Overcoming The F-Word
Unlike most profanity, this word really can and will hurt you. In fact, I’d say the F-word has killed more dreams than anything else. The word I’m speaking of is Fear.
The other night I was talking to my grandson and found myself explaining to him that his fear of the dark was irrational, and advising him how to overcome it. I suspect all of us may have dealt with this discussion at some time of our life, either as parents advising kids, or as kids ourselves dealing with the fear of the unknown that manifests as fear of the dark.
Upon reflection after Triton (my grandson) left my lap, I thought about the fact that this condition is something we never really outgrow. I hope that few reading this are still afraid of the dark; but I also guarantee that most are afraid of something. I have my own irrational fears, and you have yours too.
This Fear generally manifests itself in the form of a general anxiety, a feeling of discontent that both makes us uneasy and often robs us of the courage to do what we need to do to get what we want to get. We know the Fear is irrational; most times the things we are fearing never come to pass. And almost always there is a better way to deal with fear than to live in it or allow it to keep us from action.
The same advice that I gave Triton applies to us in whatever it is that scares us:
- Just do it- I explained to Triton that if he were to just walk through the pool room and into his bedroom and turn on the light, and/or go to the bathroom on his own (through the dark) that, after a few times of doing this, his confidence would grow and his fear would diminish. The same is true for you in whatever it is that you’re scared to do. Make that phone call, have that conversation, take that step, make that decision. The Fear of the thing is almost always worse than the thing itself. (This was true every time I jumped out of an airplane as a younger man and of every big business or life leap I’ve made ever since).
- You Are Not Alone- The other advice I shared with Triton was that every child is afraid of the dark and that his fear was nothing to be ashamed of. He needed to deal with it; but he need not be ashamed of it. He had to call it by name, Fear, and then be brave and do what he needs to do to beat it. So I say the same to you. I deal with Fear too; we all do. So don’t be ashamed and don’t be in denial. Call your nemesis, Fear, by what it is but then do what you have to do to defeat him! He’ll tell you you’re not good enough, not smart enough, not strong enough or some other story as to why you can’t do what it is that you want and need to do. Call him what he is- a liar! And then walk through the darkness, knowing that at the other end you can turn on the light.
You can do it! We can do it!
Glad to have you on the journey.