I was standing on a high wooden floor, fiddling with my jacket zip, looking down at the pattern on my shoes. My chest felt tight and as though I was burning up. When I looked up I saw more than a hundred pairs of eyes looking at me, waiting expectantly. I wanted to begin but all that came out of mouth was “Ummmmm...I am…hello…umm…” I was looking nervously at the audience, who were sitting on the comfortable theatre chairs.
Tears started trickling down my cheeks. I had never felt so scared and nervous in my entire life. I saw a few people whispering to each other, while I wiped my tears away and tried not to look embarrassed.
All of a sudden, I remembered something that my mom had told me before I went up on stage.
“If you feel scared or nervous, just think of something happy or funny.”
I wondered how was that going to work, but since that was the only advice I had, I had to try it out before I was thrown off the stage. The problem was I didn’t know what to think of. My eyes got a glimpse of a brochure on the floor which showed a dog in the circus cycling. Suddenly, a smile stretched across my face, showing my dimples.
I think that the audience must have been confused, because as soon as I smiled I spotted some perplexed faces.
They must be thinking, “Is something wrong with the girl up on stage? A minute ago she was wiping her tears and now she is smiling as though she has just spotted something funny!”
I imagined that everyone in the audience looked like clowns; they were wearing colourful clothes, they had a big red nose and lots of makeup on. I smiled so much at the thought of clowns that my pearly white teeth started showing. I started giving my speech, 'Why I think sports are important?'. The more I spoke, the more confident I became. The audience seemed to be loving my speech, and they gave me a standing ovation after I was done.
Many people came up to me and praised me on how well I spoke. I felt so relieved and unburdened. Finally, I spotted my mom in the crowd. I had been looking for her for ages, I felt. I walked up to her and touched her shoulder.
She turned around and exclaimed, “Ishina! Where were you?”
Before I could reply, she uttered “Oh whatever the reason is, tell me how did you suddenly became so confident up on stage?" I replied, smiling “Oh! I just followed your advice.” My mom asked me, looking confused “Ishina I have given you more than a thousand pieces of advice since the time you were born. However, it is surprising that you followed one. Okay, was it the advice I give to you before you went up on stage?” I replied, laughing “Yes mom. That one.”
I felt that it was ages ago when I was feeling scared, my palms were sweaty and I was thinking that I was about to be thrown off the stage. I laughed at myself. After what seemed like the blink of an eye, it was time to go. I gazed out of the car’s window, feeling relaxed and thinking what would it have been like if my mom hadn’t given me that awesome and weird advice.
That day I realized that the best way to overcome your fear is to face it.
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