Sunday, July 7, 2013

Day 210 - Avoiding human interaction - Fear of people

I started a new type of job and it requires me to push through and walk beyond my comfort zone, I have to approach people, call people, talk to people, and sell to people - when I was a child I wouldn't even like going up to the bagel stand and buy a bagel - I would ask the grown ups to do it for me, I didn't like phoning my friend's home (back in the day before everybody had their own private line or cell phone) because I didn't want their parents to pick up and talk to me, I hid through out my entire bat miztva party so I wouldn't have to talk to my relatives, and the list of situations where I avoided interaction with people goes on and on - and now I am walking into a line of work that is 100% people oriented…


So, why did I fear people so much? Well, there was "what if I don't speak clearly and they don't understand what I'm saying" (specifically in the states where I was self conscious about my Israeli accent), "what if they ask me something and I don't understand or hear the question and I have to have them ask or explain it again and it becomes an awkward moment", "what if they ask me how I am doing and I don't know what to answer" - I always had this idea about myself that I don't know how to hold a "small-talk" conversation, that I'm not good with the chit chat, that other people seem to do so naturally, I always felt awkward, I never like those awkward moments when no one is speaking and I feel like it's my responsibility to direct the conversation but I don't have anything substantial to say. This point is interesting because I'm been living and expressing myself as a character that is very friendly and outspoken, and I give an impression as if I am confidant and comfortable around people, but I have always been very self conscious and uncomfortable.


There is one specific memory I have, I was about 5 years old and I'm walking by a group of people, they are sitting on their porch and I remember I was worried about them watching me, so I walked by and had my head facing the ground but my eyes were turned towards them, looking at them, checking to see if they are looking at me - years later I've seen kids doing the same thing and it's hilarious because all I wanted was to be invisible, I didn't want to be seen or looked at, and then I go ahead and walk in such an obvious way, which draws that much more attention… lol…


I've spent so much time and energy worrying about what other people will think of me, allowing this to limit me into a freeze where I don't want to do or say anything is fear of the interaction, fear of messing up, making a fool out of myself, being seen as a joke, humiliating myself, and so on.


I've learnt to deal with this construct but I is very much still alive and kicking within me, still wanting to be validated and approved, still feeling awkward speaking to people that I am intimidated by, still get intimidated by people that for some reason I have defined as superior in some way, or myself, in relation to them, as inferior.


So I'm now facing this journey, and this job is a great opportunity to walk through these points, it's kind of like a big practice field, where I get to push myself again and again and again to face these inner demons as these fears that I have allowed myself to be directed by and that I have allowed to control my life.


I'll open this point up further with self forgiveness, to prepare me for the coming week, and I'll come back to this point as I walk it and as points come up. Already just by starting writing about it all these memories came up , so there is plenty of work to do here in clearing myself and allowing myself to change out of this character that I have lived throughout my life, as it has not been supportive, nor effective at all, and it's about time to let it go and "grow up" as I nurture myself and grow upwards into and as myself, as to live and express the full potential of myself that I have not been allowing myself to live and exist as because I have been allowing myself to diminish myself in fears as self limitation.


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