Exposure to Fear Builds Confidence

February 16, 2010 Aimee White

I am a big believer that hobbies can improve our confidence in ourselves. Some of my hobbies include crafting, blogging and blog design, scrapbooking, but especially photography. I love the satisfaction and pride I feel when I capture a portrait that I know will be treasured for years. However, fear is never far away.

I finally had a photo shoot with a complete stranger's family that found me from my website. Even though I knew I had the knowledge and experience to take their pictures and come up with some decent shots, the fear of having to prove myself to these people made me a nervous wreck!


What have I gotten myself into?

The anxiety started the night before the shoot. So many negative thoughts and worries raced through my mind. The location we decided upon I had never been to so I was worried about driving there and if it would be a good spot.

The morning anxiety was worse. I could hardly eat breakfast.

On my drive to the location it started raining. Oh boy here we go.

no-trespassingI show up at the location and there is a "NO TRESPASSING" sign on the front entrance. Great! Now we are going to get hauled away by the cops. I started googling trespassing fines and jail time while waiting for the family to arrive. I wasn't familiar enough with the area to go somewhere else, and neither were they.

Growing up, I was always a good girl. Getting in trouble scared me so much that it was never worth it to me to take the risk. Now, as an adult, I am still worried about disappointing others. I almost called the family up to cancel the whole thing. It would have been much easier on my nerves.

But I didn't. So we trespassed.

The little boy in the family was really upset and didn't want to be out in the cold and wind. It was hard to get a smile out of him.

I was worried that I didn't get any great pictures and that the family would be disappointed in me and think I was a horrible photographer and ask for their money back. I found myself wondering why I thought I could pull off being a professional photographer. The negative thoughts were all consuming.

It wasn't a perfect experience and sometimes I found myself thinking, "Is the money worth the stress?"

Then I got home, uploaded the pictures and did my editing magic in the best software ever created, Photoshop. Although not my best pictures ever, I am pleased with the results.

Then I felt the happiness. Then I felt the rewards.

It's not about the money, its about the internal growth. Its another notch in my belt that will help me to feel more confident in my abilities for the next rough photo shoot. Its about learning not to doubt myself.

Getting out of our comfort zone is stressful, but its the best way to learn and grow. When we give into our fears, it always makes them scarier the next time.

When was a time that you didn't give into your fears?

APA Reference
White, A. (2010, February 16). Exposure to Fear Builds Confidence, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 19 from

Author: Aimee White

July, 19 2010 at 2:12 am is brilliant, I have to tell everybody about this website. Scrambled minds think alike.

February, 24 2010 at 6:27 pm

Ive just started crafting and it helps mi a lot!! more than I could ever imagine, I think about it like a real and good therapy!

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Aimee White
March, 1 2010 at 12:41 pm

I know, crafting is so therapeutic! I Love it. I think its a great way to express yourself creatively and help build your confidence and self esteem. I love decorating my home with handmade crafts. Then when I see it or someone compliments me on it, I feel so good knowing that I made it. I did that. Thanks for the comment!

February, 19 2010 at 4:26 am

Anymore it seems that most days are a chance for me not to give into my fears. I have a tendency to wake up shaking and anxious and feeling unable to do anything. I wish this weren't the case as I used to do much more with my days. I used to work and go to college.
A time when I majorly had to push through was during my last year in school. I was so freaked out that my teachers kept suggesting that I find a therapist. The problem was that I already had one and I was still crying and frightened all the time. I did manage to make it through and graduate with honors but I came very close to quiting college during that time.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Aimee White
March, 1 2010 at 12:33 pm

Good for you Christy. I am glad that you didn't give up and you graduated, even with honors! What are you doing right now to try to help with your morning anxiety? Are you taking any medication? Do you regularly exercise? Let me know what is or isn't working for you.

Dan @ Anxiety Support Network
February, 16 2010 at 4:15 pm

Yes - great work! The only way to move past fear is to confront it directly, and I learned that as you continually confront it, its power over you continues to weaken. Eventually, one day the fear in certain situations becomes so small that you think to yourself, "What was I ever afraid of in the first place? This is easy!" Great work - taking steps to move past the fear is the number one thing all of us anxiety sufferers can do!

February, 16 2010 at 2:01 pm

Way to go, Aimee!! I totally know that dread and wondering if you'll make it through the situation you're anticipating. I'm so proud of you for doing it anyways. By the way, the photos on your site are gorgeous!

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Aimee White
March, 1 2010 at 12:25 pm

Hi Kristin,
Thanks so much! I haven't had anyone request their money back yet so I guess I am doing okay :) Hope all is well with you and your blog, Anxiety Girl. Thanks for all of your support. You are awesome!

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