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Q

I’ve always been shy but now I don’t want to go anywhere and I’m scared to be asked questions in school. Why is this happening to me? How can I make it stop?

A

When fear is powerful in our life, we have to work out if it’s telling us the truth. Maybe at one time, fear told you the truth and then you’ve assumed that it always gets it right, however sometimes fear is right and sometimes fear it's not right! Sometimes fear makes a mountain out of a molehill. It’s a bit like going bushwalking and thinking that a particular stick in the woods is a snake… It’s good to check it out, just in case, but it’s also good not to be scared of every stick.

On a scale of 1 to 10, how scared do you get when you think of being asked a question? What’s happened when you’ve been asked a question before? Which part of being asked a question makes you fearful? What do you imagine might happen? Getting to know exactly what scares you is the first step to understanding whether the fear is warranted.

The second step might be thinking about what you do enjoy in school. Maybe you enjoy art or sport or singing? What are you missing out on and what do you think you'd enjoy if you didn’t have the problem with fear?

The only way to know the truth is to test out what actually happens instead of just trusting what fear says will happen. In small steps, you might try to face one small fear at a time, like imagining giving an answer in class, going to the movies or mixing with friends during the breaks at school. It will feel scary, but you will survive it and when you survive it you will know that fear was exaggerating the risks.

If you need some more help with your fears and strategies for how you can deal with it, it would be good to talk to someone such as your Mum or Dad, teacher, school counsellor or other trusted adult. You can also call Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800.

This resource is tagged with:
school stress and mental health