The Benefits of Confrontation
By Brian Germain
Why must we take all of our fears head on? It is simply a
matter of happiness. When something is holding us back from feeling good, we
cannot explore and profit from all of the joy that life has to offer. We can,
in short, be happier than we are, but the only way to get there is to shed more
weight from our balloon. We must lighten our load.
We all have
them; little avoidances that we have been carrying out religiously from the birth
of that aversion. That beginning may have been a specific experience, it
usually is. That does not matter. We all have a story about why we avoid
certain things. The question is, do we take the time to revisit these
tendencies and explore their current validity in the light of the new information
gleaned from life experiences since experience that birthed the fear? We must.
The truth is, we can avoid these things for a very long time, and often do. We
steer a wide birth around these subjects and challenges, and thusly in our
overcompensation, we close door before us. Often, we surrender the possibility
of doing something that would bring us great happiness. We must never pass up
on an opportunity to devour the scrumptious things that life has to offer.
feeling is the fuel that our lives run on. While our cars run on gas and our cell
phones run on batteries, our souls run on joy. We can substitute fear for joy,
and allow ourselves to be motivated by our desire to avoid negative
consequences, but we all know where that road leads. When we run our airplanes
on automobile gas, they do not perform quite as well. They will fly, but they
will not produce the level of performance that the best fuel for the job will
offer. We need to run on the good stuff.
If you are
afraid of snakes or heights or public singing, then go do exactly that. Do it
well. Do it with a smile on our face, and squeeze every bit of fun out of the
moments of your greatest fear. This path, the one less taken due to its
emotionally challenging nature, is where we unravel the knot in our mental
carpets, and shed the magnetic repulsion that is steering us away from new
experiences. In the end, we will find ourselves discovering that such a
lifestyle motto suits us. We are adventurers after all.
It is true
that there will be a good deal of friction as you gradually increase your
exposure factor, little by little, to this area of aversion. But as you
continue to confront this fear, you will find that it gets easier and easier.
Eventually, you will become increasingly desensitized to the context, until one
day you have the experience: you flow with the moment and actually have fun
under those circumstances. You will have broken through to the other side; you
are free of that particular burden once and for all.
One fear at
a time, we lighten the weight in our emotional balloon basket, tossing out
sandbag after sandbag, until we take begin to take the biggest risk of all. We
use our new powers to bring light into someone's life, perhaps even a perfect
stranger. Even though they may be experiencing an unhappy moment, we are able
to maintain our inner smile, and we shine it on them when they most need it. In
doing so, we bring them up to our level in what Dr. Richard Alpert termed a
"Contact High." We have applied our new found emotional intelligence to
maintain our own happiness, and we uplift them without jumping into the water
with them. When we take on the daring task of helping others in this way, we
make the world a little bit better in that one small way. When that happens
enough, it will be a great day for all of us.
Fear Specialist Brian
Germain is an acclaimed author, entrepreneur, inventor, test pilot, personal
coach, radio personality and keynote speaker. He has written several
popular books including Transcending Fear, Green Light Your Life, and The
Parachute and its Pilot. He is currently developing a television reality-series
entitled "Transcending Fear".