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We all have fears. One of my greatest fears as a kid was not monsters or the dark – it was piano recitals.
I’ve been playing the piano ever since I was a little girl. But I was scared to death of piano recitals. You see, when you have to perform on stage with no notes, in a huge auditorium with no one to accompany you but a grand piano, it can be pretty scary. I was scared I would forget my piece in the middle of it or make a mistake.
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When I went to college at Silliman University, I continued with my piano lessons mainly because I didn’t want to forget how to play. Every semester there would be a recital for all music students at the Luce Auditorium – the largest fully functioning theater outside of Metro Manila. It was a great opportunity to showcase my skills on the piano and to perform in one of the best theaters in the Philippines. But I didn’t join the recital. I was too scared of messing up!
On the second sem, I thought, this has to stop. I can’t go on being afraid. Besides, what’s the point of knowing how to play the piano if no one else could hear me play?
“No one lights a lamp and hides it in a clay jar or puts it under a bed. Instead, they put it on a stand, so that those who come in can see the light. – Luke 8:6
I was still afraid of recitals, but this time, I was determined to face my fear. So on the next recital, I prepared for my piece as best as I could. I went to the College of Performing Arts every day for a week to practice. I practiced everyday until my hands were numb. My recital piece was a composition by Beethoven and it was 15 pages long.
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Recital day came. The auditorium was deathly silent and tension filled the air. I walked on stage in my long gown and took a seat in front of a shiny, black, Yamaha grand piano. My knees were shaking and my palms were sweating. But I couldn’t back out now. I put my hands on the keys and when I brought them down, the beautiful music of Beethoven filled the auditorium. Although my mind went blank and I couldn’t remember a single thing, since I practiced so much, it seemed my hands had a life of their own and knew just what to do.
That experience liberated me.
Fear is the one thing that can stop you from truly living your life the way you are meant to. If I didn’t decide to face my fear, I would still have been living in fear. It may just be a piano recital to you, but that was a monumental experience for me. Fear is subjective and we all have different fears. What is important is that we decide to face it. Once I knew I could face my fear, the next time something scared me, I would meet it head on.
Yes, I still become afraid. Who doesn’t? But what I’ve discovered is, when you face your fears, it goes away. According to Ralph Waldo Emerson, always do what you are afraid to do. And when you do, you cease to fear it.
What about you? What are you afraid of?
Don’t run from your fear. Face it.
Only when we are no longer afraid do we begin to live. – Dorothy Thompson
Go live a Truly Wealthy life!