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Facing your fears? Ask yourself this simple, powerful question

Today was a pretty traumatic day. There I was, sitting with my colleagues, eating one of our favourite lunches – lasagne. What could go wrong? Omigosh so so much. As I swallowed a delicious slice of heavenly cholesterol, I discovered (to my horror) that I had broken a tooth.

Not just any tooth – the one that I’ve had countless work on, the one that was hanging on by a mere thread. That thread was now in my belly with the lasagne. Fuck. Panic

You see, the dentist is on my list. My list of enemies. My list of people to avoid at all costs. It’s not rational, I know. And now I needed him immediately. There was no choice but to face my fears head on.

After much wailing and gnashing of teeth (proverbially, only proverbially, she chants as she sweats) my arch nemesis proclaimed that it was nothing more than a five minute job, patched me up, and sent me on my way. I didn’t even need an anaesthetic because I’d already lost the nerve in that tooth in previous run-ins with The Torturer.

I put myself through hell, and for what?

Facing your fears

Facing your fears is as terrifying as it is liberating. You are dragged kicking and screaming towards your demons, find out they’re nothing more than little bunny rabbits, and then march off, triumphantly. But if someone whispered into your ear that those demons are back and around the corner just ahead of you, you don’t look back and remember the silly fluffy bunnies – you jump straight back to the demons.

I find one question really helps me through these times:

What’s the worst that could happen?

Let’s get weird

And not in a flippant sort of way, so as to diminish my own feelings. But really delving into the dark places and answering that question. Be as honest as you can, as crazy as your thoughts can be. Go there with all of your might. What’s the worst that could happen?

What often fuels fear is the panic of the unknown, but working through your thoughts to turn them into the known, no matter how far from reality they may be, really prepares you for facing your fears.

Lastly, while it might seem like facing your fears is an isolated issue, so much of what we do in fighting to live a life of purpose leads to doing things that scare us. So the more we practice this internal battle, the more prepared we are to get what we want out of life.

What’s holding you back? Why? Let’s chat in the comments. I mean…what’s the worst that could happen?

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