“Look fear in the face”


FEAR! That nauseating, choking feeling- that niggling sense of dread that you feel in the deepest, darkest corners of your mind. It makes your hairs stand on edge. It causes your heart to palpitate to abnormal proportions, causing you to feel your pulse resonate around your entire body. You are left with shivering with shockwaves of emptiness.

You feel numb, cold and alone.

You feel your blood pumping to your head, while sirens resound around your body. Your muscles stiffen. You feel sick to your stomach. Your pupils dilate to trace the location of your attacker. You can’t see anything- but you KNOW something is there, lurking in the shadows to get you, to bring you to your impending doom.

Your mind breeds these monsters, and the monsters thrive and feast on your fear. It’s claustrophobic, and you can feel yourself free falling into a bottomless pit…

Monique Simpson


We all suffer from it at some point in our lives. It’s that feeling that you get when you step out of your comfort zone and into ‘the unknown’. We know it’s an irrational feeling, as we’ve all heard Franklin D. Roosevelt’s statement: “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”

But still, that fear is a beast of a thing, and it stops us from living our lives to the fullest and from experiencing new things. The ‘what ifs’ keep popping into our heads, and as Samah Khan, a poet, aptly states: “The fear of fearing fear is overwhelming.”

How are your New Year’s resolutions coming along? You’ve probably left behind in January, right? Well, ditch the unrealistic fads and try something different, today. Face your fears.

It’s not easy, believe you, me. I’ve actually just realised how much of a scaredy cat I am. You’ve probably realised this in a couple of my blog posts.

Up until a few years ago, for the life of me, I used to veer away from getting contact lenses because I feared anything going anywhere near my eyes. I just couldn’t do it.

I eventually took the plunge to get them, and I kid you not, it took me, and the optician, two whole hours, to put in and take out one pair of lenses. I just couldn’t allow the lady’s finger near my eyeball. I blinked her, and my, efforts away. I had to grip and dig my nails into my hand to stop myself from blocking her with my arm.

I screamed in my head: ‘What are you doing???? Noooooo, stop it. Stop it, right now!’ My eyes were wide open and they blinked furiously, as if I had an eyelid spasm. I’m sure I made a right spectacle of myself, and I’m sure that the optician wasn’t a major fan of me by the end of it. But I did it.

Now I can’t imagine what all the fuss was about, although from time to time my contact lenses do ‘play up’ (e.g. it takes me longer than usual to put them in) and I do make that funny face, because I panic a little. But’s it’s all part of the process, I guess.

I have to say, although I am making progress in some areas in my life, there are some things that still send a shiver down my spine. Bees/wasps are one of them. I can’t stand them, and I really do blame the film My Girl for making me feel like this. I used to be fine when I was a kid until I saw that film. How do I know I’m not allergic to them, and will die a horrible death like the boy in the film? I have no idea how I’ll get over them, apart from maybe being stung, but that’s something I do not deliberately want to happen. Don’t suggest that I go to a bee farm either, thanks.

One thing I am working on at the moment is swimming. I am quite embarrassed to say that I am taking lessons at this stage of my life, when I used to have lessons at school. My excuse why I didn’t learn back then is because my swimming teacher used to scare the life out of me, for stupid reasons I can tell you later if you’re interested. I am noticing an improvement though. For me, progress is swallowing slightly less water than the week before. Well that was until this week’s lesson, when I swam for the whole lesson without floats and was attempting to breathe properly.

Do face your fears, you’ll find out that you won’t regret it, and you’ll feel a lot more liberated. Easier said than done, I know.

space jump
Felix Baumgartner talked about how his spacesuit made him feel claustrophobic

I don’t usually do this, because sometimes I think it’s cheesy, and it makes me cringe, but I thought I’d leave you with some encouraging quotes to spur you into action:

“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”

Nelson Mandela

“Never be afraid to try something new. Remember, amateurs built the ark, professionals built the Titanic.”


“Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.”

Dale Carnegie

“Fear is a habit; so is self-pity, defeat, anxiety, despair, hopelessness and resignation. You can eliminate all of these negative habits with two simple resolves: I can!! And I will!!”


“We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face… we must do that which we think we cannot.”

Eleanor Roosevelt



  1. Yes I definitely hear you on this on Monique! My fear right now is stepping into the unknown since I’m leaving uni soon, but it is true we need to remind ourselves of positivity – be it positive thoughts, or words of encouragement.
    Great post love, I hope to join you with your achievements of overcoming some other fears I’m facing too 🙂

  2. Good post – your experiences seem to be uncannily similar to mine Monique. It took me 8 individual hour sessions to learn to use contact lenses properly – I was also fairly squeamish about anyone touching my eye. Furthermore, I have a phobia of wasps and really really hate swimming (only learned to swim at all at about 14 and still can’t do the front crawl properly)! Fear is embarrassing and steals a lot of emotional energy and time. I think life in this way is like a game of chess – you have much more success if you play to win rather than fearing defeat (without being reckless of course).

    1. I completely agree with you! It does sound like we have similar experiences. What we also have in common is that we pushed ourselves to overcome those fears, even if it was just momentarily. And the funny thing is (well, for me anyway) is that I can look back and laugh about what happened. It seems as though we haven’t made much progress with the wasp phobia though ;-).

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