Overcoming Fear

Diego had plans for the life he wanted to live. His resources were limited. No one in his family had ever dreamed of the life he was seeking. Growing up financial resources were virtually non-existent. Now there was a wall that was holding him back. He didn’t know what to do about the wall.

The wall in this case may not be what most people might imagine. It wasn’t a physical structure. Rather, it was a wall of fear, and he just didn’t know how to scale it. Self-doubt had always been a companion of his dreams.

Diego had been a good student in college and a four-year starter on the baseball team. In fact, the wooden bat league he played in had been his one joy in life. His career was going nowhere because of his fear to move from his comfort zone.

It was a night on the diamond that was to become the turning point in his life. A sudden downpour sent players running to their vehicles. Diego just happened to end up in a truck with Jason, a teammate that he didn’t know very well.

“I noticed your truck has a sign for residential tree removal. Is that your job?” asked Diego.

“Yes, it is. We remove trees when they are dying or a danger to home owners.” replied Jason.

“Are you the actual person who climbs the trees to remove the branches? I would be scared of doing that.”

“Funny you should ask. I used to be afraid of heights. But I worked out a plan to help me overcome my fear.”

Diego was intrigued. “What do you do when you have a tree to cut?”

“First, I study the tree. I try to identify all the things that could go wrong.

“What do you do when you identify a danger?” asked Diego.

Jason replied, “That’s the second step. Before I ever go forward, I have a contingency plan for anything that might put me at risk.”

“When I start climbing the tree, I take one step at a time. I never move upward unless I’m comfortable with where I am.”

“That makes sense”, said Diego. “But you must have had scary moments when things didn’t go as expected. What did you do then?”

“Every moment I’m in the tree, I’m thinking of both the present and the immediate next step. Alertness to both the present and the near future is critical.”

“You said earlier that you were afraid of heights. Doesn’t that fear affect you every time you take on a new tree?” asked Diego.

“One thing I learned about my fear is to ask myself this question: “When have I ever failed?”

The rain had stopped and play had resumed, but Diego would never forget that conversation. From that moment on, he thought of his fears not as a wall he couldn’t get over, but as a tree where fears would be overcome with a plan for success.

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“The fears we don’t face become our limits.” – Robin Sharma (Author)

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