There’s a nature spot here in Austin called Hamilton Pool.  It’s a natural spring formation that stretches about 30 feet across, and at its deepest, is probably 10-15 feet down.  Its backdrop is a massive rock grotto that encompasses it in a 1,000-foot round, circular, cave-like overhang, and then stretches up a good 60 or 70 feet to a cliff.  Beautiful place.

On hot days (of which we get a lot), it’s customary for visitors to take a dip in the pool.  However,  there’s one caveat…

The water is ice-freaking cold.

On typical Texas days, the water is a relief from the oppressive heat.  However, I happened to be there on a day when it wasn’t as hot outside, making the water even colder.

As I dipped a toe into the water, an emotional chill swept over me.  I was not looking forward to the next five minutes.

I realized very quickly that I had two choices.  These choices, in a larger sense, pertain to ALL fears.  I could, A) Do this one limb at a time, allowing myself to feel that chill little by little, in a prolonged, but controlled exposure.

Or B), I could rip off the band-aid, and just jump in.

But that’s it, isn’t it?  I was afraid, because I was anticipating how much pain and discomfort was about to hit my body.

The same is true with any fear.  You can’t circumvent your fears…at least not with side effects that tend to haunt your more than doing the thing you’re actually afraid of.  The only way to go around your fears is through them.

So, I jumped.  I made the decision, and suffered about 15 seconds of icy torture as my body worked to adjust to the sudden shock.

But, it did adjust.  And the fear was gone.  It was suddenly completely worth the “initiation period” where I felt the pain, and then, I was fine.

So, what cold pool are you avoiding?  What will it take to take the leap?