to see smiling faces and have the realisation that you were asked to do it for a reason. Fear carries a certain taboo, we’re not supposed to be fearful, or we don’t want to show it. This is because it’s where our vulnerabilities lie.
What happens though when we suppress how we feel?
Do our fears disappear? Or does our subconscious store it in our bodies for when we least want it be there. We pretend we’re not vulnerable, nervous, self conscious, or fearful and just when we want to show courageous we are. . . our neck and face goes red, our palms sweat, we can’t articulate what we are saying, our mind races, we fidget and twitch. This is your subconscious screaming …
YOU CAN’T LIE TO ME!!!
I believe fear to be a completely understandable and powerful emotion, it is however irrational and stops us doing the vast majority of things in life.
There is a saying in NLP ‘You know more than you think you know’ and what this simple but highly effective sentence challenges us to remember is our resourcefulness. As we all sit out and reflect in this difficult time, I ask you to think about when you have overcome fears in your life. How did it feel? Relief? Elation? Pride? The truth is we only feel alive when we are challenging our ‘fears’, when we are willing to take a risk or make a mistake. We may not always associate it with a pleasant feeling, but we certainly know when we come through it, and it gives us strength as we move on in life and we start to realise the only person stopping you: is you.
We drove away in silence from the dentist, my mind raced as I wondered what would become of this 10 year old boy with half a tooth still in his mouth. Would she abandon me by the roadside? Would I make it into school next day?
Turns out we just went home for bangers and mash.
If this sounds familiar then please get in touch. I’d love to help.