How’re you doing? I’m Kevin O’Hara for alcoholmastery.com.
Today, I want to talk about fear killing more dreams than failure ever will.
There is no real point in worrying about something, fearing what might or might not happen. This is one of the biggest obstacles to anyone trying to quit drinking, or make any other changes in their lives… The inner circle of comfort loves predictability, repetition, uniformity… It hates fluctuation, uncertainty, or vulnerability. These cause anxiety and anxiety produces fear. As I said, mostly fear is unwarranted and it only exists in your mind. Like any other thought, fear will remain as long as you focus on it… The only way to stop fear in its tracks is to move into positive action and fear will be shown up for what it really is.
Recently, I’ve gone to the dentist for the first time in about 8 or 9 years.
It’s all because of fear.
I had this fear of going to the dentist.
There are a few different aspects of this.
One is obviously the pain.
Another aspect was the longer I left it, the more I feared how much money it was going to cost; what the bill was going to be at the end of the day.
The put the fear of God in me.
Another fear was just about the dentists themselves.
I’ve been to a few dentists in my time.
The first experience I had at a dentist was when I was 17, and I had a sort of a natural appetite for sweets in particular.
Chewing jelly stuff caused a lot of problems in my teeth.
I went to a dental hospital.
It was a place where students learned and practised on you because that was the cheapest place.
I think at the time I was on a medical card or something in Ireland and that was the only place I could go.
Anyway, they took out 4 teeth at the same time, 2 from either side of my mouth.
You can imagine the pain and suffering I went through at that early age.
Basically, I was butchered.
That put a really bad view on dentists from the get-go.
I think my wife convinced me to go in my mid-20s.
I actually had a good dentist who did me proud, did a really good job.
It’s never nice to get the needle or anything like that; to feel that drill or anything.
Anyway, the final dentist I went to in Ireland about 8 years ago, he was more interested in talking about himself, his new car, his golf swing and his life; just bullshit.
It was stuff I didn’t want to know when you’re in a dentist’s chair.
I know he was trying to distract me, but please use something interesting.
He was a bit of a sham artist himself and he caused me a bit of pain.
He left some problems I had in my teeth that I’ve still got nowadays.
One of my things to do is to look at positive videos almost everyday.
I’ve downloaded a lot of different positivity courses and listen to a lot of people form all walks of life, talking about positive things and how to deal with life.
It all boils down to what you do in your mind; what you think in your head is going to eventually come out into your actions, your behaviours and your habits.
It’s going to dictate who you are as a person.
Positive and negative thinking are two sides of the same coin.
They also become a habit.
You can become habitually positive or habitually negative.
Anyway, I came across a video from the actor and comedian Will Smith, who was talking about going skydiving for the first time.
He’d arranged it with his friends, and he said the fear of God got into him, and he just didn’t know what to do.
I’ll let you look at this clip.
He can explain this better.
I’ll talk to you in a minute.
3 years ago, I went skydiving in Dubai. Skydiving is a really interesting confront with fear. So, I have to stand up. So, what happens is you go out the night before, and you take a drink with your friends. Someone says ‘we should go skydiving!’ and you go ‘yeah!’ and everyone goes ‘yeah!’. You go home by yourself and you’re like ‘they were drunk too. So, maybe we don’t have to go’. So then that night you’re laying in your bed and just keep freaking out. You’re terrified and keep imagining jumping out of an airplane, and you can’t figure out why you would do that. You’re laying there and having the worst night of your life, but you still have the hope that your friends were drunk. So, you wake up the next day and you go where you said you were going to meet, and everyone is there. You’re like ‘oh! Alright. Cool.’ So you get in the van, and you don’t know that your friends had the same night you had, because they’re pretending like they didn’t. ‘Yeah! My uncle’s a navy seal, I’m looking forward to this!’. And you’re like ‘oh my gosh’, and your stomach is terrible. You can’t eat but you don’t want to be the only punk who doesn’t jump out of this airplane. So, you get there and you have the safety brief. You’re standing there and the guys are saying ‘if the chute doesn’t open, what’s going to happen is…’ So, you’re attached to a guy who is going to help you. You get there and there’s an airplane and no one is stopping. You get on to the airplane and you’re sitting there on some dude’s lap. You try to make small talk. You have kids. You have people you need to see. You want to make sure he’s serious. You get in there and everything is normal, so you fly up and up to 14,000 feet, and you know there’s a line that’s red, yellow and green. Right now it’s red. You start thinking at some point it’s going to go green and you don’t know what’s going to happen. You wait and it goes yellow, and then green, and someone opens the door. In that moment you realise you’ve never been in a freaking airplane with the door open. Terror! Terror! Terror! If you were smart, you sat in the back so you don’t go first. People start going out, and you go, and the guy walks you to the end of the thing. You’re standing, and your toes are on the edge, and you’re looking down to death. They say ‘on three! one! Two!’ and he pushes you on three because people grab on three! And you keep screaming, and fall out of the airplane, and in one second, you realise that it’s the most blissful experience of your life. You’re flying. It doesn’t feel like falling. You’re held a little bit by the wind. You start falling, and there’s zero fear. You realise that the point of maximum danger is the point of minimum fear. It’s bliss. It’s pure bliss. You’re flying! And then 20 seconds, 25, 40, and you have enough time to look around at buildings. The lesson for me was, ‘why were you scared in your bed the night before? What do you need that fear for? Just don’t go. Why are you scared in your bed sixteen hours before you jump? Why are you scared in the car? Why couldn’t you enjoy breakfast? What did you need the fear for? Fear of what? You’re nowhere even near the airplane. Everything up to the stepping out, there’s actually no reason to be scared. It only just ruins your day. You don’t have to jump. And in that moment when you should be terrified is the most blissful experience of your life’. God placed the best things in life on the other side of terror. On the other side of your maximum fear, all of the best things in life are there. So that was my experience with skydiving and fear.
