How Competence Is the Antidote to Fear


Let me start by saying that whoever decided that white tile was a good idea should spend 3 months in floor washing purgatory; they will never suggest this again! I have a white tile kitchen floor, and I wash this floor every other day...I’m not obsessive mind you, but it looks terrible when even the slightest dirt gets on it.

After repeated usage my mop head broke and I asked a friend who is very mechanical if she could fix it. She resigned by saying "I’m sorry, you have to get a new one." I refused to spend another $15.99 on a mop system, so I stayed calm and decided to deal with this another day.

Days went by. I had a date with a guy who was a contractor and so I decided to ask him for help with the mop. There I stood on the walk outside my house, in a black outfit with pearls and heels, holding the mop, waiting for him because we were walking to the restaurant.

Looking at the mop, I figured "heck, I might as well try moving the lever in another direction, how much more can I break it?" I had nothing to lose.

PRESTO! It worked!!

I was so pleased with myself. As I walked back to my apartment I realized the critical value a sense of competence plays when someone loses track of themselves and backslides into fear.

There are several tools we can employ when feeling fearful. One of my favorites is to do something you feel confident in, whether it's swimming, writing, sketching, washing your kitchen floor...it matters less what you do and more that you are active in something that defines your sense of competence.

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