Everyone fears something. Many people simply avoid what they are afraid of (be careful with this one). Fear should not control us. Fear should be used as a motivator. We should learn from fear.
I recently had to “man-up” to the fact that I didn’t just hate cooking, I was afraid to cook. It overwhelmed me. Few people teach men how to cook. My wife usually prepared all meals (unless I microwaved a pizza, hot dog, or PBJ) and I took comfort in that.
I decided to take action. With the help of a coach who challenged me to serve my wife, I set out to find a way to deal with this fear. The steps below illustrate some simple things I did that have greatly reduced my previous fear of cooking.
1) Admit the Fear
I was afraid to admit my fear. But when I did, Lindsey offered to help. In fact, she had excitement in her eyes. She asked how she could help and happily walked alongside of me.
2) Ask Where the Fear Comes From
I did not want to fail. I did not want to look like an idiot. It was simply easier to avoid my fear rather than admit inability. The root issues were pride and insecurity.
3) Research Possible Solutions
I told Lindsey I would like to learn how to cook Japanese Food. She, step by step, helped me find recipes for Fried Rice, Teriyaki Chicken, Fried Vegetables, and Asian Salad. Each recipe was simple on its own and Lindsey talked me through how to cook each.
4) Take Baby Steps
I then began cooking one item every couple days. Lindsey would verbally walk me through each item without touching anything in the kitchen. As a tactile learner, I learn best by doing. She was a huge help to simply do nothing but talk me through it. I gradually became confident making each dish and the full meal began to take shape.
5) Celebrate The Small Victories
Lindsey said something nice or wrote a nice note each step of the way. Excitement built each time I prepared a different dish. It helped to get small “wins” little by little so that the larger fear didn’t impede progress.
6) Move on to The Next Fear
More than likely, you have more than one thing you’re afraid of. If you make progress in one area, don’t stop there. Let the momentum build and deal with other fears. You’ll be a better person (spouse, child, employee, friend, etc) for it.
What do you do with the fears you have? Share below your tips for dealing with fear or a story of progress you made in the past.