He has such a great way of putting things.
After watching that video, it’s very true no matter what part of your life you adapt this type of thinking to.
Fear is 99% in your head and fear is what you make it.
Most of the time, fear is completely unfounded. As he said, ‘on the other side of fear’…He puts it as ‘God puts it’, I say ‘once you overcome your fear, that’s where you’re going to find the best moments of your life’.
Getting back to the dentist, I had an appointment after I’d seen this video. I was afraid of going there.
When you make an appointment two weeks out, you’re not really scared.
But as the day gets closer, then fear starts to creep in.
But luckily enough, I watched this video about 10 days before the appointment.
I knew what it was because I’d already been to the dentist for a check-up so I knew nothing was going to happen.
It was only going to be some news.
Once they told me how much work I had to get done, that scared me and allayed the fear all at once.
There’s extensive work that I need to get done, and I’m in a position where I can get it done, so I’m not too worried about it from that perspective.
It’s a lot cheaper than I thought it was going to be.
Not too bad.
But, then I had the appointment for the first two fillings.
Basically, I had two fillings on the top of one side, and one at the bottom, and another one at the back, and a whole lot of work being done at the front of my mouth.
I’m going to get crowns as well.
It’s something I’ve wanted for a long time but I either haven’t had the courage or the finances.
But anyway, back to the video.
All the time he spent worrying and in fear of that, until he actually jumped from the plane was useless.
There was no point in fearing it because there was nothing to fear.
Once he made the leap, or was pushed out the plane by his instructor, that’s when he suddenly realised that this was one of the best things he’d ever done.
I know the dentist is not like skydiving, but it’s a similar sort of fear.
It’s a fear f something painful.
Any fear, however irrational can be blown out of proportion if you let it.
I took his advice and thought to myself ‘there is nothing to fear going forward now until I actually sit down and she gets the needle and starts to stick it into my face’.
Once I got to that moment, how was I going to overcome that fear?
Because I knew it would get me then.
I thought to myself ‘what I can do is distract myself. Use one of the techniques that I know work’
So, I lined up one of those funny podcasts that I listen to by a couple of comedians.
I asked the dentist whether she would mind if I listened to a podcast, she said ‘no worries’.
She obviously understands that aspect of it.
Before I went in there, I was breathing.
I said ‘this is what I’m going to do. Don’t tense. Relax. Breathe’.
I sailed through.
It’s not the nicest feeling but it’s nothing to be scared about.
Nothing is going to happen.
The worst thing is just a bit of temporary discomfort or pain.
The discomfort is the needle going in but it’s going in to help you, to numb the areas so you don’t feel more pain later on.
There is going to be discomfort, but like anything else in life, it’s going to pass.
It will pass.
The pain is only momentary.
You get out and have that stupid feeling in your mouth where it’s all numb.
But, after that, it’s gone.
One of the things I talk about a lot is to stay in the moment.
Understand where you are.
Figure out what it is that you’re going to do next in order to have a good moment next time.
So, you’re making more of your essential moments right now.
But at certain times in your life, you have to look beyond the moment.
You have to see things how they’re going to be in the sense of cravings.
You have to look at your cravings and think ‘this is not going to last. This discomfort I’m feeling now is not going to last’.
That’s exactly what I did in those circumstances.
I just looked at them and knew it was gong to last only at most an hour.
It wasn’t even up to that.
The actual discomfort of it was only a short period of time.
It’s just another part where I start to look at things from a different perspective and try to find different ways of doing this.
This is only possible
because I stopped drinking in the first place.
One thing leads to another.
I’ll leave it there.
If you have any questions or comments, please leave them in the comment section.
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NEVER LET YOUR FEAR DECIDE YOUR FATE.
Until next time…
Onwards and Upwards!