Not Funny…


Fear is a funny thing.

Well actually, I don’t mean funny… funny. I mean sort of strange, somewhat troubling, quirky, mysterious and often unexplained… funny.

For example, even at fifty… I can stand on one foot for what seems like forever, or walk the rail of a railroad track for hundreds of yards without even a chance of falling off.

No problem.

Maybe it’s just my low center of gravity, but I’ve always had incredible balance, and have been doing it since I was a kid.

So, that’s what’s so weird. On a trip to the Grand Canyon or Niagara Falls… I felt like I was going to fall over the edge from thirty feet away!

Similarly, I have OFTEN been perfectly content hanging off the edge of a wobbly extension ladder while painting the second story of a house… but climbing the stairs of a completely solid Ranger’s tower makes me, well… glad I’m not a Ranger!

“C’mon, Steve… get with it”, you say. “Face your fear.”


On Thursday, May 17th, 1984, I drove down the driveway of the inner-city Milwaukee flat in which I lived. Ninety days later, I would leave for good… but that’s ANOTHER story.

On THIS day, my five-year-old Yamaha was loaded for travel, and I was off to meet a friend in Chicago, and then west across the plains to Denver and beyond… a Rocky Mountain motorcycle trip that we had dreamed about for several years.

And oh… the stories! I could write a… I may write a… I really OUGHTA write a book.

But, alas… I digress. This story, if you remember, is about fear!

Throughout the trip, this quirky fear of heights came and went. Sometimes non-existent… other times, powerful and stifling. And then I remembered an ad that I had seen right before we left… an ad for skydiving!

Show up in the morning… attend a few hours of ground-school… jump from a plane at 10,000 feet in the afternoon!

“THIS IS IT!”, I yelled. “This IS the ticket!”

I mean, what better way to conquer a fear of heights than to jump out of an airplane!? No instructor… just you, anchored to a static cord… out the door and into the wild blue!

And jump we did.

Heart rate steady at sixty beats per minute… nearly silent… absolutely NO FEAR… peace.

It was a thing of beauty…


I heard somebody say once that action CURES fear… though I think that maybe this was a bit of a generalization made by someone who was trying to get someone else to do something!

To be sure, there are times where our fear is completely justified… and, in fact, there’d be something wrong with us if we WEREN’T afraid. And in such situations… action is often EXACTLY what’s necessary. Indeed, bravery… or courage, is not the absence of fear, but the willingness to take action in spite of it.

But then there are those other circumstances… you know, where fear can be just a weird, annoying, irrational emotion. What should we do then… and is there REALLY an action that cures THAT fear? Will jumping out of an airplane, for example… CURE a fear of heights?

Here’s what I know for sure.

Skydiving is a blast, and so is piloting small aircraft… I went ahead and got my pilot’s license nineteen years ago, and have enjoyed every minute. I also love Ferris Wheels, Roller Coasters, and Theme Park rides that launch you hundreds of feet into the air.

And here’s what else I know.

As of yesterday, the last flight of stairs on the Ranger’s tower was, well… really, REALLY irrational!


I look forward to speaking with you soon!



Is fear stopping you from any activity in your personal or professional life?

What is your plan to go over, around, or through it?

What will you do Monday morning to move the dial?


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2 thoughts on “Not Funny…

  1. Hi Steve,

    This one made me think… I don’t know 100% if nowadays it is still the same for me as it was in the past. But I believe in the past I had a fear to be successful.Fear that may have been caused by conditioning in my childhood. Maybe fear caused by people that try to make me believe something could not be done, simply because they couldn’t or didn’t believe it could be done.

    Now I believe I can go over or around fear by preparing for uncertain things that come up. By trying to control possible uncontrollable factors and to make sure that I know what I do. Fears may still arise then, but because of the precautions they may not be too big.
    But of course this is in ideal situations, many times fear may come unexpected.

    Interesting topic Steve, it’s ‘a good one again’.


  2. Great insights, Raymond.

    When we prepare for the worst, the worst never seems to happen. When we figure out in advance the most likely resistances, objections, or obstacles… we are, as you said… prepared.

    Have an excellent day, friend.


    PS: BTW, did you see the little red dot on the edge of the cliff? That’s NOT me!

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