During our spare time some of us with a river running through our town or city may take the occasion to feed the waterfowl. I’m one of them.

Interestingly, however, I always like to be of a certain distance away from the swans, geese and their friends. In fact, the idea of actually allowing a swan to take some bread from my hand previously filled me with great anxiety. Before today I had never done it.

And yet today I finally did it. Not just once but about five times. I didn’t have my finger, or my arm, chomped off. And so it started to feel like less of a big deal with each successful attempt.

bird-1188586_960_720A wild Goliath appears

We worry that people will find our anxiety over something seemingly so minor to be absurd so we often will hide these types of fears from public view. We may not even try to overcome them because we are embarrassed to have them in the first place. We just hope they will disappear.

Yet however other people perceive our fears and worries is irrelevant if we personally find them to be our Goliath. They may dismiss them, but they may have their own anxieties that we do not share for tasks we find effortless. What is a disproportionate reaction for one person may be perfectly proportional for someone else.

And, in fact, the fears we have over “minor things”, the ones we are most ashamed of, in some ways are the most heroic ones we can overcome. This is precisely because you don’t always feel you have the same level of support or understanding from others that you might if, say, you were afraid of heights or have a fear viewed as being more rational.

I feel mighty proud of my achievement. So I’ll continue to keep feeding the swans and the geese, but from now it’ll be with a spring in my step and a new trick in my repertoire.

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