How I Crushed My Fears By Screaming Like A Pig

How to overcome your fears: Do something scary. I screamed like a pig

“The First Place Winner Is Annie Andre“ said the master of ceremonies

“Heehaw I just won me 25 bucks!” Mmmm Hmmmmmmm!!! Yesireeeeee!!!!! 25 dollar can make you halla!

How Do You Overcome Your Fears?

This is a story of how doing something scary, something humiliating helped me overcome one of my biggest fears, The fear speaking in public.  Only I didn’t speak, I did something totally uncharacteristic of me..Squeeeeel!!!! 

Read on…Here’s my story….

Standing There On The Stage I…

Moments earlier, I stood nervously on a stage in front of my family and an audience of strangers.If this wasn’t already a hollering contest, I would probably have screamed with embarrassment.

I stood there thinking to myself “why in the hell am I doing this”

What does hollering and screaming have to do with crushing your fears?  Everything and nothing.

Just remember this quote by Eleanor Roosevelt. “Do something everyday that scares you”. More on that later.

Let me first say that hollering is a lost art and it’s hilarious to watch adults and children get up on stage to belt out a Holler you can hear in the next county. What’s even funnier is to watch a mild mannered mother of 3 get up on stage and make a complete ass of her self. That would be me..

The Lost Art of Hollering

Believe it or not, before the advent of modern day communication like cell phones and email, people would HOLLER, more like SCREAM to communicate. they didn’t scream at each other but Hollered to call people and animals, faraway in the distance. Now a days this past time can mainly be seen as a side show contest at festivals in rural areas performed by local townsfolk. I was in Floyd Virginia visiting my brother-in-law at the Floyd Festival. And I immediately knew I had to enter the contest.. for reasons I will explain later.

Let The Contest Begin

How to overcome your fears: Do something scary. I screamed like a pig

First of all, that is not me above ok?  I’m just sayin! Sheesh

Despite the HOT, STICKY weather and MOSQUITO’s, everyone gathered around the outdoor stage was smiling and the air was filled with a cheerful anticipation for the start of the hollering contest.

One by one, each contestant was called on to the stage by the master of ceremonies where they explained the purpose of their call. Then almost ceremoniously, each contestant took a deep breath and cupped their hands around their mouth and yelled. NO NO, I mean they Hollered as loud as they could.

In the kiddy category, the kids all let out an ear drum bursting, blood curdling scream that any self respecting horror actress would be proud of.


Those Poor poor parents…

How to crush your fears by screaming like a pig

In the traditional category, one man did a pig call which I imagined must be how farmers long ago called their pigs home from the fields after a long day of grazing? Just a guess.


How to crush your fears by screaming like a pig

In the Free style category, the category I was entered in, one man yodeled. it was a very good Yodel which made me think of Julie Andrews in the sound of music and that little Swiss guy on the Ricola commercials.

“Yodel-AY-ee OOOOOO, Yodel-ay-eeee, Yodel-ay-eEEEEEEE”

Fear And Loathing ( My turn )

“Our next contestant is Annie Andre” I gulped and smiled stoically as I walked towards the stage feeling like a shrinking violet.

“OMG, OMG, it’s not too late to turn back” I said to myself. But another voice said “keep walking Annie you SISSY, it’s only a silly screaming contest”.

Then I was front and center. I didn’t want to scream like I was in an ax murderer film like the little kids, and I didn’t want to Holler as if I was calling a farm animal either. That’s when it came to me. “It was perfect”


Overcoming Shyness and Fear, One Holler At A Time

A year ago, I would NEVER, EVER, and I mean EEEEEVER be seen on stage yelling at the top of my lungs for any amount of fame or fortune let alone a pithy small town prize.

Come to think of it, I didn’t even know what the prizes if any were. It didn’t matter. I was resound to face my fear of being on stage in front of people. Even if it was only a hollering contest.

Freestyle Hollering

So there I stood on stage. I explained to the crowd what the purpose of my holler would be.

“This is how I call my husband Blake” I said. ( I don’t really call him like this ok!)


My voice broke and cracked. I ran out of breath. I gave it my all. 

