4 responses

  1. It’s true that fear can help us from doing stupid things, but sometimes our fear is of something stupid (like the dark).

    When I was younger I was terrified of the dark, so one day I decided I would face the fear and, hopefully, overcome it. I sat a chair in the middle of my room at night, turned off the lights, and sat there. Not surprisingly: nothing happened. I haven’t been afraid of the dark since.

    My question to you is this: how do you know when you should face a fear, rather than let it stay a fear? What defines that “stupid” line?

  2. One of the things that helps me overcome fear is knowing that no matter what happens, sink or swim, win or lose, there is a small group of close friends and family that will always be there to pick up the pieces, remind me how important I am, help me move forward and find purpose again.

  3. Wow, I’m impressed with the depth of this post about overcoming fear as well as what Tanner also said! Thanks.

    To answer your question, I think it’s vital that you know you have a fear to overcome. That’s definitely step 1). I also think it’s important not to feel obliged to fight every battle. That’s step 3) and what Tanner is referring to, I think.

    So to the important step 2) of taking action – well I really believe that ‘action’ starts with different thinking about a situation. So if talking to strangers at a party is difficult, then you *think* about the people as friends already and approach them with that thought.

    So you have to change how you think about the fear, I believe, and then you have to take action!

    Doing this puts you in the shoes of a person who doesn’t have this particular fear to overcome.

    Maybe.

    Anyway, thanks for getting my ‘thought juices’, Nate! 🙂

    Steve

  4. @Tanner – Good question. I think it’s probably important to do a cost-benefit analysis whenever you’re considering a fear. Honestly, if you’re taking the time to consider a fear, it’s probably because it’s preventing you from doing something you’d like to be doing. To me, the “stupid line” is the point where I decide that overcoming the fear isn’t worth the benefits I’d derive from doing so. For example, if I’m a little scared of spiders, but not so much that it impairs my ability to function, it’s probably not worth the time to overcome that fear. On the other hand, if I’m so scared of spiders that I’m paralyzed whenever I see one, then maybe it’s worth it to me to get over that so I don’t live in constant fear. Just my $.02 on that.

    @Bags – Amen to that. It’s nice knowing you have a safety net.

    @Steve – Thanks for the comment! I agree that it really does take adopting a different mindset. I like the strategy of imagining what someone without the fear might feel. It lets you envision what success looks like and lets your brain think creatively about how to achieve that success. Awesome.

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