My friend and I were running about a week ago when she told me about an NPR segment that she had heard on her way to my house.
It was about fear and this man whose life was being paralyzed by his fear of rejection. In order to overcome it, he decided to put himself into situations where he was going to consistently get rejected. He did things like, asked random strangers for rides to places or even just for a piece of gum. Rejection became his goal, and through that shift in mentality, he started to not fear rejection as much.
And then we started talking about how we were already flooding ourselves with things that we are afraid of. I was afraid of public speaking – and now I am in my third year of co-producing Listen To Your Mother. I was afraid of skiing and I had enrolled myself, boots shaking, into ski school. We were both afraid of large animals that want to eat us and, here we were, running mostly bravely through the forest!
It was great story and so we ran on our way! Tra la la! We are doing this! Fear is stupid! Let’s banish fear!
Well, 10 minutes after she told me this story, we passed a mutilated deer carcass hanging in a tree about one foot away from the trail. It had obviously been placed there by a very large cat who was planning on returning (at any moment?) to finish her meal (with two girls as appetizers?)
And unfortunately, our wilderness survival skills did not kick in. But fear sure did. We shrieked and grabbed each other and ran away as fast as we could. I think we pretty much did everything we weren’t supposed to do besides drape ourselves in the tree next to the carcass. If there was a cat lurking around, she wouldn’t have been able to catch us because she would have been laughing too hard.
It was as if fear had been following us saying, “OOOOkay…you two think you are SO brave and amazing…watch this!”
And, well, I haven’t been back on that trail since.
I’m almost totally sure.
Maybe not by myself.
Just don’t taunt fear.