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Overcoming fear

I tell you this story because I want you to realize that I practice what I preach and I want you to understand that we all decide for ourselves how we want to live – every day.

Fear. There is a great many of them. Fear of animals, people, things, situations, love, death and so on.

One of my fears is that I’m afraid of dogs. It’s been worse when I was younger but I had to live with it. I could avoid them - until I started taking horse riding lessons. There where dogs everywhere at the stables. But my wish to take the lessons, a friendship and my love for horses was stronger than my fear. So I continued going there and my anxieties became less. Though, they never went away completely. And now, today, I face my fear of dogs every time I step outside to go for a run.

Every time I’m jogging I know I will most likely pass at least one dog – often without a leash. And I think: The owner of the dog may trust his dog, but that doesn’t mean I do. The owner of the dog pretty much expects me to trust him or rather his trust in the dog. Which really is too much to ask of me, since who does trust a stranger, let alone a stranger’s dog? I don’t. And it doesn’t matter whether there are rules to keep dogs on a leash or anything in the like, cause some people just don’t care, they have their own believes. They have their reasons. And I may not understand them and I can‘t make them change or tell them what to believe in. I don’t want to anyways since I believe in freedom of will. But what I can do is to make the best of the situations I’m in.

So the thing I believe in is the fact that dogs are not supposed to bite me. It simply is not meant for me to get bitten by a dog. It simply won’t happen. That’s what I keep telling myself at least. And I focus on my breathing or the music in my ear. Still, this believe alone doesn’t change my fear. But it changes my way of thinking. As soon as I see the dog I stop my thoughts of worst case scenarios as soon as they get into my head, and instead I picture myself playing with the dog, thinking about his soft fur and cute face and that he may actually be quite kind and sensitive. And I think they’re supposed to walk free, like I am. And they should get to enjoy that, like I do. For me it works.

Cause what happens If I don‘t face my fear of dogs? I’d most likely not go for a run anymore or I’d choose to go run inside town instead of the fields. But I much prefer to go for a run when and wherever I want to. That is my freedom of will. I even need to go for a run to feel physically and mentally better. It helps me deal with stress and keeps me fit. So I don’t want to stop doing that. It simply is my choice to do whatever I can to fight against my fears. I choose to not let my way of life be limited or controlled by my fears. I am the one who controls my life, no one and nothing else does. Therefore I am responsible for everything I do or don’t do.

If I can overcome my fears, anyone can. You will find a way. You simply need a goal to reach for. Something that keeps you going. And you will be in control of your life. And you will be able to enjoy it even more. Whenever you overcome your fears, it gives you strength and happiness and maybe you’ll even feel a little proud.

I get to choose. You get to choose. We all get to choose - every day. It’s always our own decision how we want to live and deal with things – whatever it may be.

Caroline Pitz


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