Overcoming Fear

I’m sure that one of the factors that has been driving my perpetual mild depression over the years has been a perpetual, ongoing, permanent fear of risk, change, or growth.  My entire life, it sometimes seems to me, has been one long exercise in avoiding situations which make me nervous or where I could end up embarrassing myself or feeling at all uncomfortable.  It usually takes prodding on an epic scale to get me to undertake a large risk: if it hadn’t been for Jennifer’s skillful poking, I probably wouldn’t have gone to Ireland, for example.  Either time.  And I’d probably still be at that administrative assistant job I hated all that time ago.

So today I Googled “fear of risk”, and came across this little article: [LINK REDACTED PER THEIR REQUEST].  It looked a little Norman Peale for my tastes, but I read it over anyway, and found it pretty interesting.  The gist of the article is that the author discovered, from a book on acting techniques, that saying “Yes” to a situation key element in making any improvisational scene come to life.  Having done a wee bit of improvisational acting in my day (when I was working at the Renaissance Faire), I recognize this bit of advice.  The quickest way to kill an improv sketch is to reply “No” when your cohort comes up to you with an improbable situation.

The author of the article decided to apply that principle to his “real life”.  I like this idea, and I think it’s a good one.  I’d like to apply this principle to my own life: whenever confronted with a situation where I’d normally say “No” for fear of taking a risk or whatever, instead I’ll swallow my fears and say “Yes” (within reason, of course: nothing self injurious or that would hurt anyone else).

I should strike some sort of manly pose here, I think.

The problem that I’m having here, though, is that I feel like I’ve insulated myself for so long from anything that seems like a risk or an opportunity that I can’t see them when they show up.  So I’m looking for advice here: what suggestions do any of you have for finding new opportunities for risk and adventure in your life?  Or, similarly, how can I broaden my perceptions to see more of them in my own life?

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