Overcoming Fear

Photo credit to MART PRODUCTION on Pexels

Regardless of where one lives, we will always share things as humans. It’s one of the ways we connect with others. We have goals, dreams, ambitions, and even fears. I don’t know of anyone who isn’t afraid of something. Oh sure, some people talk a good game, but deep down, they’re just as fearful as the rest of us.

What are the most common phobias of people? In preparing to write this piece, I came across this article by Kendra Cherry detailing ten of the most common phobias: https://www.verywellmind.com/most-common-phobias-4136563

Her breakdown goes like this:

  1. Arachnophobia—Fear of spiders and other arachnids.
  2. Ophidiophobia—Fear of snakes. (One of my worst.)
  3. Acrophobia—Fear of heights.
  4. Aerophobia—Fear of flying.
  5. Cynophobia—Fear of dogs.
  6. Astraphobia—Fear of thunder and lightning.
  7. Trypanophobia—Fear of injections.
  8. Social Phobia (Social Anxiety Disorder)—Fear of social situations.
  9. Agoraphobia—Fear of being alone.
  10. Mysophobia—Fear of germs and dirt.

There are hundreds of other phobias. Many are ones that you probably didn’t even know existed or may seem silly. They can be debilitating for the people who possess them and affect us physically, mentally, and emotionally.

Working with mental health professionals helps people manage their phobias. According to the Mayo Clinic, two of the most common effective treatments are (1) Exposure Therapy and (2) Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/specific-phobias/diagnosis-treatment/ Exposure therapy concentrates on changing our responses to the objects or situations we fear. Cognitive behavioral therapy involves coping skills.  

Some people find sharing their fears hard because they don’t want to appear vulnerable or insecure. They think that others will think less of them if they show weakness. Indeed, many messages in society reinforce this message.  Remember this slogan? The Few. The Proud. The Marines. How about this proverb attributed to legendary football coach Knute Rockne? When the going gets tough, the tough get going.

I know there is value in having tenacity and determination. I’m not suggesting that we turn into a bunch of wimps. Life can be challenging. Learning to cope with and overcome our fears is a necessity.

One of the barriers I see frequently discussed among my fellow authors is the fear of failure or the notion that our writing isn’t up to the level of someone else’s. Self-doubt is an enormous inhibitor, even with some of the most successful writers. It’s human nature to compare ourselves to others, but is it realistic to expect we’re going to do something as well as someone with more experience?

Instead of comparing myself to others, what works for me is concentrating on my growth. I’ve become a better writer in the past two years, past year, or even six months. Does that mean I’ve gotten to where I want to go? No, but seeing my improvement encourages me to keep going.

Like any other skill, there is no substitute for practice. If we genuinely want to get better at any skill, we must be willing to put in the work. When we set goals for ourselves, part of the process is thinking about how best we get from point A to point B? What are the steps that we need to take to accomplish our goals? That’s where having a plan and determination comes in handy. If we don’t like the path we’re on, do something about it. There are two kinds of people in life:  those who make excuses and those who get things done.

I applaud anybody who takes that leap of faith and goes after their goals with fearlessness. We recognize firefighters, police officers, and military personnel for their bravery, but equally inspiring are the courageous acts of ordinary people who pursue their goals. Does it mean they weren’t afraid? Of course not, but they didn’t let their fears stop them. I take inspiration from anyone chasing their dream.

Bravery? How about the dad who works full-time, coaches his kid’s soccer team, and takes classes at night? What about the single mom raising three kids, caring for an elderly parent, working part-time, and spending her free time taking online courses? Consider the child living in poverty, being the first one in their family to go to college or learn a trade. That’s true courage and perseverance.

Here is a secret I’ve discovered for those who have trouble expressing their fears: opening yourself up to the world takes courage, but nine times out of ten, people will respect you for doing it. Share your dreams, the mistakes you’ve made, your fears, and what you’ve learned from them. Instead of being afraid that others will laugh at us, you may be surprised how often people will admire you for it. The characters I can most identify with in stories are the ones like you and me—they’re imperfect but trying to improve themselves. How can we not root for those same people in real life?

In March, I will have been blogging for three years. I’ve met so many amazing people from around the globe. It is one of the reasons I’m still here. As I was thinking about writing this post, one of my newer blogging pals, Michelle (Shelly), over at Growing with Spawn (How great is that blog name?) https://growingwithspawn.com/ produced this excellent YouTube production on fear. She describes herself as being introverted, but there is no way that you can watch this video and think of her that way. I’m sure she’s being honest when she admits that, and yet she found it within herself to go for it and produce this great content. I guarantee that someone (maybe you) will take inspiration from her video.

Michelle (Shelly) from Growing with Spawn Blog

If we’re observant, inspiration is all around us. It isn’t the activity that moves me; it’s the commitment. Overcoming our fears is what makes us feel good about ourselves. How do we put a price on that?

