Mountains, Molehills, and 4-steps to Overcome FEAR

Our kitchen faucet over the last year or so had become increasingly slower. No matter the time of day nor how hard we attempted to open the tap the volume of water produced was barely a drip. Every time I turned on the tap I thought of the horrible and costly things that could be wrong.

Slow Faucet1

I dreaded the idea of the cost and effort to fix the problem, so I chose the path of least resistance. I can’t tell you how many times we’d just take a large pan and ‘fill it from the tub’. It was far easier to carry water throughout the house than to consider the cost and consequences of a real repair.

A couple of weeks ago, as I waited for the coffee carafe to fill with water, I decided I had had enough! It was time to at least see what the problem was. I began by removing the strainer at the faucet. Amazingly the problem was the strainer – it was clogged!

Within minutes, the catalyst of the problem was clear! Even better was the fact that the fix was quick, easy and very inexpensive.

But wait, there’s more!

This isn’t just a story about my faucet. It’s a reminder that often the problems we imagine are a huge mountain – We imagine thousands of dollars in costs – We imagine huge investments of time that are really molehills, minor and simple. We often imagine the mountain when we encounter a molehill.

FEAR

We imagine the worst possible scenario and become paralyzed by fear.

Fear can be a great motivator and a powerful tool of survival (especially when there is possibility of a lion attack); however, fear can also become the antithesis of action. Fear allows us to take a little mole-hill and create a mountain in our minds. Dale Carnegie once said

“Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.”

In an effort to help me ‘overcome fear and go out and get busy’ here are the 4 steps I have come up with to overcome fear:

1 – STOP THINKING START DOING – I can and oft do get so caught up in thinking about a project / problem / idea. I spend so much time and effort thinking and planning that I do not actually do anything.

2 – REDEFINE FAILURE – this is ridiculously hard for me! However, with each thing that doesn’t work you are one step closer to discovery of the thing that does work.

3 – REALIZE DOING NOTHING IS AN ACTION – by avoiding or doing nothing I am taking an action. I know it seems strange but the act of inaction is in itself an action. By taking responsibility for the action of inaction I can spur myself to being more proactive.

4 – SHIFT FOCUS – By shifting my focus to what I can gain it becomes easier to act. In the example of the faucet when I was completely focused of how much I wanted better water pressure I was spurred to action.

Choose to be fearless today!

Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we oft might win, by fearing to attempt. ~ William Shakespeare

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