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One of the hardest pieces of advice I came across was this: “The only way to get rid of the fear of doing something is to go out and do it.” The person advising me even added, “Once you do it, you’ll move from a place of pain, paralysis and depression to one of power, energy and excitement.”
Up to now, I am still looking forward to the day when I can actually hold a spider, thank you! I fear spiders. And no thanks, I could rather remain in that “place of pain, paralysis and depression” that my adviser was alluding to. It will not ruin my life anyway, even if I do not muster enough courage to hold a spider until the day I die!
Some things in life, we have to try. More than spiders, we have to conquer many fears that limit us: The fear of speaking in public, of coming up to strangers, the fear of speaking up what’s on our mind, the fear of hurting people or being hurt by people… These fears and many more, can paralyze us. They can give us a miserable time.
So, how do we go out and face that which we fear? Here are some strategies…
First, imagine the new you. Go beyond your fear and imagine yourself when you have finally conquered that which you fear. In your mind, picture yourself with a higher salary because you came up to your boss and demanded what you deserve. Imagine receiving thousands of commission because you overcame your fear of approaching possible clients. Imagine having a sexy body because you finally went for that liposuction you’ve been dreaming of but were afraid to have. Imagine too, how you feel with your success. That ought to push you to actually conquer your fear!
Second, research for the facts. We fear the unknown. If we knew what’s there for us, what will happen–no exaggeration, no prejudice, then we will know how to prepare, how to counteract. We can arm ourselves–emotionally, physically and mentally if we know who and what our enemy and battle will be. Thus, if you are afraid of something, research. Know everything you have to know so you can prepare yourself for battle. Look for statistics, interview those who have experienced what you are about to, read, surf the net. Use technology to your advantage.
Third, change your routine. Let’s say you fear heights. Because of that, you avoid carnivals because you might be persuaded to ride the Ferris Wheel or the octopus or roller coaster. For a change, don’t play safe. Go to a carnival. At first, just watch your friends as they enjoy themselves. Who knows, you may be challenged. You may volunteer to try the rides without anybody having to cajole you. And once you do–even the simplest ride of all, you will feel braver.
Fourth, go for it! Going back to the carnival experience. Once you have tried to actually ride and not just watch your friends, you’re in. Go for it! Even if you still feel insecure, try the next complicated ride. Finally, aim for the highest, of all, the roller-coaster. After that, do it more often until you discover that you have successfully conquered your fear of heights! Once you’ve conquered your fears of heights, think of how much more wonderful your life will be: you can go nature tripping, mountain climbing, rappelling, and bungee jumping. You can ride see-through elevators and enjoy the breathtaking sights, you can look out from the window when you ride an airplane, you can…
As for me, since there’s nothing to lose, but in fact, more to gain because of my fear of spiders (I will be forced to keep the house clean), then it is okay. I’ll just try to face this fear some other time.
Hey wait a minute…who shouted “Coward!”?