I looked down at the crowd gathered around the stage. Everyone was laughing, smiling and I think I even heard a few “Woo HOOOO’s. This wasn’t so bad.

Now don’t judge me but I actually think I felt like I could do anything. Remember that scene from the Titanic?  The one where Leonardo DiCaprio says “I’m the king of the world!”. I felt like that.

How to crush your fears by screaming like a pig. hollering contest made me feel like king of the world

As I stood there, I had a brief flashback to my childhood that saddened me a little. I missed out on so much as a child all because of one thing… FEAR. My fear was all in my head.

As a child, I had a fear of the unknown, being humiliated or looking silly. I wasn’t afraid of anything concrete,  like falling off my bike, riding a scary roller coaster or crashing my dirt bike. I was afraid of life, people and the unknown.

To say that I was shy as a kid would be an understatement.

Up until I was about 13 or 14 years old, I usually sat on the sidelines.

I never raised my hand in class.

I was always a wall flower at all 3 school dances I ever attended.

I always agreed with everyone and even walked a little hunched over because I was too scared to make eye contact.

I couldn’t even hold a conversation because I was too afraid of what someone would think of my opinions.

SNAP!  As fast as the memory came it was gone. I flashed back to the present and pushed the sad childhood memory away. I was already walking back to my seat next to my family. stunned, dazed and ecstatic.

I did it.


What does a hollering contest have to do with crushing your fears and happiness?

do one thing everday that scares you eleanor roosevelt quote

Elearnor Roosevelt once said and I quote “Do one thing everyday that scares”

Now, I know what you are thinking. “What does a hollering contest have to do with crushing your fears?

Instead of sitting their, I swallowed my fear of standing up in front of people and I believe it or not, it felt good. It felt good to participate in life in something as trivial as hollering like a pig and it felt good to NOT let fear dictate my actions.

Doing scary things has a compound effect. Once you do something that scares you, it gives you the courage to do it again and again and again. With each new scary thing I do comes a bit of confidence that transcends into the rest of my life.

How you can be more confident and do more things with your life 

1-Pick something new you want to do or try. It doesn’t have to be crazy wild. Just anything small that you are scared to do. Or the next time someone asks you to do something, instead of saying no say “YES”. It could be as simple as going dancing or singing Karaoke or talking to a complete stranger.

2- Don’t back down or chicken out. Just do it no matter what.

Then, watch what happens and how it makes you feel.  Trust me, you’ll be a thrill seeker in no time.

Here is the formula which basically says (An Adventurous You = Fulfilled Life)

[YOU * (Novelty + Courage = Adventurous)] = [Life * (Success + Happiness + excitement= Fulfilment) ]


So tell me. What have you done to smash your fears? Leave your comments below and don’t forget to do something everyday that scares you.

Photo of Annie André:

Annie André

About the author 

I’m A Bilingual North American With Thai And French Canadian Roots Who's Been Living In The South Of France For Over 10 Years. I Love Writing Weird, Wonderful, Interesting, Forgotten, And Fascinating Articles For Intellectually Curious People Amazed By France, French Culture, And World Travel.

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  1. How wonderful that you were able to get up there. Fear – mainly of what other people might think – had me lead the life I thought other people would approve of as opposed to the one I wanted. I have taken steps to live for me and have found that each one gives me more strength and desire to try the next one.

    Of course none of my steps have been as public as yours. Congratulations and have fun on your continuing journey.

    1. Hello Tammy,
      I know exactly what you mean. How sad that we try to live for others than ourselves. I’m sad that i did not find out sooner that it’s funner to live the way WE want to live and not worry about others. But, i think it must a learning experience and comes with wisdom?

      I’m so glad that others like you experience the same elation and joie de vivre from crushing their fears one small step at a time.

  2. This post made me smile. What a great way to overcome fear. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Karl, thanks for stopping by. i’m doing more fear crushing things to be posted soon.

  3. Found you through the awesomeness of Benny!
    I think the concept of pushing your comfort zone can be seen as subjective because everyone has their own limits as to what is comfortable and what isn’t comfortable.

    Always great to hear of someone stepping out of the comfort zone.

    I will say to you: AAAAAAHHHHHHHH!!