As another one of my blogging buddies and outstanding poet, Brad Osborne, writes, https://commonsensiblyspeaking.wordpress.com/ “Now get out there and write something.”

113 thoughts on “Overcoming Fear

  1. Well done, Pete. I think anyone who exposes themselves through their writing is indeed brave.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor January 19, 2022 — 3:57 pm

      It comes with the territory. We can’t ask others for honest feedback and get insulted because they tell us what we don’t want to hear.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I think it was Norah Colvin on her Readilearn blog gave me the neat little explanation of how I try to see my progress. It’s not a question of success or failure only a question of ‘not yet’. Or, as I saw it said somewhere, it will be alright in the end and if it’s not alright it’s not the end… Very perceptive post Pete. As a child it was pognophobia, which may explain why I have my own beard these days, sort of self defence….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor January 19, 2022 — 4:05 pm

      Haha,—pogonophobia. I’ll admit I had to Google it. As I’ve gotten thinner on top, I’ve been going for the scruffy look as I never was much of a beard guy.

      I like Norah’s idea of “not yet.” As one of the people in my critique group says, “There is no finish line. We keep learning all the time.”

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I like to think I’m not balding but rather it’s a late growth spurt that’s taken me above the hairline…

        Liked by 1 person

      2. petespringerauthor January 19, 2022 — 4:37 pm

        🤣🤣🤣

        Like

  3. Thanks for inspiring us, Pete. Well done!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor January 19, 2022 — 4:06 pm

      Still trying, Bette. We need to lift each other up instead of looking for ways to sabotage ourselves.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. This was a very thought-provoking post, Pete. I watched Shelly’s video, and I was struck by the thought that fear and what we choose to do about it can look very differentat different stages of life.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor January 19, 2022 — 4:10 pm

      I have so much respect for anyone who overcomes their fears. I typically think of that in terms of internal and mental gymnastics instead of the fear of tangible physical things. I think that’s why stories with characters facing internal challenges are often the most stimulating for me to read.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I agree. Pete. The stories I appreciate most are those with characters facing internal challenges.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. For years, I understood my fear of small tight places (claustrophobia) but I didn’t understand my reluctance to share my writing. Of course, I realized that my writing exposed me – my thoughts, my talent (or lack of), my inner being. When I attended my first writing class, my hands (and stomach and heart) shook in fear, particularly when we had to read our stories out loud. And then I discovered – huh, that wasn’t so bad. And…the more I did it, the better I got. Then I began teaching creative writing – me! fearful writer and introvert Pam. And I saw those first-time writers’ hands shake as they read their stories out loud. And then I saw their confidence grow, and their love of writing increase tenfold. And THEN, I began to blog (oh yes, THAT was scary). And oh my, the support we bloggers give each other! It was almost worth all that fear to get to this point. So. kudos to you Pete, keep it going!!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. petespringerauthor January 19, 2022 — 4:14 pm

      Well, articulated, Pam! Writers/bloggers such as yourself are essential for guys like me who are early in the journey of trying to learn how to write fiction. It would be ludicrous to assume that writing a novel isn’t challenging.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Great post, Pete. Fear can interfere so much in our lives. I worked with one client who had social phobia. She couldn’t get out of her house, not even going shopping. When she did, she dropped her head so low that her neck hurt. I eventually got her to take a couple of steps forward. I studied exposure therapy or desensitization therapy. People who are afraid of spiders would look at the spiders from a distance on screen and through the process will get closer and closer, eventually touching the spider on the screen. Behavioral therapy is very interesting. It’s hard to change someone’s past life experience. All we can do is learn new behaviors and let the results reinforce our perception.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor January 19, 2022 — 4:21 pm

      I think social phobias are pretty standard for many people. I’ll admit it’s a lot easier for me to be comfortable in my skin after 60+ years. No one wants to be laughed at or made fun of in a cruel way, yet so many others are going through precisely the same challenges. One of the reasons Shelly’s video hit home for me was because I admire anyone willing to take those extra risks. I don’t consider myself introverted, but I know how hard that can be to overcome.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I am an introvert even up until this point, but I was trained to reach out to people as part of all of my jobs. I greeted people at the church in my early years. I sang solos in front of hundreds of people then talked to them afterwards. The first stage fright I had is still vivid. Then teaching and administrating, none of the jobs let me hide.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. petespringerauthor January 19, 2022 — 7:00 pm

        I would never describe myself as introverted, but I was pretty shy in my high school years. I didn’t find myself until college and became the person I wanted to be. I read your comment about the kinds of things that help your confidence grow. Singing and greeting people at church were significant steps. Congratulations on finding your voice, Miriam!

