Do the things you fear?

Answered by Douglas Hiatt

Fear is a powerful emotion that can hold us back from pursuing our goals and living our lives to the fullest. It can paralyze us, preventing us from taking risks and stepping outside of our comfort zones. However, Mark Twain’s quote suggests that facing our fears head-on is the key to conquering them and ultimately freeing ourselves from their grip.

When we confront our fears, we expose ourselves to the very thing that causes us anxiety or distress. This can be an incredibly daunting prospect, as it forces us to step into the unknown and face the possibility of failure or disappointment. But by taking that first step, we begin to chip away at the power that fear holds over us.

I can personally attest to the transformative power of facing one’s fears. A few years ago, I had an intense fear of public speaking. The mere thought of standing in front of a crowd and delivering a speech would send shivers down my spine. However, I recognized that this fear was holding me back both personally and professionally. So, I decided to take action and confront it head-on.

I enrolled in a public speaking course and started actively seeking out opportunities to speak in front of others. Each time I faced my fear and delivered a presentation, the fear diminished little by little. I discovered that the more I exposed myself to public speaking, the more comfortable and confident I became. Eventually, what was once my greatest fear became a skill that I not only mastered but also came to enjoy.

This experience taught me a valuable lesson about fear – it is often irrational and blown out of proportion in our minds. By confronting our fears, we gain a realistic perspective on their true magnitude and realize that they are not as insurmountable as they once seemed.

Conquering fears is not limited to personal growth alone. In the realm of professional development, taking on challenges that push us out of our comfort zones can lead to significant advancements. For instance, I had a colleague who was terrified of public speaking, just like me. However, she recognized that in her role as a manager, effective communication was crucial. So, she actively sought out opportunities to present in meetings and conferences. Over time, her confidence grew, and she became a skilled and influential communicator. This not only helped her excel in her current role but also opened doors to new career opportunities.

It is important to note that facing our fears does not mean we will always succeed or that fear will completely disappear. However, the act of confronting our fears is a victory in itself. It shows that we are willing to take risks, challenge ourselves, and grow as individuals.

Mark Twain’s quote holds a great deal of truth. By facing our fears, we gain a sense of empowerment and liberation. Whether it is public speaking, confronting a phobia, or taking on a new challenge, the act of doing the thing we fear the most allows us to break free from the shackles of fear and embrace a life of growth and fulfillment. So, let us all take a leap of faith and face our fears head-on, for the death of fear is indeed certain.