This is an exerpt from my Self-Help book that remains unifinished…
Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “It was a high counsel that I once heard given to a young person, ‘Always do what you are afraid to do.’” These words at first may appear to be a paradox. Why would we do what we are afraid? After processing the quote I realized it was obvious why. How else would we accomplish getting over what we are afraid of? We must face our fears head on with all the fear being pushed away. We will be scared while facing them, but we will overcome the challenge placed in front of us. Whether it is as simple as public speaking or holding a snake, try it. Now, with that being said, I must remind you, there is a difference between facing your fears and being stupid. Holding a nonpoisonous snake that is not wild is facing your fear. Holding a rattle snake that you found in your backyard is stupid. I suggest taking your fears in stride. Start small and work your way up to your biggest fears.
The only way to accomplish the destruction of your fears is to face them. The saying, “practice makes perfect”, is a great example of this. Imagine you are afraid to speak publicly. If you never do it, your fear will only grow stronger. However, if you face the fear, it will slowly become easier. Little by little the fear will fade away. Every time you face it and speak publicly, the fear will die down and you will become a better speaker.
Think of a fear you have today. Tomorrow, you need to face that fear. The day after tomorrow, face it again. Keep facing that one fear till it is no longer a fear. Don’t be afraid of what cannot hurt you. Humiliation goes away. Time heals all nonphysical wounds. Not all wounds can be healed, but nonphysical ones can. With that being said, I must state that a fear is something that can be overcome. Death isn’t. Do not take this advice when you are afraid of lions or tigers. It will work if you go see them in a zoo with a cage between you, but not face to face with a man eating beast. Common sense has to be used when determining your fears. Yes, nonphysical wounds will heal, but if you lose your head, it doesn’t grow back.
Humiliation is the number one fear placed in peoples mind from birth. We are all concerned with what others think. Keep in mind if you are worried what others think of you, they are probably worried about what you think of them. This leaves them very little time to actually even think about you. Therefore, you shouldn’t be worried about what they are thinking about you. Besides, the more worried you are, the more it shows and the more humiliated you will become.
Do not try to impress others. Do not try to compete with others. They are small aspects of your life. You are what matters. Do not care what they think of you. Be yourself and don’t let others influence you. You were created to be who you are and you should remain an individual. Be yourself because no one else can be you.
I know it is hard not to compare yourself with others. However, you must keep in mind you are not competing with them. It is fine to use someone as an inspiration or a mentor. You just have to keep your mind set and keep the understanding that you are only using them as a base of what your potential could be or what you can accomplish. You may grow to face your fears and surpass your mentor, or you may not. The point is you faced your fear and accomplished something. We are made to grow. Any growth is a good thing. Some flowers grow slower than others. The same is true with humans and their accomplishments. Don’t get discouraged when some one passes you. Let that give you positive motivation. Don’t try to pass them up, but be happy for them. They faced their fears and overcame them. That can happen to you.
George S. Patton once said, “Take calculated risks. That is quite different from being rash.” Use your mind when making a decision and facing your fears. Don’t be stupid. As degrading as that sounds, it is the simplest advice anyone can get. Don’t place your life in danger for a non-worthy cause. For example, to see if the lion will eat you is not a worthy cause. Facing a fear like shyness is not putting your life in danger. Nonphysical wounds heal. Face your fear daily till it becomes a thing of the past. Humiliation will not kill you.
-Mandel Cook 2010