Written by Therese This simple question have been, and is still, very helpful for me. Let me explain why. Fear has followed me almost my entire life and in many different situations. For instance: fear of what others will think of me if/when I stutter. Or the fear of not being good enough or funny enough when I participate in social contexts. I never raised my hand in class, although I knew the answer to the teacher’s questions. I did not raise my hand because I was so afraid to stutter in front of the class. I have cancelled many social events during my life, because of “bad talking days”. As you can read, I have let fear take a (too) big role in my life and fear has limited me to do things I actually wanted to do.
One of my dreams as long as I can remember has been to travel to Australia and New Zealand. My friends were not able to travel with me and I was too afraid to travel alone. I was afraid to meet new people and especially talk English (swedish is my motherlanguage and I stutter much more when talking english). But one day I had enough of being afraid and daydreaming about Australia and New Zealand, and decided to make my dream come true. Some months later I booked a single-ticket to Australia and I was travelling around for four months. I had the best days of my life and I met so many great people. And I’ve just started planning my next long trip!
Since I was a child I knew I wanted to work with people. One of my friends was studying to become an occupational therapist and she told me about the education and how it was to work as an occupational therapist. It sounded very interesting, but I had my doubts about if I was able to work as an occupational therapist due to my stuttering. But I applied for the education and I got in! The education was fun, but also very challenging. It had many presentations, groupwork etc… I was close to quitting many times. It’s now been three years since I graduated and I have since then worked in a hospital with patients with acquired brain damage. I love my job and I am proud of myself to have fullfilled my dream to work with people. Although, at first, I did not believe I was able to do that.
“What would I do if I weren’t afraid?” You can ask yourself this question in almost every situation that you are faceing in life. Ask this question to get a bigger understanding for what you want in life, to explore if you are on the right path or if it’s your fear that makes you decide which path to take. Don’t let fear stop you from doing what you want in life!