Confronting Fear

Stan Goldberg, PhD

11/06/14  I just spent a week at the John Campbell Folk Art School in North Carolina attending a class on bowl making, despite my fear of the lathe; a turning devise for spinning a five pound block of raw wood at 1000 rpms.

 With an razor sharp tool in my hand I gently touched the freshly cut poplar and hoped it wouldn’t make my wife a widow. The last time I took the class I had three pieces explode, sending wood fragments across the room. So why do it again? The wood sculpture class I wanted was cancelled, I already paid for my airline tickets, and I didn’t want to take a class on bread making.

 Confronting fear is something that can be life-changing. In my case, I learned to allow the wood to tell me what was possible and what was beyond my capabilities. As I result, my wife still has a husband and I have six new decorative bowls. Is the fear gone? Not completely, but I learned the importance of adapting to circumstances rather than ignoring them. You might be interested in an article I wrote on confronting fear.

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