Irrational Fear

It’s been an odd easter here in the UK. Instead of the usual rain, wind, fog, and occasional snow we get at this time of year, we’ve seen temperatures in the early 20’s Celcius (68+ degrees Fahrenheit) in Scotland. Such heights would be regarded as nice days in June or July and are near miraculous for early April. I can’t complain though , I’m having a lovely time composing posts from a nearby park, surrounded by a riot of daffodils.

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It’s not just me enjoying the unseasonably warm weather however, most plants and animals have been caught out, and are rushing to catch up with the sudden onset of summer. Trees which weren’t even in bud are racing to put some leaves out, my windowsill tomato seedlings (left) are loving it, and the terrorising bumble bee is back and looking for a new home. You may have heard that the bumble bee is mysteriously dying off. If this is true, I did my bit to ensure the survival of the species today when I encountered a furry companion exploring the nooks and crannies of my bedroom. A simple pint glass plus cardboard was the apparatus required to safely evacuate the hapless honey seeker out the window. However, it’s exactly this situation that fills many with unreasonable panic. Witness:

i got cornered by a bee the other week…..came in our flat, 10 floors up!….i had my back to the door, didnt see it come in…suddenly i turned my head to see this massive f**ker….did i panic? Yes i did! …i noticed it had gone into the hallway, that then panicked me more that it would go into my room, then i would never sleep.. so i tried to nip out into the hallway and close my door, probably with me in the room……bee had me covered, there was no way i was getting out to make the move…..luckily he got bored and made a break for the door, i then made the dash to close the door behind said vicous bee

Now the funny thing is, the friend that sent me this is a well built 6’3″ guy that you wouldn’t like to meet in a dark alley, but is paralysed by his irrational fear of small stinging insects. It amazes me that fear is so stong an emotion that the merest sight or sound of a small insect can instill blight panic.

I used to have a similar reaction to my friend on encountering a dreaded bee or wasp and even today I had a shudder of fright that slithered up my spine when dealing with the boudoir bumble bee. However, the fear that formerly gripped me is gone and I can now maintain control over the situation. The confidence in dealing with previously terrifying situations come from practice. The more times you confront your fears, the less you have to be fearful of. True, the first time you confront the situation is tough, but treat it as a learning experience!

It’s this same fear that prevents people from making the correct decisions about their finances. People mentally run away from their debts of bills in the same way as my friend ran away from the bee. Attempting to shut it out of his room is exactly what we do when we hide bills, and put off financial decisions in our lives. Doing nothing is often the single worst way to deal with your financial problems, and perversely also the path to your worst fears.

So the next time that hefty bill lands on the doormat and you feel the swell of panic, don’t worry. You’ve dealt with this before. Only the last time you did it had wings and went “buzzzzzz”.

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