Facing Fears

Ah fear. It’s frequently a topic that gets brought up in late September and October with Halloween, but it’s rare that we only deal with fear in our lives for only one and a half months out of the year, let alone schedule it like that. Fears are something that all of us deal with at one point in time or another, sometimes on a daily basis. Some of us are better at conquering fears than others, whether because we’re naturally ballsy and adventurous, or because we’re stubborn and refuse to let anything get the best of us.

But most of us struggle more than we would like to admit or have to deal with when it comes to fear. Maybe it’s fear around change, the unknown, failure, or loss, maybe it’s fear because of a previous experience that was terrible, or maybe it’s just a fear that has no real foundation in personal experience yet cripples us or holds us back (i.e. fear of drowning).  Part of the key of beating fear is knowing what you’re afraid of and deciding if the possible results are really as scary as they seem.  For example, yes, drowning really is that scary, but maybe it’s not so scary to try a new dish at dinner or meet a new potential client or buy a new house, and maybe there’s only a really small percentage possibility that you would drown in the given situation you’re questioning.

Fear is interesting because there are 2 different sides to being successful when it comes to fear.  There’s success in choosing to acknowledge the fear and heed its warning (tying in to the drowning example we’ve been using).  Then there’s success in being able to do something even though you’re afraid, and break through that fear to something potentially really awesome.  There’s also a line between these two types of success and that’s when someone like a herpetologist who has a healthy respect for something fear-inducing (snakes or spiders) but handle or care for them anyway.

As we head into the autumn I would encourage you to work through at least one of the fears that’s holding you back but isn’t likely to be nearly as scary as you think it might be.  You’ll certainly learn from the experience and hopefully build some stronger relationships and personal respect and confidence as you go along.

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