Chess – Facing the Fear and Doing it Anyway

Susan Jeffers’ quote is ‘face the fear and do it anyway’. That is what I did yesterday by going to Bournemouth to attend the Good Food Chess Club. My ambition was to encourage them to become a Brain Cell, enter the Simultaneous Chess tournament against Raymond Keene at the Showcase on August 12th and maybe get some of them to attend the fantastic Mind Your Head conference on that day. My price for attending the meeting was to play chess. I have had to do a lot of things for the Mind Your Head Challenge, but this was the most daunting. Why?

Firstly, I have a fear of getting lost in Bournemouth, which seems to be a regular occurrence. This was overcome I thought by taking the train. However, I then got lost on foot. I asked four people, only three of whom spoke English as a first language, and they each told be different things or else because I was nervous I misheard what was being said. My next Mind Challenge is to improve my map reading, but Bournemouth, please make street names more clearly visible.

Secondly, being shy I am never comfortable walking into a new environment. However, I needn’t have worried, because I was given a warm welcome and actually knew some of the people there already. Those I didn’t know soon introduced themselves and made me feel OK. My perception of chess players being staid and boring was completely banished by the fun, warmth and geniality of the evening. This shows how we can mistake fearful opinion for facts. .

It is not things that disturb us, but our interpretation of their significance.” Epictetus

Thirdly, although I know the principles of chess I was afraid I would make a complete fool of myself. James Sale, who runs the Chess Club, very kindly partnered me with another relative ‘beginner’, Ian Thurgood, The Business Explorer. We had two interesting games, which I enjoyed more than I ever imagined I would. We even found time for some great conversation. It just goes to show that it pays to believe in yourself and try something new.

In life we can hold ourselves back through fear. That can be fear of failure, mistakes, rejection, even success. It is said that FEAR is False Evidence Appearing Real and that 90% of what we worry about never happens and only 5% happens, but not as badly as we thought. This proved to be the case for me. Just imagine if I had let my fear overrule me and I had not gone.

You can overcome your fear and try something new by going along to one of the Mind Your Head Brain Cells or attending the Conference or Showcase on August 12th at Kingston Maurward. Face the fear and have some fun, make new friends and who knows what can happen. Thank you to the Good Food Chess Club for a great evening and we look forward to you registering as our next Brain Cell. See you on the Glorious Twelfth.




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