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Defeating Fear

I guess that it was about 15 stories high, although I could be slightly overestimating. Either way, it was tall and was the one ride that I would avoid as we were at a Water Park a few years ago when Bethany was still a child. Naively, without realizing what she was getting into, Bethany's Grammie said that "she would ride whatever her precious granddaughter wanted to go on." When, inevitably, Bethany requested to go on this insane ride, Grammie's conviction shifted just a little.

And it was decision time for me. My dilemma existed on several levels. Was I going to be a Dad who sacrificed for his daughter or who made her sacrifice? Was I going to be someone who let fear conquer what could be a special father/daughter moment? Was I going to be the kind of person who didn't push myself and who let some irrational fears win?

All the way up the numerous flights of stairs, I wasn't sure how I would answer these questions. As we moved to the front of the line, I felt fear crystallizing within me. As I sat down on the slide and looked upon the straight drop down, I knew it was time to answer the question. Scanning my memory, I couldn't recall anyone who had died on such a slide. The only thing to fear is fear itself. Would fear win, or could I push through it? As Bethany launched herself, I passed a point of no return. I had to do it. I closed my eyes, said my prayers, and let myself go.

It was all over in about 7 seconds, and as I stood up and got off the ride, I felt somewhat euphoric. Not because the ride was great, but because I had overcome my fear.

I went on the ride again – and again and again and again. And I learned a lesson. Often, when you overcome irrational fear, the very thing that you were afraid of can sometimes become fun.

Leadership expert John Maxwell recently asked, "What zone are you in?"
The Challenge Zone where you attempt things you haven't done before
The Comfort Zone where I do what I already know I can do
The Coasting Zone where I don't even do what I've done before

Fear is defeated in the challenge zone.

Don't let irrational fear prevent you from doing what you should do. It'll cause your soul to shrink if you do.



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