    1. Hello Matt and welcome,
      Benny, he is an absolutely upstanding guy.

      I agree with you about pushing the limits being subjective. I’m sure there are others that would see my feeble attempt to conquer my fears by entering a hollering contest as, well….. how shall i say….. Insignificant. Nevertheless, it served it’s purpose and i’m ready for the next challenge.

  4. To elaborate and follow up on a few questions that came my way:

    1. The town of Floyd is in the county of Floyd and has only one stoplight. It is a small, but lovely town in a remote part of Virginia.
    2. Yes, Annie did in fact get up and belt one out.
    3. No animals or small children were injured during the hollering contest.
    4. I’m not sure what happened to the $25.
    5. We were all very proud, and rather amazed.
    6. I believe the last time she did something like this was when she worked as a model in Japan, and got up and sang some karoke in 19xx.
    7. It’s pure coincidence that all those turkeys from Jones’s farm took to the air right about the time Annie got up and started holler’n.

    1. All Good Points which gives me a wonderful idea.

      I think my next adventure will be to seek out a Karaoke club and sing the song “Whip IT”. Wouldn’t that be grand? Hark the angels sing… :)

  5. Annie,

    I am a big fan of winning money. Especially when all I have to do is scream in front of random strangers. Actually that sounds terrifiying. Your experience is a prime example of how action can destroy all fears. What I really like about your experience is that you got paid for doing so. Now can I borrow $5. I need some gas. That will get me at least a gallon. lol!

    1. Haha Frank,
      You are right. I think action is the key to destroying fears. I plan to do a lot more fear crushing activities. I just don’t know what yet.
      I’ll send you a virtual five dollar bill in via email.

  6. I had the same fears of standing out and looking silly when I was young. One of the things I tried to do growing up was stay in the background and not make waves. So much has changed since then. I know realize that you can look silly and do something that might make you look stupid and you’ll be just fine.

    It’s great that you won the contest, but also great to know that you’re no longer that shy kid who’s afraid of the unknown.

    1. Hi Steve,
      from reading your blog i know that you are an outgoing person and a go getter. So it’s hard for me to see you as a fearful person even as a child.

      I wonder if it’s the fact that you, me and many others were so fearful, are so fearful that makes us push the boundaries? To challenge ourselves? Hmm makes me wonder…

  7. Loved the story Annie and congratulations on not only conquering your fear but winning that $25 bucks.

    I can relate, I have a fear of getting up on a stage in front of a lot of people and speaking. I took baby steps recently and stood up in front of a crowd and spoke but I was standing at my chair. Still was frightened but I did it. I can SO relate to this.

    Loved the way you told this story, fun girl… Very fun! Thanks for sharing this with us. One down and how many more to go?


    1. Adrienne, i’m so happy you stopped by.

      I m beginning to wonder if everyone has this fear? I thought it was just me. LOL> and here i thought i was special.

      I think if i were to go on stage to speak or speak in public i would use a prop like you used your chair. Picturing people naked in my head or in their underwear just isn’t going to cut it for me..

      Thanks for stopping By Adrienne…. still need to try that ad network. been so busy sewing and writing…

  8. I used to be afraid of anything that would expose me to the public when growing up. It slowly starting to change when I was playing the guitar in a band back in high school. It was my choice – be humiliated in front of my friends by telling them that I can’t play at the concert or in front of the whole school for getting on stage. No matter how often we played it never got easier.

    Then I just gave it time and my confidence grew. By the time half way through university I actually enjoyed speaking in front of of people. To me the bigger the audience is the easier it gets.

    Our kids changed everything. Their unconditional love and admiration for their parents (me included…) takes of the fear away. I just don’t care what others think anymore because I know that the ones important to me won’t look at me differently for making a fool of myself. So, lets rock that stage…

    Once again this is a great story reminding me of what is important.

    By the way – taking part in that contest IS a real adventure!

    1. Hello Phillip,
      I am trying to visualize you in a rock band with long hair.. You will have to show me pictures..

      Sounds like you are saying 2 things, 1( with time, and practice overcoming certain fears we can get over them or lessen their effect. and 2( Kids give us the ability to overcome our fears for their sake.

      i’m with you on the kid thing. i’ve done some things for them that i would never do for myself but i it feels like i might never get over shyness no matter how hard i try even though my head tells me i will. Practice makes perfect right?

