I’ve decided that the main reason why I have difficulty talking to other people and speaking up in groups (even small groups) is fear. I am also very self-conscious, but I think self-consciousness is fear of what other people think about me – even if I’m just saying hello to a cashier at a grocery store. This is one of my biggest challenges and it’s a challenge that I need to work on every day. Every time I step out of the house, I try to focus on making every effort possible to interact and speak with other people. For me, it’s really about talking. Conversation doesn’t come naturally to me. Silence does. My husband often suggests that in order to start a conversation, or even just to keep a conversation going, all I need to do is ask questions. I try to keep that in mind. Ask a question. I don’t know why talking and conversing is so difficult, but I think the more I practice, the better I will get at it.
I was inspired by a quote I found in one of my books I pulled off the bookshelf yesterday.
The only way to enjoy life is to be fearless and not to worry about defeat and disaster. One must not be afraid of being hurt. The world is full of all kinds of hurts and it is only by facing them that we can become strong and hardy and able to do great things. There are millions of people in the world but most of them just drift along, afraid of death and even more afraid of life.
I don’t know who the author of this quote is. It might be Daisaku Ikeda, but I’m not sure. It’s a wonderful quote and also very true. I’ve drifted along for periods of time during my life, not so much afraid of living, but afraid of speaking. Now it’s time for me to speak up! To share my experiences, thoughts, beliefs, opinions and emotions with others so that I can truly live more fully, and help my family and friends live more fully as well. Death I am not afraid of, but life is to be lived!