Might depend on the specific fear, right? Me too!
When Gail and I travelled to Panama we ended up in Boca del Toro. It’s an idyllic little area on the Caribbean coast of Panama. We were going there to stay at a beautiful island getaway where we could unwind and enjoy the island life. But before we headed out to the island we had a few days in the town on the mainland.
Sitting at a seaside bar enjoying a cool beverage we noticed an ad in the local newspaper. It was for a night time tour into the rainforest on a nearby uninhabited island… to explore the creatures of the night!
After discussing it for a while we called the person listed on the ad and signed up for that night. I gotta admit I was excited, a bit uncertain with a little healthy fear, and quite curious all at the same time.
Facing This Fear
We met at the pier at dusk to meet our guide and tour mates. Our small group of 6 jumped in the small boat and headed out from shore. It was about a half hour trip across to the island and by the time we got there it was dark.
The guide gave us all flashlights and then, before we headed into the jungle, gave the preview of all that we might see, what to do, and what not to do.
Spiders (including wolf spiders and tarantulas), snakes, caimans (small alligators), sloths, frogs (including the brightly coloured poisonous dart frog), among many other creatures were what we might see.
By this time there was no turning back. Face any fears you had or sit in the boat and wait for everyone to get back. My nerves stepped up a bit more as we headed in. It really was pitch black in there and the jungle did not exactly leave a wide path to enter (side to side or top down). Those creatures could be anywhere!
As Gail and I looked at each other we could see the wide eyed excitement, curiosity, and healthy fear we each had in anticipation of what we’d see. We were not disappointed.
Our guide was amazing at finding the hiding spots of the small spiders and frogs. He pointed out sloths and snakes from a distance. As we continued along I felt more and more at ease and began to search out and noticed things myself that I might have missed otherwise.
It was an experience of a lifetime!
Living Our Best Life
Our noticing that ad in the newspaper came about because of that attitude.
It happened because we noticed the fear inside and felt the rewards outweighed the risks so we took a chance.
We also know that it happened because were there to support one another each step along the way. That has led to so many amazing experiences over the years and will continue to serve us well as we begin to include our daughter in our adventures.
How Do You Face Your Fears?
On the one hand you can be very methodical about it.
- Research and learn all you can first
- Be well prepared
- Practice, practice, and practice
- Get feedback or support
- Then do it!
This, for example, might be your approach to overcoming the fear of public speaking. It was my approach early on and it served me well. It still does because even though I am pretty comfortable in front of a crowd now, especially when I am prepared, I still feel the serves beforehand… every time.
On the other hand you can take the NIKE approach.
- Just do it!
- Be spontaneous
- Leap of faith
- Figure it out along the way
This is the approach we took with the creatures of the night tour. Face the fear and ask what’s the worst that can happen. If the benefit outweighs the risk you might choose to just do it.
There is no right way about facing fear. Find the way that works for you. The biggest driving force to do so is to connect with what you stand to lose or miss out on when you don’t.
What fear do you need to face in business or in life?
Face that fear and take that step to overcome it. Do so and increase your ability to transfer that courage everywhere in your life and business.
Experience the success you seek at work and those that lead to you living your best life.
Go for it!