  9. Wow, this is great! I’ll admit now Annie, this is my first time here, and a post about hollerin’ certainly set me up for something different from the norm ;-)

    I think you did the right thing when you chose to be creative at the last minute – I reckon if you had stuck to your original plan Annie, then the fear would have been smashed, but not so much. That dose of creativity helped to keep your head fresh and loosen you up, and it helped you to win the contest! Fantastic work.

    I’m looking forward to connecting more with you Annie, seeing as we’re Triberr buddies after all :-)

    1. Hello my fellow Triberr. thanks for stopping by.

      Hmmmm, i wonder what ever else you could have thought about hollerin :P

      You sound thoroughly at ease and accustomed to putting yourself out there. I feel like a newborn baby seeing the thrill of something for the first time. It is rather AMAZING.

      Thanks for stopping by. looking forward to future meetings, connections, conversations.

      1. That’s very kind of you to say Annie, but I’m not at ease with facing new challenges at all. I can be prone to nerves! I guess it’s part of the rush, when we truly feel ‘alive’.

        I say, if you don’t feel the fear, you don’t feel much else ;-)

  10. Courtney,
    Thanks for stopping by. I saw that you are a published author and I’m honoured that you liked my story.

    I can totally relate to your fear of rejection. And you inability to say NO. It’s a hard thing to explain to others isn’t it?

    I have not worked through my issues of not being able to say NO and setting my boundaries yet. I just thought it was my way of being nice, but like you probably realized, even if you wanted to say no you couldn’t. So frustrating.

    I hope i can take a cue from you and work on saying no more often..

    thanks for sharing your story Courtney.
    p.s. your book looks fascinating. I love paranormal stories. I also like vampire stories but i’m not sure why. ..

    Come back soon..

  11. Annie, I love your story. I’d be terrified to get onstage and yell. Shoot, I’m scared to get onstage and do anything, lol. But maybe, if I ever have the chance to yell onstage, I’ll remember your story and just do it. ; )

    Me, I started conquering fear a few years ago by saying “no.” It’s along story, but I was depressed and miserable and couldn’t figure out why. Turns out a lot of it had to do with my powerful fear of rejection — which left me incapable of saying “no” to people.

    This realization came as a huge shock, because I’d never before thought of myself as a fearful person. But there I was, letting fear rule my life!

    I couldn’t have that!

    So, I started saying “no.” It hasn’t been easy, and I still have a long way to go — but nowadays, I stand up for my boundaries way more frequently and stubbornly! No more depression, no more misery. I’m a better person for saying “no”…which lets me be there for others when they truly need me, not just when they want me. : )

    Thanks for sharing your story!

  12. That was a fun post Annie – with a great message wrapped around it: Crushing Fear!

    One of the biggest fears I’ve ever had was that of failure. It was a matter of not wanting to lose what I had already gained. I guess to a degree it still sits within me some – because who wants to lose anything…but more so I’ve found that a simple change in the way I see failures has helped get me over the hump of all-out-fear. I now see failure as a stepping stone, getting me closer to whatever I’m after. It’s an opportunity to get better or to make adjustments.

    Yes, I do fear my kids being afraid of things. So as often as possible I make sure that they have “fun” and challenging events to participate in. One thing is sports. It’s not that I’m trying to shape them, it’s more so that I want them to know that in the scheme of things – nothing is really that bad.

    Thanks for sharing Annie – wish you had a vid to go with this, but the post alone already had me cracking up the entire time.

    1. Hey JK,
      2 things you said in your comment resonated with me that was
      1- “It was a matter of not wanting to lose what I had already gained.” Oh how this has held me and many people back. I wish i had been braver but it’s not too late right?

      2- “Yes, I do fear my kids being afraid of things” I love that you are such a family man. I think that’s what made me really connect with you. I have a funny feeling your kids are probably already rock stars.. Just a hunch…..

  13. “Do something every day that scares you”

    It’s a wise saying from some wiseass who knew what they were talking about.

