Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Do It Afraid

If you have a specific fear, you can often conquer it by doing the thing you fear. In fact, Emerson wrote, "Do the thing you fear and the death of fear is certain."
I once heard a story about a woman who often had to cross from one piece of property to another at night. The shortest route was through a cemetery. Often, she took a longer route to avoid this trip, which she dreaded. One day, however, she decided to take the short cut. As she was walking through the cemetery, she suddenly heard a voice say, "Don't be afraid. There is nothing here to fear." She didn't know where the voice came from. To this day she doesn't know whether the voice was real or merely the voice of her subconscious mind reassuring her. But suddenly she straightened her shoulders. The fear left her heart. She walked calmly through the dark night. From that time on she was never afraid again!
In order to get rid of a fear, we usually have to expose ourselves over and over again to the situation we fear. Suppose, for instance, you're afraid to get up in public and make a speech. If you get up in public only once or twice, you may never quite conquer your fear.  But if you get up in public at every available opportunity, each time you will lose a little of your fear.  Psychiatrists refer to this process as desensitization.

1 comment:

Lynn Jordan said...

We can't grow until we leave our comfort zone. Thanks for the reminder.

One of the best time management tips I've ever heard is to do feared things first.

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