Several years ago, I was in New York sitting with a sick friend for seven days. I was staying in his apartment in Long Island City, yet spending as much time as possible in the Manhattan hospital while he underwent chemotherapy.
I am a little embarrassed to admit that I was anxious about the trip. What frightened me was using the subway to go between the apartment and hospital. As many times as I’ve been to New York, I used the subway rarely, and never alone.
My friend e-mailed detailed directions, and another friend coached me. “Take the Seven train to Grand Central Station, then change trains to the Four, Five, or Six to Union Square.” The directions seemed simple, yet I was still scared.
When praised for his bravery in battle, General George Patton once said, “Sir, I am not a brave man; the truth is I am an utter craven coward. I have never been within the sound of gunshot or in sight of battle in my whole life that I wasn’t so scared that I had sweat in the palms of my hands, but I have learned early in my life never to take counsel of my fears.”
Some of the best advice I’ve heard on overcoming fear is to just do it anyway. That’s bravery. There’s a wonderful quote from the 2000 movie Bounce, “It’s not brave if you aren’t scared.”
What frightens you, and how could you benefit by being brave and just doing it?