        I never forgot my growing steps and tried to incorporate them into my classroom. One fear not on the list that surprised me was public speaking though that probably falls within social phobias. I tried to give my students lots of safe, non-threatening public speaking opportunities, even if it was just in our class or with a fellow teacher’s class. I saw my students’ confidence grow, and I believe in that idea 100%.

        Like

    2. I am so glad you were able to help her. This is debilitating for her, I’m sure, and out of her control as so many emotions are.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. i’d agree with your second fear; I’d add alligators to it as well.

    and cheers to those people who step out of their comfort zone; it’s not easy, but usually well worth it.

    great video by Shelly – I wish her the best. She seems quite comfortable in front of the camera…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor January 19, 2022 — 4:26 pm

      I thought the same thing watching her. I believe this is only her second YouTube video. I was already a fan of her blog, and I want to commend her for having the courage to take on her fears head-on. So brave!

      Alligators—I’m with you. I suspect it’s no longer allowed by animal rights groups, but when we went to Florida when I was a kid, there were these shows where handlers wrestled with alligators. I had nightmares for months.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. that’s even more impressive if that was just her second video.

        I remember visiting an alligator farm in Florida when I was in college – never want to go back to one…

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Great post Pete. We all have fears. The bravest people in the world are those who face their fears. I have claustrophobia – I have faced it many times and won.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor January 19, 2022 — 4:28 pm

      Having an actual physical reaction the way many people do with claustrophobia adds a whole other dimension. I’ve never had that feeling in an elevator or cave, but I occasionally felt it when I was surrounded by many school children wanting help at the same time.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Elevators, MRI tubes, someone holding me down takes a lot of control not to panic. When I was having an MR I would play word games in my head. I often wondered if a good hypnotist could eliminate this fear.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Terrific! Snakes, oh my…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor January 19, 2022 — 4:34 pm

      I was baling hay once when a snake got stuck in the bale that I was lifting. It came face to face with me and was wiggling profusely, trying to get loose. Ahhhh!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well, that would have put me off hay forever!

        Liked by 1 person

  10. She hit mine. Spiders–oh good grief. I’m getting a bit of agoraphobia–fear of going outside in public places. Probably not unusual with all the COVID fears. I can be in my house/yard for a week and not mind at all not shopping, coffeeing, visiting.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor January 19, 2022 — 6:30 pm

      I was looking at a more comprehensive list of fears, and there were plenty that I never knew existed. I think some of the tangible physical things (e.g., snakes, spiders) we can simply avoid, but living one’s life by avoiding all social phobias is not a healthy or pleasurable way to go through life.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. True. It puts us at the behest of emotions rather than intellect and for me, that just isn’t good.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. in full disclosure my phobias are clowns and dentists, and while I do have to spend time with my dentist a couple of times a year, I’ve finally found a sweet and gentle one. as for the clowns…. (sorry, Jim). I am also f fan of just going for it, when you believe in something, I’ve done so in my life and it’s changed my life in ways I never imagined. I would highly recommend it to anyone.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor January 19, 2022 — 7:23 pm

      Thanks for putting me in the right frame of mind. I’ve got some dental work ( a filling) tomorrow. What if the dentist comes out dressed like a clown? 😆

      I wouldn’t particularly describe myself as brave, but I also believe in going for it. It does wonders for our self-esteem besides the joys of experiencing something new.

      Like

  12. I can so relate to the line, “there are two types of people, those who make excuses and those who get things done.” This is so true. I have heard a lot of excuses from people over the years and it mostly boils down to lack of confidence. It surprises me when I think of the things that I developed the confidence to try. There is still a whole list of things that scare the crap out of me when I think of doing them but that’s life. One of the best lessons I have ever learned is to be proud of my accomplishments instead of dwelling on the things I fear. It is definitely a state-of-mind thing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor January 19, 2022 — 9:30 pm

      I think when we’re down, it’s beneficial to think about all we’ve accomplished. You wouldn’t be human if you didn’t have things that frightened you. I just had a flashback to parent-teacher conferences. I typically started meetings by telling parents what a child was doing well. I also liked having kids attend their own conferences for that reason. Even the most challenging kids need to hear that I was glad they were in my room. Of course, I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t pinpoint the areas they needed help in and how I intended to help them.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. This video was superb. She presents herself well and is well-spoken. I think a lot of people would find this video helpful and I wish her the best of luck. Thank you, my friend, for the generous shout out. You are a consistent reminder to me to not focus on how far I have to go, but to appreciate how far I have come. Thank you, Pete!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor January 20, 2022 — 11:39 am

      Getting out of our comfort zone is hard, but it’s also where we make the most growth and feel the best about ourselves when we do. That said, I’m leaving the poetry to guys like you. One of the things I like most about your daily posts is the diversity of your topics. I don’t know how you daily bloggers find something meaningful to write about each day, but you pull it off and then some.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Kind of you to say, Pete. Thank you!

