What Are You Afraid Of? (And How To Deal With It)


October is my favorite month.

It’s not my birthday. It’s not my wedding anniversary. I don’t get to go on vacation. It’s way better than that. It’s Halloween.

Sure, you could just celebrate Halloween on the 31st and be all half-assed about it, but what a waste. October is the new January. The weather is better and it provides an awesome opportunity to explore something really important: FEAR.

This year I decided to face my own personal fears head on. I made a list of all the things that I’m scared of. It’s three pages long and running. Spiders made the list twice, so far. Not surprising. Everyone is scared of spiders. And people who aren’t scared of spiders are superheroes or crazy.


There are also a lot of really surprising things on there like wet sponges and backing into parking spaces on the left side of the street. Oh, and also bakasana (crow pose).

For your amusement, here is an extremely abridged list of things that scare the shit out of me:

1. Not being ________ enough.
2. Silence.
3. Hurting myself.
4. Talking to strangers.
5. Writing.
6. Being my own teacher.

But y’all know that I don’t fuck around. I didn’t just make this list to get in touch with my feelings or whatever. For each of these fears, I made a resolution for the month of October. Here they are:

1. I will recognize, allow, investigate, and dis-identify with my feelings of not being _________ enough in my daily meditation practice. (Thanks, Tara Brach.)
2. I will spend at least 20 minutes doing something in silence that I would usually do with audio accompaniment.
3. I will do something every day with my body that scares me.
4. I will talk to stranger every day (and make a real effort to connect).
5. I will write for at least 20 minutes each day.
6. I will home practice each day. My home practice will be my primary practice.

I gotta be honest with you. It’s only day six and I spent half of yesterday avoiding half of this list. I am already learning a lot about myself. The resolutions that I am most likely to avoid correspond with the things that scare me the most. Duh. And also, actually going through with the resolutions makes me feel like I can conquer worlds. Or at least my world.

To keep myself honest, I am going to write about my adventures in fearlessness here on Tuesdays and Thursdays in October.

Fuck. Now I totally have to commit to that. Scary. Okay. Let’s do this.

Read Hyperbole and a Half!

Read more about my adventures in fearlessness:

I’m Afraid of Hurting Myself.

I’m Scared of Silence.  

Getting Over Stranger Danger




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *