Monday, January 15, 2018

Overcoming fear when it goes from reasonable to irrational

Overcoming Fear
The Gator Whisperer
I once went hiking up a mountain with some friends. As we went higher the trail got thinner. In some places we were one small slip from plunging to the depths of Hell. Then there was a spot where the trail had been washed out. A jump of about three feet was required to go forward.

I was at the front of the group but I was so scared of missing the little jump that I stepped aside and let the others go first. I was in good shape and there was no reason to think I would have any trouble with the jump. However, the more I looked, the more I envisioned myself sliding down the mountain to my demise.

Seeing my friends make the jump should have helped. Instead, I was focused on the horrible consequences if I missed. Soon I was the only person who hadn’t made the jump. I was nearly paralyzed with fear and I seriously considered staying behind. My friends told me there was nothing to it. Finally, I took a deep breath and made the jump. It was no big deal.

When you spend too much time looking at a problem, it can seem bigger and more difficult than it actually is. Being careful is good, but overdoing it can keep us from moving forward.

Do fears sometimes hold you back? How can you recognize when sensible fear crosses the line to being irrational?

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