The advice to do the thing that you fear most is good advice some of the time. Let’s say you have an unusual fear of being a bank robber. I would not advise you to go rob a bank. Let’s say you have a fear of being a drug addict. Good advice would not be to go get some drugs and prove you are not afraid.
Outside of obvious examples such as the two above, fear is usually much more personal. Mark Twain said “do the thing you fear most and the death of fear is certain.” I think this is generally true but not always. What I am talking about in this blog is a paralyzing fear of the common. Let’s say you are salesman and you have a fear of sales calls. Let say you want to publicly speak but you have a fear of speaking in front of people. Let’s say you are afraid to engage in conversations because you might say something wrong. Let’s say you are afraid to try or do something new at work because you are afraid you might get laughed at. Let’s say you are afraid to get too close to someone because they may find out who you really are. This list could go on and on to cover the quite fears many us have but never reveal.
I was at a hotel conference one time in Richmond and saw Bill Marriott walk in across the room. The first thought was that he would not even shake my hand much less talk to me. The easy thing to do was look busy with my phone or start looking at something I had in my briefcase like it was important. No sir. When that slight fear inside said don’t do it, I did the exact opposite. I went up to Bill Marriott and had a conversation with him. Just a guess, but I bet he put his pants on the same way I do. I enjoyed the brief meeting so much we had our picture taken together.
I have never been afraid to ask someone his or her role in their company. One time I was sitting at a table next to the chairman of the largest hotel company in the world. I am telling you the truth, I didn’t know who he was,,,,, so I ask him what he did for the company. Ha. He got so indignant with my little bitty question that he almost embarrassed himself. I had to turn my head to keep from snickering out loud.
What are you afraid of? I bet if you really broke it down as to why you are afraid of it, you would see how meaningless and controlling the fear it. So if your fear is about what you say, where you go, how you look, how you talk, how you respond, it is my guess that if you did the very thing you are most fearful of, you would not be afraid of it anymore. KT