This Week's Topic

Big Fears

This question is from the editors at American Girl: “Have you ever conquered a big fear—something you were really scared of? Or have you figured out how to face a fear, even though it still scares you? What was the fear, and what did you do that helped?”

These girls shared their thoughts:

I’m a swimmer, and for a while I was so scared to dive off the blocks. I kept practicing, and it came naturally.
-Emily, age 12, Alaska

I used to be afraid of raising my hand in class to ask questions. I was worried that other people would think my questions were silly. However, I realized that this fear was standing in my way of learning, so I started raising my hand more often. Each time I raise my hand, my fear slowly disappears.
-Hope, age 14, Arizona

I used to be really scared of public speaking, but then I joined the debate team. This helped me get over my fear!
-Sara, age 13, New York

I’m terrified of heights but I decided to launch myself off of a 50-foot-high platform when I did a zip-line course. That might not work for everyone, but it helped me begin to overcome my fear.
-Katie, age 11, Virginia

My biggest fear has been spiders. They still kind of make me squirm, but I conquer my fear by naming the spiders. I still remember one called Freddy Fries.
-Julie, age 9, New Jersey

I conquered my fear of being myself. I am a goofy person and I worried that people wouldn’t like me. Finally, I realized that if people are going to like me, they should like me for who I am. Now I have a lot of friends who know the true me.
-Victoria, age 11, Ohio

When I was younger I was very afraid of sharks. Whenever we went to an aquarium, I would look away. One day I decided I wanted to know more about them, so I got a book about sharks. I learned that sharks don’t like to hurt people—sometimes they just mistake them for seals. I also got to feed sharks and pet a tiger shark at an aquarium. Now that I understand sharks better, I’m not scared of them.
-Stafford, age 10, Tennessee

I had a brand-new teacher this year and thought she was mean. I was afraid of her. However, she was actually one of the nicest teachers I’ve ever had. I learned that I shouldn’t judge people before I know them.
-Lillie, age 8, Kentucky

I’m still afraid of the dark. It helps when I leave my bedroom door open so that I can see the hallway light.
-Lily, age 11, Pennsylvania

I was very scared to go on an airplane. I was nervous up until the point of getting on the plane. Then I calmed down because my family was with me.
-Alma, age 10, Illinois

I used to be very scared of staying home alone, but I’m not anymore. I know that I can call my mom if there’s a problem and learned how to call 911 if there’s an emergency.
-Selena, age 10, North Carolina

One time I was at the pool with my friends. They were all jumping off of the high diving board. I wanted to do it, but I was scared. Eventually I tried it, and it was so much fun. I felt as if I were flying before I landed in the water.
-Sophia, age 12, Texas

I used to be afraid of heights, but then I went on a hot-air balloon with my friend. She helped keep me calm and reminded me to breathe.
-Jackie, age 11, California

You Said It!