Surviving Anxiety – Personal Stories of Overcoming Fear – The Craft Show

I was speaking with someone recently, and was surprised that they did not believe that I have stage fright. I have had anxiety and social stress all of my life, but I have learned to camouflage, deflect, and power my way through it. So I am starting a new section on this blog, with personal stories of the times I have kicked my way through fear to get the job done.  Surviving Anxiety has been a theme of my life, and I hope to inspire others to begin facing their own fears.


I’ve been recalling past instances when I was terrified, but stepped up and tried anyway. My parents were a bit odd in that they often didn’t tell me what to expect in new situations, they just threw me in and then corrected me when I messed up. I’m not sure how it didn’t occur to them that kids are brand new at life, and no matter how clever they are at puzzles, it would be kind to tell them what to expect in social situations they haven’t yet experienced. There were many times where my social anxiety was worsened simply because I had no idea what was going on or how to behave. It made matters worse that I was too shy to ask.

My school had a craft show when I was in grade five. At the time, I had been making strange little yarn dolls made from looped wool. They were quaint, easily customizable, and I thought they were darling. I signed up for the craft fair, although I had never been to one before. I worked hard for the next while, assembling a little collection of my nicest dolls. I was really nervous – I had no idea what to expect, and was too shy to ask many questions. But I have always enjoyed creating things, and my family told me they liked my crafts.

Suddenly the morning of the event, I was terrified. How could I show strangers what I made? Although I wanted to back out, I thought quitting would be embarrassing. I forced myself to just get it over with. This is one of my earliest memories of surviving anxiety and pushing myself to get through the day no matter what.

I was driven to the fair, and told that my section of table had my name on it. I found it, and placed several of my dolls across the area. I had no concept of displays, I was a little kid. Then I looked around.

Every other exhibitor had a table cloth, a backdrop, and most had signage describing their crafts. They obviously had a lot of help from their parents. Suddenly I thought my dolls looked completely stupid compared to the rest of the exhibits. I was mortified. (I felt like Ralph Wiggum, who was centred out at the school contest for being one of only two children who obviously didn’t have any help from their parents.)

Later that night, as I cried while telling my dad I was the worst one there, he assured me that I wasn’t, but that wasn’t the point at all. The only thing that mattered was that I tried. That I did something new. That I had the guts to show people the things I had made.

I learned a lot through this ordeal, like the only person I can ever trust is myself. I learned that doing something and trying really is better than doing nothing. I learned that being embarrassed won’t actually kill me. After a while, I did feel a tiny bit of pride for doing something even though I was scared.

Fear is horrid, but the amazing high you get from barrelling through it is almost always worth it.


In upcoming posts, I’ll share more stories about what warped me as a shy, anxious child, and “Project Do What Scares Me” where I reconfigured my brain to look for opportunities for terror.


I would hugely appreciate your comments and feedback – it’s hard to write when you don’t know if anyone is reading and enjoying the posts. I hope that this blog is beneficial to you, and inspires you to work on getting over your own hurdles.

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Thank you so much for reading, and for helping this site grow. So many people suffer from stress and anxiety, and don’t know how to fight it. That’s the trick – it’s a fight. We have to constantly work on kicking it, and use some of our tips, resources, breathing exercises, every single day.


It is not exactly curable, but it is kickable.  Battleable? Pick an action word that inspires you to begin surviving anxiety and overcoming your own fears! It will be uncomfortable sometimes, but you’ll survive.



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