Are All Fears Worth Addressing?

Another Every Wednesday Post…

My 2012 resolution is to address my fears.  In my more fearless moments, I would say to “attack” my fears as if my fears are a tangible enemy…to be destroyed at all costs. 

In my typical wishy-washy, overly-reflective fashion, I started to examine whether all my fears are actually worth attacking.  After all I’ve been fine for 40 years and some things, like skydiving or bungee jumping, are not worth the effort.  Or are they? Dilbert cartoonist Scott Adams wrote an interesting article about his year of living fearlessly.  Most of his fears were of the physically challenging kind and he now has more interesting stories to tell.

Interesting stories aside, I do think that when you overcome a fear, you enjoy a huge boost in self-confidence (and overcoming physical fears also give you an unbeatable adrelaline rush.)  I know that if I list ALL of my past fears, I may seem like a timid mouse scare of her own shadow, which I swear is not the case.  Anyway, I started thinking of past fears and came up with quite a list:  public speaking, traveling solo, negotiations, having kids, skiing, moving on my own, all sorts of tech-related things, driving a car, learning another language, changing careers, and selling on Ebay (yes that was a fear…). In all cases, I was very proud of myself afterwards and felt stronger, smarter, just a “better” person for tackling those fears. 

Do you have fears that hold you back from living life to the fullest?  Are you fearless?

5 responses to “Are All Fears Worth Addressing?

  1. I’d say that fears are worth investigating, so that you can decide whether or not to confront them. (Sometimes you discover that you didn’t need to be afraid of that thing, after all.)

    But it’s okay to live vicariously. You can read a thrilling account of bungee jumping and have that be as close as you get to the actual activity. I’ve also done the opposite, using someone else’s experience to decide that, on second thought, maybe I don’t want to do that thing. For example, I thought doing a year-long walk through Africa sounded amazing, but after reading “White Men Don’t Have Juju,” I decided that reading about someone else’s experience was enough. And after reading “Under the Tuscan Sun,” I said, “Well, now I never have to renovate a Tuscan farmhouse. (Also I didn’t really like that book, but that’s a different topic.)

    • I can’t believe you even thought about doing a year-long walk, much less through Africa! I also don’t get the appeal of Under the Tuscan Sun. Well, I get the appeal but it’s so overblown.

    • Well, I toyed with the idea. It was a “You know what I think would be cool?” concept, not anything resembling an actual goal or plan.

  2. I wonder if it is only worth pushing through the fear barrier if you want to do something and fear blocks you???? I have 2 friends who want to travel overseas but will not fly…their fear is stopping them from moving forward. I would say I fear scary rides, skydiving, bungee jumping, eating bugs, swimming with sharks and watching really scary movies……but guess what I don’t have any interest in doing any of them. I have been afraid of things and done them…….small scale public speaking, changed job, gone to Zumba class alone, confronted someone….etc and your’e right…each time I persisited I felt more confident. So I say No to addressing all fears and Yes to addressing those that stop you being you and living the life that you truly desire!

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