Is it good to have fears? Are you courageous in facing those fears?
Everyone would agree that a person is courageous if they cliff dive or are a racecar driver or a navy seal, but what else shows courage? How about opening a business that you are not sure will succeed? What about talking to your loved one about your insecurities? What about trying out for a sport or writing a book?
Many people are afraid of heights, afraid of spiders or various other fears. I don’t have those fears, but I am afraid of failure or of not being good enough. It is sometimes easier for me to go on a roller coaster or wish that I could skydive rather than face my fears of failure if I try something new, or face my fear of rejection if I tell my loved ones what I need from them.
Exposure Therapy is subjecting a person to the very thing that terrifies them in order to learn to face their fears. The idea behind it is that repeated exposure will not remove the fear, but it will help them to not let their fears control them. Others will not be able to manipulate them due to these fears nor use them against them either.
The fears I have are easier to hide though. Due to a fear of failure or fear of rejection, I can just choose to not be exposed to those fears. I could live a safe life, and not take chances on myself or on others. Some of our fears are easier to avoid.
I love the saying by Eddie Rickenbacker, “Courage is a doing what you’re afraid to do. There can be no courage unless you’re scared.” Facing my fears is how I demonstrate my courage and learn about myself. I can choose by facing my fears to reduce the power they have over me. My fears are opportunities for me to be strong, brave and courageous.
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