Fear is a funny thing. It is all in our mind. Whether a rational fear or irrational fear, it is all in our head.
If I took a wood plank 3 feet wide, took it a foot off the ground and had you walk across, you probably wouldn’t have any issue. Same plank 200 feet up, little different of a story. Same plank 1000 feet up, I would be hard pressed to find someone to do that. Same plank, same task, different situations. The FEAR is what stops you.
This morning, I woke up, made some coffee and walked outside to enjoy some morning sunshine. We are watching a friends house, and they have a nice area to sit and relaxed. Walked out, set my coffee down, and walked back in to grab my book. On my way back out the door, I noticed that I have been walking over a baby rattlesnake, literally inches from where I stepped. Any farther away from the door, I surely would have been writing a different post. I literally jumped higher than I ever have before and screamed – I believe my swear word of choice at that time was “holy shit monkies” – don’t ask me why.
I have a fear of snakes. Doesn’t matter what kind, but the poisonous kind really freak me out. I grew up fairly rural and had rattlesnakes quite often. But haven’t encountered one in 10+ years.
The snake was facing a big bush. I knew if the snake reached the bush, it would be gone and would own the yard while we sat in the house wondering where it was. With a dog and a cat at the house we were watching, we couldn’t have it hit the bush.
I ran around the yard trying to find a shovel to kill the snake. I never found one, but found and old rusty hoe with a very short handle, shorter than my liking. After freaking out for about 10 minutes, the snake started heading toward the bush and I knew I had to intercept. So I swung the hoe right at the snake.
I am not sure how many of you have ever pissed off a rattlesnake, but it isn’t a pleasant sound. The snake coiled up ready for me to try again. I took another swing, got the tail, the next swing got the head enough to stop the rattling. One more push, head was off and I was victorious – if you can call it that.
There is a point to this story…keep reading.
How To Overcome Fear
Fear is paralyzing. I stood there for 10 minutes trying to work up the courage to take action. I knew what I had to do, but I just couldn’t – until I didn’t have a choice. I knew if the snake hit the bush it would be gone. So I took action. The same action I could have taken 10 minutes earlier, but fear stopped me.
So there story has 2 points:
The best cure for fear is action. Look at the fear that you are going through and first make sure it is a rationale fear. My fear was rationale, but had to be done. In order to overcome the fear, do something. Take an action toward what you need to do.
The second point is that overcoming fear, taking that action, helps build your fear thresholds. Next time I am in that position (and I hope to God I am not!), I do believe that I will be able to take action quicker, because of my experience with my fear.
If you let fear control you, and never take that action, your fear threshold stays the same, if not go downs. The action you take against the fear is the only way you can overcome the fear, or at least bring up your threshold.
Sometimes, you can take baby steps. Slow steps to overcome your fear. Other times, like faced with a snake that wants to run, you are forced to take that action. Either way – take the action.
Take away point: Action overcomes fear. And I still hate snakes.