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Deflating Your Fears

Ann Spangler
Ann Spangler
2015 12 Jan

If you’ve ever read J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series, you will be familiar with the fantasy creature called a “boggart.” The problem with boggarts is that they have the ability to turn into a person’s worst fears. So for Ron Weasley, it’s spiders, while for Harry Potter, it’s the notoriously creepy dementors. In more than one movie, we see Ron and Harry practicing their self-defense skills against boggarts, so if and when their worst fears do materialize, they are able to survive.

What boggarts are you facing? I used to be squeamish about snakes, but I can honestly say I’ve overcome the feeling. How? Simply by facing it. The fancy term for this technique is “conditioning.” The idea is to subject yourself to small doses of what you fear until you can gradually tolerate larger doses. Eventually, the fear will be reduced or eliminated.

I dealt with my dislike of snakes by giving in to my daughter’s entreaty for a pet snake. After a year of having Rico in our home, I attended a reptile expo at the urging of my daughter. This time, the repulsion I had previously felt was gone, despite the fact that there were more than fifty snakes in the room. I even found myself admiring the beautiful patterns on some of them. Believe me, I am still not a snake lover, but at least I am no longer creeped out by simply seeing one.

Maybe it’s time to ratchet up your confidence by overcoming a specific fear in your life. Ask God to help you face it rather than run from it. Doing so will weaken it and empower you.

(Image courtesy of marsjuh DB at freeimages.com)