It varies from man to man. But we each have a scariest thing — the one thing that cripples us the most. (Unless we learn from it).
The thing is, you may not even know what your scariest thing is. After all, there are a lot of scary things. Spiders are scary. Intimacy is scary. Prostate cancer is scary.
With so many scary things to choose from, how can you decide which one thing, for you, is the scariest?
Think about it.
Better yet — write about it. Pull out that sheet of paper and a pen and write the question: what is the scariest thing in the world?
You might be surprised. If you just wrote that question, your brain is already at work, puzzling it out.
If you listen to yourself, you will begin to arrive at an answer. You might dream about it. Or you might suddenly get an aha! moment when you are arguing with your partner or child or boss (or maybe that argument you’re having with one of them in your head). Suddenly, your scariest thing will rear its ugly head and you’ll go, “Oh. There it is!”
Pull it out.
If you found a thorn in your finger, you would pull it out, right? Of course you would. Because it hurts, and because you know that if you leave it in, it will fester.
But we let our fears fester. Why?
Because we forget.
We forget that fears are stories: powerful stories meant to keep us safe. (Unless they cripple us, which they will do unless we remember that our fears are really just the stories we tell ourselves to stay alive — and pull them out to have a look at them).
Like any great story, a fear has a beginning, a middle, and an end, with rising action (which means that things are going to get worse before they get better).
If you will remember that your worst fear is actually a story, you can listen to it, learn from it, and stay alive, to fight again tomorrow.
Please listen to this short talk (about 12 minutes) by Karen Thompson Walker, about what fear can teach us. Then come right back for today’s takeaway.
Your scariest thing is actually a story, meant to keep you alive. Remember that, so you can listen to it and learn from it.
Want more help?
I can help you face your worst fear — and get moving again.