        Liked by 1 person

  14. An excellent post, Pete. I admit to a fear of heights, that I’m not sure I’ll ever overcome.

    When it comes to writing and rejection, years of sharing my work have given me a tougher exterior, but rejection still hurts. It’s how we choose to handle it. If there is learning to be had, I embrace that and strive to be better, but otherwise, I’ve learned to dust myself off and get back to what I was doing before.

    I’m also an introvert, but everyone I know tells me they think of me as being extroverted. That’s because I have an “on” button that allows me to do what I need to do when I need to do it—but it takes me days to recover from an event the introvert in me would rather avoid! Forcing yourself into an extroverted role is EXHAUSTING to an introvert!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Mae, that you for this lovely description of what it is to be a brave and social introvert – it is exhausting. It is the same for me. I do lots of things like attending work functions, presenting post-grad training, and even appearing on TV, but they are very hard for me. I get a stress hangover from them and am wiped out for a whole day afterwards.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. petespringerauthor January 20, 2022 — 11:56 am

        Thanks for sharing, Robbie. One of the things I found interesting is that Shelly seemed quite comfortable in front of the camera. One would not think of her as an introvert. I suppose it’s a bit like doing theatre. I am fairly outgoing but in front of a group of kids or other audiences, and I turn into a big ham.

        I don’t particularly look forward to big gatherings either. My idea of a good time is getting together with a small group of friends. I don’t think extroverted people understand how hard it is for those that struggle in social situations.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Not at all and that was really the theme of my poem The Selfish Introvert. Most people think I am an extravert too, but I most definitely am not.

        Like

      3. YES!!! I’m the same way Robbie. Like you, I’ve had to attend multiple work functions, give presentations, and have done two stints on TV. I’ve also done several author presentations which I really do love, but ALL of them leave me with a stress hangover afterward. I go from a high when I nail the presentation, to crashing afterward.

        Fist bump from one introvert to another!

        Liked by 2 people

    2. petespringerauthor January 20, 2022 — 11:49 am

      I’m more extroverted in nature, but I also like my private time. The pandemic is harder on guys like me who enjoy being around people. When I taught, I always gave my students hugs, fist bumps, high fives, etc. It would have taken me an adjustment period to get used to the hands-off world we now are in.

      Nobody likes to be rejected, but if we genuinely want to improve, we need to take that constructive criticism to heart. It’s paid off for you, Mae, as your writing is terrific. I hope you got a chance to see that I reviewed Things Old and Forgotten. Great job!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh, Pete, I found your review! Thank you so much for taking the time to read and review Forgotten. Your review has made my day! 🙂

        My BIL is extremely extroverted and he’s had a rough time being isolated during the pandemic, so I understand how hared it must be for you. Hopefully, the worst is behind us!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. petespringerauthor January 20, 2022 — 12:23 pm

        I hope so. We had the highest cases of Covid yesterday in our county since this whole thing began. Here’s to good health and happy writing!

        Liked by 1 person

  15. I’ve never heard of cynophobia, but I think I’ve got it. Ever since I was chased and bitten by an Alsatian when I was a child I’ve given dogs a wide berth. It doesn’t help that they bring me out in a rash and make me sneeze as well!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor January 20, 2022 — 11:58 am

      Those experiences stay with us for a long time. I remember our son having a bad experience with dogs when he was young, and they used to freak him out. The turning point came when we got our own dog, and he learned that lots of dogs are sweet instead of aggressive.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m sure they are, but I’ve no urge to find out, lol.

        Liked by 1 person

  16. Good post, Pete. I have managed to avoid all those phobias so far – the fear of failure is at the top of my list though. I grew a thick skin during my years in academia.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor January 20, 2022 — 12:01 pm

      Feeling like a failure is the worst. It used to break my heart when I’d hear students say things like, “I’m so stupid.” I imagine some of that is internalized, but I wonder how often that comes from someone’s harmful words. The old sticks and stones nonsense is rubbish as words have the power to hurt or heal.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Hi Pete, I am glad that I don’t have phobias, being obsessive is enough of a mental health issue to have to content with. I do not fear heights myself, but I have panic attacks if either of my sons go anywhere near the edge of a mountain. I don’t even like them being near the edge behind a barricade. I actually feel physically sick. I think this reaction is due to all the trauma I have suffered as a result of their health issues. One does need to control mental health issues, but I don’t think this necessarily means having to continuously confront them. Confronting fears is the basis of cognitive behavior therapy. I know that because I spent years trying CBT with Greg for his OCD under 4 different psychologists. I must admit we made not progress and I have now given up. He is improving on his own. Thank you for the links and video. I will have a look at them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor January 20, 2022 — 12:06 pm

      Just sharing our own challenges and fears helps us realize there are plenty of other people besides us going through the same things. Don’t you think characters in stories are more interesting when they’re multi-dimensional? I can relate to imperfect people that are doing their best while acknowledging that they have areas to work on.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, of course characters must be flawed. I am reading War and Peace and the arrogance of the young prince and count who go to war is incredible. Prince Andre is really not likeable at all but he is interesting.

