What are you scared of?

“We’ll do more to avoid pain than to gain pleasure.” Whether we’re talking about our personal experiences or professional endeavors, this insightful quote from Tony Robbins rings true. Think about your life at home and at work. We have goals. We have dreams. We also have fears. And all too often, our fears keep us from chasing those goals and dreams.

Dr. Seuss wrote about fear in his obscure book, What Was I Scared Of. Throughout the book, the main character continuously sees a pair of empty green pants that seem to be chasing him. He runs away scared, trying to avoid the pants. Eventually, the protagonist and the pants wind up in a snide bush together, and he discovers the mysterious pants were just as frightened of him as he was of them.

For most of my life, I was afraid of needles — an unfounded fear based on nothing. So, when I was writing my bucket list several years ago, I placed “overcoming my fear of needles” at the top of that list. I even came up with a plan to accomplish my goal. I would get a tattoo. Pretty brave, right? I should also mention that since that time, I avoided tattoo shops like the Dr. Seuss character steered clear of the rogue green pants. And much like his unfounded fear of those pants, my illogical fear of needles gave me angst. I tried to avoid it. I tried to forget about it. I tried to pretend it didn’t exist. But no matter what I did, the fear kept nagging me. What was I scared of?

I spent three years avoiding my fear, but this past weekend, I finally had enough. While I was in one of my favorite cities, I decided it was time to take action. I walked past the tattoo shop twice. As I passed by a third time, it looked busy, so I wandered in assuming the wait would be too long. I was wrong. They had an opening on the schedule. I was out of excuses, and I was standing face-to-face with my personal version of those empty green pants.

 

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