Thursday, 8 July 2010

Small Things #11 - Facing a Fear

Its no small thing to face your fears. Fear is ... scary. And challenging. Its something that can make your blood freeze or just make you stop in your tracks. But mostly that is just the emotional side of fear. Logistically a lot of fears are actually pretty easy to face.
A challenging phone call can be incredibly hard to face emotionally, but logistically you make phone calls every day. Riding a motorbike can be scary. But logistically all you have to do it get it off the verandah.  The dark can make you fearful. And yet the logical part of your brain knows that there is nothing in the dark that wasn't there in the day ... Except for bats (and let's face it, scary as they may be they are probably not going to fly down and attack you.  No matter what the movies say)

With some things we let fear control portions of our lives. Sometimes this is justified. I for one am scared of heights (kind of). Its actually things like open cliff edges that scare the bejesus out of me. But I'm clumsy and feel like I am one trip off plummeting to my death so this is a fairly justified fear. I am also scared of spiders. But I realise that this is mostly unjustified. A daddy long leg spider is not going to hurt me and yet having them watch me while I'm sitting on the loo freaks me out.

And yet everyday when I sit on the loo I look those bloody daddy long legs in the eye and continue peeing. Sometime I talk to them "hello Mr daddy long legs, I'll make you a deal, if you stay where you are while I pee, I'll let you stay there and forget that my instinct here is to grab the bug spray".

Ok I may sound crazy but in my own way every day I face one of my smaller fears.

When I was in high school a friends mother told him he wasn't allowed to see me anymore. I decided that I needed to plead my case. So at 16 I faced my fear of a challenging conversation and called her to talk about the issue.  Long story, short. This man is still a friend today. If I hadn't have done something that scared me that day I would have missed out on a lot of great times. In a way that call made me who I am.

That's what facing a fear does. It changes you. Often its a before and after moment. Something that changes your path. With things like the spiders its an ever so slight change. With things like the phone call its much larger.

So next time life is feeling stale, ask yourself, what could I do to change things? Maybe facing a fear could be just what you need.

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