        Liked by 1 person

  18. I am famous for throwing myself at situations that are unknown/scary/doomed to fail. It is partly that leap of faith that you mentioned, partly tenacity, but mostly foolishness, despite my fears. In my later years, I trained myself to scale it back a little. Still, I find your post inspirational!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor January 20, 2022 — 12:15 pm

      I admire fearlessness—not necessarily daredevil kinds of behavior, but the type of self-belief and determination that says, “I know this is hard, but I’m going to do it.” It would be interesting to see a survey to see how many people feel like they’ve, scaled it back, dialed it up, or stayed the same. For me, it is dialed it up. That helped me connect with the kids in my class who were more reluctant because I was good at getting them to expand their horizons.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, we grow and we change, and in many cases we get better.

        Liked by 1 person

  19. This is such an interesting post, Pete. Irrational fears can be crippling and yet so very real. I have had a fear of loud noises all my life, since I can remember. I’ve always hated the 4th of July for that reason. For many years, as a full-grown adult, I could not force myself to open a can of biscuits because of the small explosion. And balloons! Don’t even get me started on them. I don’t know where it came from. As I’ve gotten older, it’s gotten less severe, but nevertheless, still there somewhat. Interesting stuff.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor January 20, 2022 — 12:21 pm

      I can so relate to your 4th of July comment. While most kids loved fireworks, I just tolerated them. As a dog owner, it is my least favorite holiday. Our dogs have turned into nervous wrecks despite all of our attempts to comfort them. Last year, we put Lulu in the bathroom with the fan on, which worked pretty well.

      Even though I’m retired, I still get a kick out of watching former students getting out of their comfort zones to try new things. One student (now an adult), who was very quiet when I taught him, is running for public office this year. I get excited about things like that.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor January 20, 2022 — 5:46 pm

      Live and learn, John. As always, experience is a good teacher.

      Like

  20. As I read through the top 10 fears list, I was feeling quite smug (at not having those fears) till we reached SOCIAL ANXIETY. All kinds of social interactions SCARE me and I hate how crippling this fear is. To the extent that even meeting an old friend doesn’t excite me – instead I spend the night before tossing and turning in bed. 😦
    But with starting my own business, I have had to face this fear -in the beginning I’d avoid talking to my vendors and instead would just text them but recently I got on a VIDEO call with this old acquaintance (for work) and managed to get through a whole hour of conversation before clamming up and saying I want to go sleep (at 9PM!!). But slowly making strides!
    Thank you for putting this post out and making me think back on how much I’ve improved in the past year. I mean I still run away from a lot of social interactions but I also don’t shy away from some others – so YAY! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor January 21, 2022 — 10:47 pm

      Starting a business has to be one of the bravest things anyone could do. Besides the training and money that go into starting a venture, there is no guarantee it will be profitable, particularly in a pandemic.

      I think many of your posts are brave because you share things like mistakes that you’ve made and your worst dates. Lots of people wouldn’t have the courage to put that out there.

      Like

  21. A great post, Pete. So much packed in here, but first I must thank you for sharing Shelley’s video. She so VIBRANT! I can’t think of a better word. I’ll be heading over to her blog to browse after this comment.

    I’ve been rickety with heights as I’ve gotten older. I wouldn’t call it a phobia… more like wising up and not wanting to break a hip. Lol. I was lucky to learn early on that failure is an opportunity, and it’s so deeply ingrained that I’m not afraid of trying new (safe) things even if I mess them up terribly and have to start over. And I completely agree with your point about persistence and practice. No one is born playing the violin like a pro. It takes years of practice. Writing is no different. There’s always something to learn and our teachers are everywhere. Loved this post. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor January 21, 2022 — 2:37 pm

      It’s good to be more careful. I’ve always painted our houses, but I think I’m going to pay someone to do it for the first time this year. I painted houses in the summer for 20 years and never had an accident until my last job. (Our house). The ladder slipped, and I fell onto our deck and suffered a compression fracture. Of course, I finished pressure washing the house first before I drove to ER. 😂 After I healed up, I painted the house.

      Isn’t Shelly great? I like her positive mojo, and I root for anyone who dares to try something new. Thanks for the encouraging words about writing. Although it will eventually be nice to have an end product for all my hard work, I’m all about learning and enjoying the process.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. And once you have an end product, you’ll start on the next one, and you’ll continue to learn. It’s “endless.”

