What are you afraid of?

top 10 common fears

Humans are afraid of many things. Here are the top ten from Google:

  1. Fear of flying
  2. Fear of public speaking
  3. Fear of heights
  4. Fear of the dark
  5. Fear of intimacy
  6. Fear of death
  7. Fear of failure
  8. Fear of loneliness
  9. Fear of spiders, snakes, and other animals
  10. Fear of health issues and violence
Do any of those ring true for you? Personally, I was happy to see “flying” was at the top because it’s definitely my greatest fear.  (Or is it actually crashing?) The number two fear of public speaking is not a fear of mine, however, I did make it scary recently by doing stand-up comedy. Crazy. 

No, I didn’t just go up there and grab a mic. I prepared with classes and rehearsed my “tight 5” until I could say it in my sleep. But there was still a moment just before I walked on stage that I debated running out of the emergency exit back door. Instead, I took a deep breath, grabbed the mic and went for it. Scary. Worth it. 

 

fight or flight

My husband on the other hand would not attempt anything like stand-up comedy, but he has done something pretty frightening and that is BEGIN competing in one of the most dangerous sports in his FORTIES. I’m not sure he’s scared of anything really, but every time he steps in the ring I’m scared enough for the both of us. 

I love this awesome photo because it was an amazing shot, but also because Keenan ended up losing this fight. There is always a risk to showing up and doing something that scares you. You could fail. But failure isn’t a bad thing- it’s a teacher. And in my opinion, it’s better than the alternative- the fear of not living life to the fullest and going for big things even when that thing scares you. It is a lot easier to be a critic instead of the The Man in the Arena. (And yes, he has returned to the ring since then to win more fights.)

A truly brave person isn’t a person who is not scared, but a person who is scared and takes action anyway to pursue a dream

That is healthy fear. 

 

Our Fire & Ice “scarecrow” in downtown Woodstock, GA

freeze your fears

And then there is this crazy health “trend” of intentional cold exposure therapy. Fear of the cold didn’t make the top ten list although it probably falls somewhere under “fear of dying” because that is what your brain tells you when you try cold water immersion. It’s a safety feature of the brain that is helpful when there is actual danger, but in this case you can override this signal with sheer will to reap incredible benefits. 

I wrote about my first cold plunge experience here and I have done the cold plunge at Clark Salon and Spa’s Fire and Ice Room multiple times since to enjoy the many health benefits. The biggest reason I choose to get in that cold plunge is because every single time I conquer the cold I prove to myself that I can do hard things. It raises my set point of stress and decreases my anxiety. My mind feels clear, my body feels alive and I get a major cold water confidence boost that carries me through the day. 

The practice of intentional (good) stress in extreme temperatures in a safe environment can trickle down into all areas of life. Who knows- maybe it will give you the confidence to do something new and scary that gives you the adrenaline of an exhilarating life!

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