The best way to overcome your fear is to face it

by Yin on November 4, 2009

in Life,Tis Thing Called Life

Most of us will just do our best to ignore our fears- unless we have no choice or are cornered. I find that there is logic in what is taught by Law of Attraction- we would tend to attract things that we fear the most. A friend of mine totally believe that we are brought here on earth to learn our lessons before we can move on.

It is a very liberating experience when you learn to face your fear and overcome it.

 In 2006, I visited Sri Lanka, then I went to Angkor Wat . In Sri Lanka, I had no guts to climb the high stairs of Sirigiya. But when I went to Angkor Wat- I was determined to at least start my battle to overcome my fear of heights.

If you look at the picture above, the steps to go up to a lot of these ancient temple ruins are very steep, uneven. There is a small space for you to put your feet- and you have to twist it sideways. The slope is also very steep- some people climb with their bodies almost vertical.  For the adventurous folks like those you see in the picture, there is no problem. But for someone who are terrified of heights, the experience and fear cannot be explained.

I did not attempt all- but I learned to climb slowly one by one. A few times, I managed to make it up because I forced myself not to look down or behind me. But once I was up, I was frozen and could not come down. Once, a guard had to hold my hand to help me down.

But with each of these little daring tries, and the fact that I am still alive, gave me more courage to face the next. 

For anything you fear, things always get easier the next time around. Eventually I feel that most of us will have to learn to face and overcome or at least manage our deepest fears. Because if we don’t, the fear will limit us.

Overcoming my fear of staying in hotel rooms alonegave rise to many journeys and adventures- that gives rise to a whole new experience. If I always need to make sure there is someone travelling with me so that I need not stay alone in hotel rooms, then I will not be travelling lots of unbeaten paths and learn to be really independent.  I know of many people who would like to visit unusual places but never made the move because they have fear about travelling alone.  To me, we need to do our homework sufficiently and do what we can to safeguard our safety- and the rest- just leave it up to fate. After all, when our numbers up, they’re up no matter where we are.

Sometimes, by not facing the fear itself may cause danger to us. You see, I also have the fear of visiting the dentist because of the needles and drills that he uses. Even though my dentist, who I have been seeing since I was 3 or 4 years old is a great guy, I tend to avoid visiting him unless my toothache is really bad. A tooth had been giving me problem for more than 6 months- and somehow, I manage to avoid getting it extracted out for so long because I’ve learned to be very careful when eating. I brush my teeth many times a day and use a toothpick to avoid having foodstuff stuck on that particular tooth.  Logically speaking, the collective pain that I have to go through the entire year – like feeling sharp pain when I forget and ate something using my left side (the food just pokes into the gap on the tooth, hitting the opening) would have amounted times more than the pain from the extraction. My dentist had told me that that tooth has to go- because having it there will give me more problems in future and I could risk future infections- as bacteria will enter my system via the infected and rotting tooth.

dentalpunishment

"I sentence you to one year in prison, or 200 hours of community service as a practice patient for dental students." Source: Cartoon snipplet at the local paper.

Read related article on how: Having toothache, sore throat, headache and sinus at the same time could be due to an infected tooth instead of your sinus problem.

Finally, I collected enough guts to arrange for an appointment to have my tooth extracted last Saturday. Just as he brought out that long sharp needle to inject the anesthetic, I nearly chickened out and wanted to bolt. But he coaxed and when he injected the anesthetic into my gums, it was not even painful.  While waiting for the anesthetic to work, he told me some antidotes about his family life in his deep soothing voice.

Read my past article that I have written about my dentist- why he is in the job because of a calling.

After that, he pulled out the tooth- the entire area was numb and I did not feel any pain. As he pulled, I had some fear but quickly learned to calm my mind (one the paid off benefits of meditation).

When I saw that offending tooth, I chided myself for being so silly to let my fears hold me back. I literally let my mind deceived me of the fear of the needle and the drills- it was nothing compared to the discomfort that I have gone through for months. What’s more, the top part of the molar had literally rotted- it was what that gave rise to so much of inconvenience while eating. Not only that, he told me that the particular infected upper molar had now affected my two lower molars. He sternly told me that I need to come in for more checkups (he is not after my money because he charges me only peanuts for treatment due to the sentimental value he has for me for being his long time patient). Or else, I would risk future infections and the molars would then give me problem. It made me recall that- had I not delayed going for regular checkups and also waited a long time before I pull out another previous molar, I could have saved this tooth. Therefore, I only have myself to blame.

Sometimes, we delay going for checkups because we are afraid that the doctors may break a bad news like we’ve got cancer or something. But the more we postpone, the more the fear lurks at the back of our mind. If we can identify the problem, we can learn to deal with it, even though the treatment can be painful. But what we do not know could be slowly killing us and by the time we find out, it is too late.

Therefore, learn to face our fears. Not all at one time but one at a time. Take small steps and everything we get through a hurdle, it gives us a little victory.  This will shape our character- if we can look fear in the face instead of running away, we will not give up easily on anything in life. When life deals us a bad card, we will learn to face it with courage and bounce back, putting to use the same skills we’ve learned to deal with our fears.

So, life can go up or down, we can be rich or broke, single or married, we will do just fine.

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