        Liked by 1 person

  22. As an overweight girl, and now woman, I’ve always been an introvert, so #8 on your list definitely strikes home with me. It took fifty-some years for me to accept myself as I am. Kids can be cruel and it sticks with you for a lifetime.
    Good post, Pete. It’s nice to know we aren’t alone with our phobias.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor January 21, 2022 — 4:29 pm

      I’m guessing the fear of social situations is pretty far up there for many people. The power of words, either kind or mean, makes all the difference. I’ve battled my weight for much of my life, so I can relate.

      Like

  23. Congratulations on three years of blogging, Pete! I wish I had come along for the ride earlier. I enjoy reading your posts and always learn something new, like how to overcome our phobias. I suppose my biggest fear is chorophobia (the fear of dancing). As for my writing, I’m pretty good at insulating myself from the fear of failure. I consider getting my thoughts down on paper and the completion of a book as a victory, and if I pick up a few readers along the way that’s great. Most of my book sales happen during special promotions when my books are free, and while I’m not making money I get satisfaction in knowing that someone has deemed my works worthy of their time. Now if I could just get out on the dance floor.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor January 21, 2022 — 4:57 pm

      Dancing doesn’t usually bother me, but Debbie and I once took a dancing class with about ten other couples. We unquestionably were the worst dancers, and I think both of us felt totally self-conscious. I wish I could say it turned out great by the end, but we just left early. 🤣

      When I set my mind to do something, I’m usually pretty good about following through with it. I believe determination is typically a positive virtue if it doesn’t move into stubbornness or pigheadedness. I get a sense of accomplishment whenever I complete some long-term goal. For example, I’m not especially handy with tools, but I am proud of the deck we built together.

      Like

  24. TImely theme, Pete. I can relate to Ophidiophobia and my husband to Mysophobia, which the pandemic has accentuated.

    Thanks for including Shelly’s inspirational video. Every writer or anyone who takes risks and exposes their vulnerable selves will face fear. In my new project, I recognize fear as a fatalistic phenom and most days am successful in pushing through it. After all, I’ve felt these gremlins knocking at my door before and know them as phantoms of my imagination. Such a cliche but so true: If you don’t quit, you WILL succeed. Or at least learn a valuable lesson. Congrats on your 3-year milestone, quite an accomplishment! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor January 22, 2022 — 8:51 am

      We can’t let those gremlins get the better of us. Powering through is always the better option. One of the things that registered with me regarding one of your last posts was the long-term commitment you made to get your memoir right. In my opinion, too many writers take shortcuts. I’ve read many fantastic indie books, but others are riddled with basic grammar errors and plot holes. Those types of books damage harm the overall image of indie authors.

      Liked by 1 person

  25. When I first got into sales, I was petrified that prospects wouldn’t like me, give me the time of day or that I wouldn’t be knowledgeable enough to sell our products, special metal products. Quite the opposite happened. It all started with preparation and taking the first step. Writing my simple stories was the same. Of course, I still don’t like snakes, ugly bugs and heights 😉. Nice post, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor January 22, 2022 — 12:49 pm

      Most of the time, things are way worse in our minds than in reality. Having read many of your posts, I’m betting that you shared this with your students. Overcoming our fears is one of the most empowering lessons I know.

      Liked by 1 person

  26. Interesting that a fear of dogs rates so highly on the list, but then I guess one never knows if a strange dog is friendly or aggressive as I was just writing about today. Fear can certainly create some unusual behaviours.

    Like

    1. petespringerauthor January 23, 2022 — 8:23 am

      That one stood out for me too. I suppose growing up with dogs my entire life has made me not be particularly fearful of them. Only once have we owned a dog that worried me. We had gotten her from a shelter, and she was sweet around people, but she became super aggressive when around other dogs. I ended up returning her to the shelter because she would have killed another animal if given the opportunity.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Wow – that is sad that you had a shelter dog who sounds like she was resource guarding when around other dogs. That is difficult behaviour and I believe not always successful in changing that. I have always grown up and had dogs so am not fearful as such, but once you have experienced a horrific attack between dogs, (as I have previously) it is hard to reverse the instinctive panic reaction. It takes time, just like the other phobias listed here in your post.

        Liked by 1 person

  27. I am so rooted in early childhood that I nod my head as I read this, thinking of how so many of these phobias and fears all started when we were children. Balloons popping, bats, mean dogs, and injections were from my childhood. They were very real and terrifying for me. Grownups (our parents and adults back then) may have seen this as silly, yet dismissing the fear only made it worse. We can’t go back in time, but we can think of how we pay attention to children and their fears today. As an adult, I turned to storytelling. Telling children ‘Jennie Stories’ of all my childhood fears really helped. I can get into an Academy Award performance, and that helps even more. In some way we all have to face our fears, as your post points out. It’s finding out what works. Thank you for an enlightening post, Pete. I really enjoyed this!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor January 23, 2022 — 10:54 am

      Thank you for your thoughts. Your Jennie stories” are probably more important than any bit of academics that kids will learn in their school career. We always need to keep it real with our students, including telling them when we’ve fallen a step short or made mistakes. We already know we’re not going through life with a perfect slate. It’s the wise ones that learn from prior experiences. Connecting with our students personally is always where it is at. Keep doing your thing and sharing your stories with your students and us.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. My stories have certainly withstood the test of time, and I agree that there are far more lessons in those stories than in academics. Keeping it real is a great bond-maker between students and teachers, and that means they truly learn from their teacher. Thank you for your wonderful comments, Marlene. I will keep on doing my thing!

