There are a few times when I feel intimidated. The task is large and complex and I don’t know how to do it, or I have to write this whitepaper that is extremely domain specific and I need to have my content come across with the authority of an expert, or I see a large number of people around me, who are better qualified and write so much better and have so much more knowledgeable, and my confidence cowers, I break into a cold sweat, my heart beats faster and I think, can I do it, can I really, really do, can I stand out, can I achieve anything, can I get to where they are and ahead, what if I fail. Fear is a horrible thing, but I have read some quote which actually says fear a good thing. Fear aids self preservation, it aids survival. Fear is a way to recognise danger, and if fear fails to kick in we would be dead a long time back, killed by our wrong response to a situation.
But then somewhere you need to slowly take control of it, like taming a wild horse, or reeling in a really large fish. You need to be patient, let go a bit, reassess your strengths, let the fear overtake you, let it believe for a few moments that it controls you, that it has won, and use these precious seconds or minutes of lucid thought to develop your counter strategy. Wait for the fear to tire out, manoeuvre it, give in a little, pull back a little, and then drawn it in, before it has realized it’s lost the battle. Draw it in quickly, like one possessed, like one in control.
It is overpowering, intimidating fear like this that brings to mind a dream I had many years ago, when I was a little girl but it still remains fresh in my memory like it were yesterday. In my dream I am standing in the lane that leads from my home to the road. It was a little mud road then, with young coconut trees on one side, and the shadow of a looming house on the other. And as I stand there, as a bus, crowded with people passes by. To the small girl in the lane, this is a huge bus, all metal roaring by. The bus stops a little ahead and people alight, and the girl in the dream thinks to herself, will I ever grow big enough to travel in a bus such as this, travel all by myself. Will I be able to indicate to the conductor or driver that I would like to alight at a particular stop, what if the bus does not stop and takes me elsewhere, and the heart of the little girl begins to pound and fills with dread.
Since, I have grown up, traveled half the country all by myself, have lived numerous years by myself, have stepped into and off many buses, trains and planes, and feel bemused when people much older than the little girl in the lane exhibit similar fear for banal things.
When my mind comes back to the present I think, I will overcome, just like the girl overcame her fear of that bus, I will write that complex whitepaper, I will find a way to do that complex large task, fit it all in even in a crazy tight schedule, prioritize, plan, execute. I will get ahead of all those big time writers, I will try and I will be. If it’s doable, consider it done J