    Congrats to you Annie. It sure does give you a rush when you put yourself out in front of people and give it all you’ve got.

    Much like what we do everyday in our personal and professional lives. If only we visualised ourselves on stage perhaps we’d give the performance of our lives every day and look where that would get us – everywhere


    1. Hi Natalie,
      It is a wise wise saying isn’t it?

      It just didn’t make any sense to me until that moment i walked off stage. I’m just glad i figured it out. sooner rather than later. It’s never too lat though.

      so now i’m ready for my next biggish adventure…I’ll try to visualize myself there first..

  14. Annie,
    Hi there! Wow, I’m glad I found you! How wonderful. I loved your story.

    I grew up with my Grandfather as a male role-model in my family. I was his “Honey-Girl” and his favorite. The thing about Grandpa was, it was NOT ok to let fear stop you from anything. If he found out you (I, in particular) were afraid of something, I guarantee you’d (I, his favorite Grandchild) would be doing that all summer long! LOL, well I can laugh now.

    I am a Momma, as well, and as a Mom, I am always on the look out for scary walls to be broken down, scaled or revealed. I do not want fear to hold either of them back from anything.

    As a Professional Wilderness Guide, fear can be a mortal enemy. My son has begun to take steps in more serious training to be allowed to accompany me (and others)into the field. Some things still scare him.

    I discovered a way to beat my fears quite by accident, kind of a self preservation/ trick my Granddad, to survive the summer walking the ridge line of the barn that my Granddad and I built the year he found out I was afraid of heights.

    What I would do is simply this: I would pretend NOT to be afraid. I got better, and then even better, until I forgot I was afraid and only pretending not to be scared. (Does that make any sense?!)

    I’m looking forward to coming back. Take care of all of you. ~Amber-Lee

    1. Amber-Lee

      It sounds like you have had quite an adventurous childhood that transcended into your adult life.

      It’s a wonderful service when we can pass on little bits of wisdom to our children. My parents never passed on any sort of risk taking becaue they came from a different time maybe? they enforced school, school , school and working my ass off. And that seemed to have stuck. but i wish they had done what your grandpa did for you. Teach me to overcome my fears.

      I’m trying to teach my kids to over come their fears as best i can. IN a way, i’m teaching them to walk the perimeters of life and pretending they are not scared. the results are out but i’m sure some of it will stick. (HOPE!).

      thanks for stopping by. Keep you wisdom coming..

  15. You should enter a screaming contest. You will have fun doing something different.

    (inside joke!)

    Ok the real comment now. I loved your story! Now where was your husband with the video camera to videotape this so we could see it for ourselves??

    What did your husband think of your strategy?

    What you did reminds me of a quote I love by Eleanor Roosevelt. “Do one thing every day that scares you.”

    Imagine if we did one thing a day that scared us. That would be 365 different fear busting experiences a year.

    I loved that you did something you would have never done before and actually enjoyed it!

    Your story reminds me of something I did when I lived in Taipei. Something I would have never ever done. First of all before I went I didn’t dance in clubs. I hated clubs actually. Very self conscious about looking weird or people staring at me if I danced funny. Before I went to my first club in Taipei, I practiced at home while watching Youtube lessons. Embarrassing I know.

    What I realized is that if you’re not absolutely terrible people won’t care. Maybe I’m not as bad as I imagine. I found to really enjoy it! I went a total of 4 times. Each time feeling more and more comfortable.

    The last time was Halloween night. I wore a navy costume with my friend. People on the subway really thought we were in the navy. Small club. All you can drink. Second time I had been there. I was with a bunch of friends. Somehow in the middle of the night we ended up on the small stage in the front of the club. I was front and center for everyone to see. I danced my ass off! The music was loud. The club was crowded. The feeling of being up there was such a rush. I imagined that’s how singers feel when they’re performing at a concert. I had never felt anything like it before. I didn’t think about how silly I might look. I just did my best to dance to the music and had fun.

    Would I have done that before? No way. Dancing in public was out of the question. Now there I was dancing on stage.

    I must have been decent cause a couple girls asked for my phone number afterwards and that rarely happens to me! Just so you know I said sorry but I have a girlfriend! :)

    1. Benny,
      You understand the rush too? Isn’t it amazing?

      I bet you were wondering after-wards what the heck you were so nervous about.

