What Are You Afraid Of?

What is it about a birthday or an anniversary that prompts us to pause, reflect and remember?  Tomorrow is my 1-year anniversary of blogging, and I find myself wondering if I’ve been doing what I set out to do.  Why have I been doing this?

There is so much to be said about taking chances.  Crossing thresholds.  Plunging in.  Alec Couros shared this video at a recent #etMOOC session:

I’m so happy that this little girl fought past her fear and achieved something so wonderful.  I’m also pretty sure that TONS of people have learned from her.  Tackling fear sometimes leads to some pretty cool results.  The thing is, why do new things seem so big, so huge, and sometimes so impossible?

There is a choice to be made when we are presented with any new thing:  is our fear of something unfamiliar going to hold us back from trying, or will we try anyway?

My recent introductory post for #etMOOC was a huge step for me.  I have a fear of speaking that really holds me back.  Comfortably introverted, I shy away from larger group activities, letting the social butterflies take centre stage.  Their thoughts seem to flow so easily as they chat and joke with others, and I find myself wishing I could speak that well too.

Now, I have no plans to ‘go for the gold’ and begin speaking in front of large groups, but I’m sure there has to be a way that I can get better at sharing my thoughts without relying on my writing skills.  Recently, I’ve really enjoyed listening to podcasts from Wes Fryer and David Truss.  Their thoughts are shared in such a natural way, and they sometimes describe their informal settings which creates a sense of comfort for their audience.  I think I enjoy these sessions because they haven’t been made to appear perfect.  They don’t have that guarded, polished feel to them — they make their listeners feel like friends as they sort out thoughts about new ideas.  I sure hope they realize what a refreshing treat this is!

Maybe by following the lead of people who are willing to explore these new ways of communicating without appearing to be perfect, I can try a bit too.  I’m not exactly sure how I’m going to do this, but it’s something I’d like to improve.  Wish me luck!


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4 Responses to What Are You Afraid Of?

  1. Good luck! I checked out your blog and it’s amazing. You are definitely on he right path – as I think we all feel the same way. I’ve been blogging with my students for a few years now and I still wonder sometimes – Why am I doing this? Or more often – am I doing this right? I think everyone feels this way from time to time – especially on birthdays and anniversaries. I’ll be following your blog as its touh to find fellow fine and performing arts teachers hear – or anywhere – on the web who keep up with their blog and share their thoughts. I’ve been searching for more music teacher blogs to connect with and follow only to find that they haven’t been updated for several years. Thanks for sharing and I really enjoyed reading your blog. Great work!

    • colleenkr says:

      Hi Serge,
      Thank you for your feedback ~ do you enjoy blogging with your students? This semester my grade 12 students were required to create digital portfolios (blogs) that both documented their progress on projects as well as their responses to topics in class. I’ve found it both a rewarding & challenging process, and I think I need to check-in with other teachers to find out how this can be a little bit better for them (and me!).

  2. Dave Truss says:

    Congrats on your ‘Blogiversary’:)

    It’s funny that you mention the ease of the podcasts, I’m glad they sound informal, but I haven’t put any out recently because I’ve been very busy and it still takes me a long time to put one together. Too long compared to someone like Wes, who does them all the time. I still fidget and tweak them and try to make everything as right as I can. I’m actually the same with blogging almost 7 years in. Taking new leaps is easier than ever now, but no matter what I do, I still get pangs just before hitting ‘publish’. It’s funny but people don’t see me as the introvert I really am.
    Congratulations on taking the leap into blogging a year ago. It will be the best professional development you’ll ever do… Enjoy the journey!

    • colleenkr says:

      Dave, I think you’re right ~ I did miss any hint of being an introvert. I’m so glad you mentioned the moment of anxiety as you make your work public — I definitely felt that this morning while publishing this post!
      Wow, seven years! That’s wonderful! Can you believe the huge amount of learning that develops from one simple decision to write a blog? I think I’m still amazed by the change of my thought processes as well as the amount of support from others. Maybe while we’re assuming that others have a much easier time at accomplishing things that we find difficult, they’re actually facing the same troubles as we are.

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