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What do others think about me?

Over the past year, Wednesday nights have become one my favorite nights of the week. I was introduced to something new that I enjoy doing very much. Drumroll please…. Every Wednesday night is Karaoke night! Last Wednesday night amongst the music and visiting, I observed some interesting things. People were encouraging others to select a song and take part in singing on stage. Some examples of responses I heard were “No way could I ever do that!” …” I’m not good enough!” ….” Are you crazy?!” …” I panic whenever I have to be in front of others.” ….”People don’t want to hear me sing!”

As I was observing and listening, I began to question what might be driving those responses. I realized there was a really powerful life-lesson that could be taken from their responses. The lesson is that FEAR is keeping them from experiencing the joy that singing brought them personally. Fear was lying to these people. I started thinking about how sad this was. Even beyond karaoke, so many times fear holds us back from living the life we were born to live. So, I started thinking…How do we overcome those fears? Well, one way is to face them head on! The more we intentionally decide to face our fears head on, the less they have control over us. The more times I get on the stage and sing, the more comfortable I become…. which leads to more joy in my life.

So, how do we learn to overcome those fears that hold us back from experiencing the joy that we deserve? We need to STRETCH! Stretching is a life-skill that I learned from attending Discovery Programs, in Austin, Texas which is a program that created a safe place for me to trust not only myself, but others around me as well. Stretching is action we can take that basically enables us to step outside of our comfort zone and do something that we normally aren’t comfortable doing.

Prior to attending Discovery back in 2011, not only was I not facing my fears head-on, I was also worrying too much about what others thought about me personally. Discovery taught me that there are healthy fears and there are unhealthy fears. I learned that those unhealthy fears were the ones lying to me and keeping me from truly living. Stretching was not something I felt comfortable doing prior to attending Discovery, but I learned how important it really is. I struggled with being overly concerned about what other people would think of me if I did certain things that caused me to step outside of my comfort zone. Because I was able to develop these life skills, my relationship with my family and friends is much deeper than it was prior to attending Discovery.

So, the next time you find yourself in a situation where your fears are lying to you, consider trying two things. Facing those fears head-on… and… Get up on that “stage of life” (whatever that may be for you) and S-T-R-E-T-C-H!

- Greg Phillips

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