Public speaking and performing are often something we find hard to do. Fortunately, if I have passion for something or a great deal of knowledge about a subject then I can stand up in front of just about anyone and talk about it. I’m not, however, a performer. This means I tend to shy away from things I might enjoy for fear of being forced to demonstrate my proficiency in it. Things like dog sports, horse shows and even certain photography events strike a chord of fear and trepidation in my heart. I like the comfort of anonymity. Blending in with the background and not having the limelight shine on me is probably a learned (and defensive) way of avoiding criticism. And since some criticism can be constructive and helpful for growth, this is something I’m trying to chip away at one step at a time. After all, like poor Stella (above) nobody likes to be forced to do something they don’t want to do. Better perhaps, to face your fears by desensitizing at a pace that lets you adjust your level of comfort gradually.