Sunday, 29 November 2015

Facing Your Fears


Recently, I have been doing something extremely nerve-racking and, quite honestly, terrifying. To most, especially those with diagnosed anxiety, might think of my petty fears as stupid and an exaggeration. But to me, I’m way outside of my comfort zone and there is no going back.

I started learning French 3 ½ years ago when I first moved to Brussels. I went from knowing nothing to where I am now; half of my classes at school are in French. I have never struggled with the language, I was a fast learner, but now I feel so insecure about everything: my grammar, my accent, everything. I am terrified of speaking French in front of Francophones (Belgians and French students alike). It makes me physically sick to my stomach and I have spent sleepless nights tossing and turning, wondering how I might humiliate myself the next day.

Although I am still struggling with handling my anxiety (big presentation coming up next week!), I do have some tricks up my sleeve to ease the nerves.

1. Know that you are brave enough to take a risk
I always tell myself that I was courageous to sign up for classes in French. If anything, I am braver than all the fluent speakers because I stepped up to the challenge.

2. You’ll be proud of yourself when it’s over
Another something that boosts my confidence; telling myself that when it’s all finished, I will be incredibly proud of doing it in the first place. No one else will remember let alone care if you embarrassed yourself in any way. I often wish I hadn’t taken a risk, but I know I’ll be glad I didn’t when it’s over.

3. Making mistakes is the only way you’ll learn
You won’t get anything out of being perfect (as much as that annoys me - I’m a perfectionist). Understand that everyone makes mistakes every now and then. You’ll get it right next time. The point is that it’s a learning process.

4. Face your fears to overcome them
Your fears will remain fears if you never affront them. Don’t hide from what might happen. I struggle with public speaking, but that’ll never change unless I want it to. How do I change it? I do it.

5. Find a way to de-stress
In my case, I find stress comes hand in hand with nerves. Find a technique that gets rid of the stress. Maybe meditation (if so, get the Calm app!), reading a book, blogging (see what I did there?), anything that puts your mind at ease.

Sometimes, if you face your fears, you’ll realize there isn’t anything to be afraid of. I wish you the best of luck if you face your fears. Please do, it might lead to a happier, more fulfilled life.


Niamh x


  1. I constantly struggle with anxiety. I've found that meditating for even just a few minutes a day has helped massively. I haven't heard of the Calm app, but I'll definitely be checking it out! Thanks
    Laura |

    1. I'm happy to help out ! Calm is a brilliant way to wind down. Good luck with everything xx

  2. i could definitely use these reminders from time to time! love that first quote as well, thanks for sharing :)

    danielle | avec danielle


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