        Liked by 1 person

  28. Very inspirational post Pete. As you said, how many successful people were scared, but took a chance and succeeded. I know I am my own worst enemy when it comes to fear. All my life I was fearless and did a lot of brave things for a young girl on her own. I had great careers, a great life and didn’t want to get married. Until my husband changed all my plans, I caved. 🙂 I was strong through our marriage, and taking care of him til the very end, and now, going back to the ‘alone’ I enjoyed when I was younger has bred fears in me I never would have thought twice about before. The alone fear is an awful feeling. Great post Pete. I’m going to listen to the video now. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor January 24, 2022 — 8:28 pm

      You’ve lived a different life than many of us, forced to grow up so fast since your mom was not always present for you. In addition, you were an independent woman who did whatever was needed to be done. I know that transitioning from having a loving partner to being single would be hard for me, too. You’re never going to forget your husband, but I know that he wouldn’t want you to be sad and lonely without him. I’m glad that you’re getting out and about and about to start traveling again.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks so much Pete. I hope this trip will be an awakening turning point for me. You will be kept up-to-date. 🙂 x

        Liked by 1 person

  29. Pete I loved this post! You articulated what I was thinking when I made this video, and took it to a whole new level! It’s interesting that you mentioned that we should compare ourselves to someone with more experience, rather the previous versions of ourselves. I’m constantly comparing myself to others and it just adds on to that feeling of not being good enough.
    Thank you so much for the feature! I appreciate you! ☺️

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Pete I loved this post! You articulated what I was thinking when I made this video, and took it to a whole new level! It’s interesting that you mentioned that we should compare ourselves to someone with more experience, rather the previous versions of ourselves. I’m constantly comparing myself to others and it just adds on to that feeling of not being good enough.
    Thank you so much for the feature! I appreciate you! ☺️

    Like

  31. Pete I loved this post! You articulated what I was thinking when I made this video, and took it to a whole new level! It’s interesting that you mentioned that we should compare ourselves to someone with more experience, rather the previous versions of ourselves. I’m constantly comparing myself to others and it just adds on to that feeling of not being good enough.
    Thank you so much for the feature! I appreciate you! ☺️

    Like

  32. Hi Pete, I loved this article. I’m a big believer in never doubting yourself, and also never comparing yourself to others. I’m afraid of riding escalators. Toni

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor January 26, 2022 — 8:51 am

      We should acknowledge each other’s fears as valid. While escalators have never bothered me, I can understand why people fear them. I once saw a person’s shoelace get stuck in one of them, and she immediately went down. The only way she could get away was by removing her foot from the shoe. I’m sure it was scary for her.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That sounds terrible, Pete

        Liked by 1 person

  33. I agree that we’re all afraid of something, Pete. I think one of the most debilitating fears is fear of fear itself.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor January 26, 2022 — 8:55 am

      Beautifully stated, Norah. Thanks so much for getting caught up on my blog posts. I trust you and your family are doing well. The big news in the last two months in my family is that our son got engaged over Thanksgiving. We’re going to have a daughter-in-law. I’ve always dreamed of being a doting grandparent.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m trying to catch up, Pete, but I’m miles behind. There are just too many things I want to do, I have to spread them out and share around.
        Congratulations on the engagement. How exciting. I know, if you have the opportunity of being a grandparent, you will be brilliant. I wish you all much happiness.

        Liked by 1 person

  34. Terrific post and you are so right fear and courage come in many guises and hold varying degrees of terror. As you say we find courage everywhere not always in the presumed environments of battle or frontline service.. xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor January 26, 2022 — 8:57 am

      Absolutely, Sally! I see examples of bravery everywhere, often in the simplest actions of those who are willing to try something new to improve their life.

      Liked by 1 person

  35. I think I really needed to read this today. I started my new blog biased on a desire to share stories about my little farm with others, yet I’ve only shared it with one of my friends and only a couple of family members. The fear of failure is one of the hardest to overcome for me. Thanks for giving me the push to be brave! 💪🏻

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor January 26, 2022 — 1:05 pm

      We’re all scared of something. I just know that there are few better feelings in life than looking fear in the eyes and conquering it. Good for you in taking that first step. I just checked my email, and you’ve got a new follower in me. Happy blogging, LaShelle!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks so much Pete! Your words are inspirational and I look forward to more updates from you as well.

