Wednesday, 19 March 2014

How 20 Seconds Can Reduce Fear

When the idea of allowing bravery to battle my fears in such a short time frame was suggested to me, I felt that instant sensation of... You guessed it. Fear. Ugly, cold, intimidating FEAR.

It was explained to me that I need to allow 30 seconds to be brave. 30 seconds to calm myself down and just do or say what I wanted to (words and actions of positivity of course!) Over the next few weeks I attempted to do this. I found, however, that within the 30 seconds I had built up extra fear. I had 30 seconds of time in which I would analyse this situation further than it needed to be and my mind instantly found the worst outcome that could possibly occur and therefore I wouldn't do or say what needed to be said or done. So I cut this time down to 20 seconds and sure enough I found it worked as I had less time to analyse the bad things and I was able to think about the positives of the outcome I wanted from the situation I was about to change.

Think about a few BIG dreams. These may be dreams you have had in your lifetime. Have you ever wanted to go to the moon? Run for Prime Minister/President? Fly an aeroplane? 
Have you ever wanted to ask a special person on a date? Have you had a dream plan for your future college or university? Maybe you have always wanted to travel to exotic places and explore the world.

These dreams begin somewhere. They begin with 20 seconds of bravery; that short period of time where a person says "I'm going to do this".

The Voice
So for my readers who don't know me, I am a singer. I have been singing since I was approximately the age of 7. My love for singing was discovered in 20 seconds of bravery, before I knew of such a 
concept. My older sister was performing in a talent quest held in the middle of a shopping centre. As 
an intermission, the host of the talent quest asked children of the audience if they wanted to come on stage and sing with the karaoke machine. In about 5 seconds flat my arm was up, I was out of my seat and on that stage. I felt confident, strong and BRAVE. I sang "Dancing Queen" by ABBA and my voice echoed throughout the shopping centre. It was an absolute dream :)

Social Situations
As a natural introvert, conversing with people is a struggle. I become shy in groups and crowds, I withdraw all my comments from classes in fear of being mocked and I tend to bring up awkward topics in even more awkward situations;

 *everyone is talking about the latest television program that I naturally have not seen* 
Me: hey guess what? I saw a dead bird today. I think it had been there for a while!
Everyone else: *awkward stares, blinks and perhaps a cough or two*

I find it highly difficult to initiate conversation with someone, especially when it is something big that needs changing or even worse. . . Confrontation
I find conflict occurs mostly in the workplace or at university due to the consistent personality clashes and the need for change to various things. By disciplining myself to let go and be ultimately brave for 20 seconds I have been able to reduce conflict and raise awareness to unknown issues at work, share information with my peers and I have also met new people by being brave and initiating conversations with people whom I've never met!

The Alter Call
So my third, final and favorite 20 seconds of bravery moment was also before I even knew about the 
concept of 20 seconds of bravery. I was 14 years old attending The Big Exo Day (a large Christian music festival). Here I listened to a sermon by Reggie Dabbs who explained when we are in pain, we call out to Jesus. And that is what I did. He explained that if people wanted to accept Jesus, to stand.
 Within 20 seconds, myself and hundreds of other young people stood in the name of Jesus. I still love that moment and that I got to share the same 20 seconds of bravery with hundreds of young people.

What are your dreams? What's holding you back? 
    - Fear of rejection
- Fear of failure
               - Someone else's opinion
           - The need for security

When was the last time you felt brave? Try and capture that moment. How did it make you feel? Free? Powerful? Encouraged?
Hold on to those feelings. Embrace your 20 seconds of bravery. It's such a short period of time  that is just enough to push you out of your comfort zone and into a moment of time that could be the moment your life changes forever for the good. 

Embrace your 20 seconds and change your life.

Your Starfish Story is being written. . . Have faith