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Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Conquering Your Fears

Ever since I was a child, I have always been afraid of the water. I am not sure if it all started after I saw the movie Jaws in the theaters for the first time or if it is because of some past life memory. Whatever the reason, I know I am terrified of deep water, oceans, lakes and yes even pools.

Years ago, I decided to confront my fear, so I agreed to go sailing with some friends. When the sailboat began to tilt to one side, I of course began to scream, fearing for my life and wondering when I would fall into the ocean. Luckily, I did not fall and returned safely to shore after experiencing a delightful day in the middle of the ocean surrounded by absolutely nothing but my dearest friends, the sky and sea.

A few weeks later, I agreed to go snorkeling off the Florida Keys. I was enticed by the thought of seeing crystal clear waters, coral reefs and tropical fish. Oh, the deep water, the vegetation, the numerous fish of all sizes swimming around me and yes the comment by the ship's captain regarding the sharks sent chills up and down my spine. I remember the captain ordering me to sit or jump, so I decided to jump. He had given us all specific instructions regarding any sharks. He said, "close your eyes and when you open them again, the shark will be gone." I, of course, was relieved and reassured by his poignant words. Again, it was a terrifying first few minutes. However, those hours I spent in the water that day were amazing. There were no clouds in the sky that day, so all was blue and shiny around me. The bottom of the ocean was white like powder and the fish that swam around were red and yellow. The water was a perfect temperature and although it was deep maybe 20 feet, I could see everything so clearly. On that day, I forgot I was on Earth, for I had discovered another world few ever get to see. When I was pulled back on the boat, I was tired, very tired; in fact, I could barely walk, but I felt invigorated and alive. Ironically, I was the last one to jump off the charter boat and the last one to get back on the boat. I will never forget that day because for me it was a great accomplishment.

Now that my children are older, we enjoy spending a lot of our free time guess where? Yes, on the water. We visit the Florida Keys often, go boating and fishing in the Gulf and yes when we are in the Carolinas, we enjoy whitewater rafting or swimming in the cool but tranquil lakes. Although my fear of the deep water continues in me, I have not allowed it to keep me from the things I love to do. I love nature too much; I love my family too much not to spend every waking moment I can enjoying life with them. Sometimes people pretend to feel things, they do not really feel and they do this to protect themselves. I believe that when I lie to myself and ignore what I really feel or think, I am doing great harm to myself. So, if I am afraid, then I just accept that I am afraid. Feeling fear is not the problem. Allowing fear to control me is the problem.

So how do I conquer my fears? I do that thing which I fear most and when I do, I remember the words of Eleanor Roosevelt and Georgia O'Keeffe, two women who struggled, achieved and never allowed fear to keep them from the things they loved and wanted.


  1. Very nice and inspiring real life story you have. I blog about this fear topic before sometimes ago. I think it is the 4 steps process to overcome fear as some of them you have already mentioned.

    (1) Admit your fear (Accept it)

    (2) Analyze your fear to see if it is really justify.
    It is very strange that sometimes we fear of something that is not justifiable (e.g. fear of something that is not going to happen).

    (3) Take action.
    Once you take action to do what you fear, you gain the power to do it. I'm sure you will agree with me this.

    (4) Focus at the present
    Doing this give you completely freedom that out of any fear.

  2. Your outline provides a list of great tips.

    Thanks Champdog

  3. Such a nice story! I´m not afraid of water, but It doesn´t help me to swim better :( The thing I´m still afaid of since my childhood is darkness. I tryed to fight it and It gets better, but never does goes away completely...

  4. Talking about you fear is really courageous but affront them is something more. I enjoy reading it he as inspired me and he also encourage me to affront my.

  5. HeYY Prof.Cueto..Well i wanna say i love this blog.To know u had a fear and went thru it by actually going out into the ocean.Thats pretty daring.It makes u look strong and can do whatever u want once u had accomplish your fear..Pretty cool too have that feeling..Im terrifed of clowns and i tryed to get over it alittle but i cant so i give u a lot of respect
    for that.. :) Well i liked reading this blog it was intresting
    Take Care...

  6. Do you suppose origin of the axiom, never test depth of the water with both feet, was due to a feeling something like this?

  7. It is interesting that you mention that Mr. Payne. Knowing that my feet cannot touch the bottom may actually be what I am most concerned about because it takes a great deal of control away from me. There is no denying that I like control. Although I am adventurous at heart, I am also careful, calculating and very responsible- at least I try to be. A Realist and an Idealist and a Romantic all wrapped into one perhaps? Thanks for your thoughts.

  8. Just stopping by your blog. Good job on tackling your fear of water.


  9. Nice story and inspired me happy valentine

  10. I also have a fear of the waer since I saw Jaws strange huh? but I never could tackle my fear like you. Im sacred to death of the water to tis day. Oh Im not scare of bath water HA HA HA but deep water yep yep yep sacred to death so I give you praise for your a stong person. take care and thanks . I enjoyed this article.

  11. Once in a while I happen on a piece of writing that I do so admire. Absolutely wonderful. I could not decide which piece to comment on!

    Thank you.

  12. Hi B
    Thanks so much for your kind words. The entry entitled "Simple Wisdom for Rich Living" was written by my colleague I am hoping he will be a regular contributor to this blog because his writing inspires and enlightens me so much. The other entries and photos are mine. I am happy you enjoyed your visit and I hope you return. Your site is also FANTASTIC! MC


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