        Liked by 1 person

  36. This is great! Overcoming fears does indeed make us feel better about ourselves, and so does doing the sucky things, counterintuitively enough. Sure, it’s much more preferable to just cower in a corner and let our fears be, but that feeling of having faced them is really empowering and irreplaceable. Thanks for this inspiration!

    Liked by 1 person

  37. petespringerauthor January 27, 2022 — 3:32 pm

    Good point about tackling the sucky things. I used to procrastinate about things I didn’t want to do, but I realized the only way to feel better again was to dive right in and take care of business. Thanks for stopping by, Stuart.

    Like

  38. I remembered I had missed one of your posts so I doubled-back! This is one of my favourites you’ve written because like you say, fear is so common among us and you’re right, we either make excuses when we’re faced with fear or we forge ahead.. I want to always the be latter.. doesn’t mean I’ll stop feeling the fear but I want to try… because to me, effort is what makes the difference! So lovely that you featured Shelly too, she deserves the spotlight! 🙂

    *also, surprised fear of public speaking isn’t top 10 or is that also under the umbrella of social anxiety? .. very interesting list!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor January 28, 2022 — 6:27 pm

      I had the same thought about public speaking and made the same assumption. It was a requirement for us to take speech in high school, and I still remember my teacher saying that public speaking was the number one fear of people. I’ve been told that I’m a good public speaker, though I still get butterflies when speaking in front of a group of my peers. My move is to cop to the nervousness and tell a couple of jokes, poking fun at myself. That usually works for me. When I power through, I feel good about myself. Like anything, it becomes easier over time.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, I have a slight fear of public speaking as well.. I say slight only because it used to be quite debilitating as a child (I hateddd class presentations, I used to pretend to be sick on my presentation days) but since then I’ve been maid of honour 3x at very large weddings and a bit of practice has gotten me far but still, I do get nervous (a cocktail helps in those situations!) but you’re right, once you let loose, tell a couple jokes (hear some laughter and not crickets) you tend to feel good enough to go the distance and usually riding on adrenaline by the end! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  39. I’m lucky that I don’t suffer from any of those phobias but I do lack confidence in my abilities and always have although most people don’t realise that they think I am confident because I am good at hiding that I am not…Lovely video, Pete which I have saved to watch again when I have a crisis of confidence …Have a great weekend 🙂 x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor January 29, 2022 — 8:55 am

      I think it’s human nature to occasionally doubt our abilities or even self-worth. I admire those who can overcome their fears to follow their dreams while remaining humble. Yes, we humans are good about covering up our insecurities.

      Liked by 1 person

  40. You have a lot of followers, Pete!! How interesting that you’re afraid of snakes. Myself, my biggest fears are deep water and feeling trapped. 🐍

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor February 1, 2022 — 8:29 am

      It’s hard to know where my fear of snakes came from. I don’t remember having a bad experience with one as a child. When I’m in the yard weed-whacking, one will come slithering by and make me jump.

      I don’t have that many followers compared to many other bloggers, but those who show up (like you) are incredibly loyal and supportive.

      Liked by 1 person

  41. Your post here inspires me about what fear can do & what you can follow to reach getting past that fear. I am a person who is more introverted, coming from a life that I read books a lot & never had the experience like others have. I can speak my mind only in phrases outside of seeing what I am talking about. I get told a lot about how I can say things, but I can’t really say anything without a breath being taken as I try to talk to others. I am better when writing and speaking about goals or other subjects through what I know. I will tell you that people with fears that need to get past them like those who blog & think they need to be up with others just need to learn through failures because that’s how we learn or use classes that help us get past what we didn’t know before we took the classes. another way to get past failure also is to try acting out what you can do in small steps which brings progress over & above what you were trying to accomplish without knowing before-hand also! Thanks for some of your input about cognitive behavioral therapy and the exposure therapy that I thought would generally be like acting out what you are trying to get the point across for others!

    Like

    1. petespringerauthor March 13, 2022 — 2:43 pm

      As a former elementary teacher, I am a big believer in role-playing to help us practice being in challenging situations. I’m not talking only about fears here, but the real-life problems kids face in their daily lives. How do we react when bullied or see someone else picked on? Do we look the other way, or do we find a way to help? Kids need practice in how to handle peer pressure. There are so many instances where role-playing can help.

      Many people struggle with public speaking. I was a reluctant speaker for years, but it became easier for me over time through practice. I still get butterflies before public speaking events, yet I feel empowered when overcoming these fears. Even if you’re a bit of an introvert, I commend you for having the courage to put your words out there for others to read. In my opinion, that’s pretty brave.

      Like

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