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When fear gets in the way.

Last week I drove the van for my son's hockey team to get them to their game. It was an easy drive and I enjoyed it. Two years ago I would only drive on days when we had to take cars, you know why? I was scared of driving the van. I don't even know why, but I was and so I just opted out and found a way around it.

So what changed? One day they really needed a driver and I was available... but I was still scared and felt embarrassed about it. I then did something really brave, I admitted my lack of confidence. And the most amazing thing happened... no-one laughed at me (well not that I saw), and I got the help and support I needed to give it a go. It was such a big thing before and now it is not a problem at all.

I remind myself of this regularly as I have a habit of letting my fear get in the way- it's like being a short person sat behind someone tall at a show or the movies- fear getting in the way makes it hard to see the whole picture. I get that fear has a job and that is to keep me safe by getting in the way but seriously she takes her job way too seriously and just needs to chillax a little... not everything is going to kill me! Even embarrassment didn't remember?!

As I said fear can stop us seeing the big picture, and also makes it hard to see the possibilities and opportunities in a situation. It keeps us locked in to the problem. If we go back to the tall person in our way metaphor, our imaginations start filling in what we can't see and as fear is in the way then it'll be all about the what might go wrong scenarios. That is imagination being put to a very poor use indeed.

Just like being stuck behind a tall person in a show or movie someone needs to move to make a difference. We can ask the tall person if they'd mind shifting or bob down a little, or we can move ourselves. Same with our fear... we can politely (or not if you wish) ask our fear to move out of our way, or we can move. Taking action is, I think, one of the best ways to deal with fear... if I am moving it's hard for fear to get in front! If I hadn't admitted my challenge with driving the van, I'd probably have continued to avoid it and let it become a greater stress than it needed to be. When I choose not to write or say or do something that is important to me because I am afraid about what people might say the words or opportunity get stuck inside my head and any potential benefit that could come from speaking out is lost... how many people have something to share but don't because of fear I wonder? What is the world losing because of this?

I guess herein lies the challenge. What is fear getting in the way of in your life? What action can you take to move away (or perhaps through) that fear? You never know the difference it might make if you take just one step today... there's a world of possibility out there and what if something amazing happens?!

Megan Gallagher, is a mum, teacher, coach, speaker, PLD facilitator and consultant. She weaves her teaching experience, intense interest and curiosity about the brain, and coaching skills together in all that she does.

One of her greatest pleasures in life is seeing others shining and this is the basis of the work she does. She specialises in coaching for children, families and educators, and shares her expertise in wellbeing, curriculum design, and impactful teaching and learning as a speaker and facilitator.

For more information please check out You can contact her at

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Love the metaphor of the tall person! Another great read and something to reflect upon. Thanks Meg

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As a short person, the tall person thing is a real thing. Thanks for your support Karen, I really appreciate it :)

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