      I love that quote by Eleanor Roosevelt, “do something everyday that scares you”. It was one of the original quotes that inspired me for this blog. that and “go suck the marrow out of life” Thoreau.

      I’m actually making a list of scary things to do by bucket list. It’s so fabulous to put things on a list and actually try to achieve those goals.
      can i watch a video of you dancing. I can help tweet about it for maximum exposure. :P

      1. The rush was priceless. I don’t know if drugs feel like that since I don’t do drugs but if it does, I see why people get addicted to it.

        Yeah I did. Now looking back I realized why was i so self conscious about it? I’m not pro but I’m not like Elaine from Seinfeld when it comes to dancing. I will say that drinking did loosen me up a bunch that night. LOL.

        That’s a great list to put together. I look forward to checking it out!

        And there’s no video of me dancing. It’s just in my memories so maybe you can extract it somehow :)

      2. Oh Man. I love that episode of Elaine dancing. I have even perfected it. (on purpose).

      3. That’s awesome. I’m sure we can get a fund to raise $25 to see that on Youtube. ;)

  16. OK, small town festivals scare the crap out of me like creepy clown dolls. I’m originally from a small town in WA, so I know all to well how those places operate.

    On another note, good on you to take a step in front of an audience and yell. That is frickin’ awesome. I bet your husband and kids are very proud of you.

    Keep on kickin ass and taking names Annie.

    1. Holy cow, i forgot about the scary clowns. But luckily there were no clowns to be seen except for the little kids who had scary face paintings and wore weird animal balloons on their head. Oh, what people from third world countries must think of us when they see images of children?
      And yes, my husband was very proud. He got to hear his name on stage. Woo HOOO.

  17. two things…

    1. i wanna hear/see the video :)

    2. a good holler is incredible. one of my favorite things to do on a road trip with friends is roll down the windows on the highway and yell as loud and long as you can.

    i should do it regularly.

    1. David,
      video was accidentally deleted from my flip video cam. I may have to re-enact the call just for posterity.

      I’ll try yelling out of my car window as loud as i can next time we take a road trip. I hope i don’t eat any bugs. that would really not be cool.. LOL

  18. I loved this post! “I believe I will gain momentum and build confidence from the compound effect of being more adventurous no matter how big or small.”

    I believe you’re right!

    And this really hit home for me: “I wasn’t afraid of anything concrete, like falling off my bike, riding a scary roller coaster or crashing my dirt bike. I was afraid of life, people and the unknown.”

    I definitely still experience this today. I had no problem going canyoning in Switzerland where my life was on the line. Ok, maybe that’s not entirely true, there was definitely some butterflies…but I went with it. And I’m more likely to engage in something life-threatening like that than get up on stage and speak. Which is very strange because in college I was a Graduate Assistant and actually taught class.

    Man my brain messed up! lol

    1. Eugene,
      You mind works in mysterious ways. I’ve been pondering this issue for longer than i can remember and i don’t know why life threatening things are less scary than things that are all made up in my head.

      i may sound cynical but i’m glad i’m not alone in my thinking. Maybe it’s a sign of intelligence? wishful thinking?

      Did your parents give you a lot of praise and reward you? Mine did not.

      I don’t blame my parents but i think a lot o f my shyness has to do with my parents not pushing me or praising me to go out and do crazy new stuff.

  19. This is great!! Congrats! I won’t lie I would have been to scared to get on stage and do that. What will you do with your prize money? :) My uncle is trying to get me to learn how to yodel so maybe I will have to learn and yodel at a fair to put myself out there. I am going to do an open-mic with David and I don’t even know how to sing. It’s on my bucket list! :)

    1. Hi Meg,I want to yodel too. check out this video of this amazing 11 year old girl yodeling. she’s adorable too…

      for open mic night, Good luck. that sounds amazingly crazy. I think that after you do the open mic with David , you will be so full of confidence that you will be looking for your next thrilling adventure to perform..

      Just promise me you will record the moment and blog about it. I want to laugh at you, i mean applaud you and David. LOL.

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