Waking up at 6 am today to go and have a blood test is my worst nightmare.
I’m so damn fearful of needles and it makes me feel sick.
When my doctor said it was time to have a blood test and 10X my energy, I was pumped and crippled with fear at the same time.
This sucks big time.
Every time I have a blood test, there’s this big build-up of fear, tension, sickness and everything else that sucks.
I rolled up at the pathology center to try and have my blood test before everyone else. I always walk in like I’m MacGyver until my name is called. Then as I walk to the room where the nurse is, all the confidence, body language and self-talk turns to crap.
The nurse looks at me strangely. I haven’t had this one before. She’s thinking “Geez this guy looks like he’s about to crap his pants, or vomit, or maybe both.”
Why am I so fearful with these routine tests? Probably because I had a few strange experiences when I was a kid and the adult in me still hasn’t forgotten that innocent kid with blue eyes, white blonde hair and the change the world attitude he’s always had.
Back to my story. So, the nurse begins taking my blood and it takes time as she needs to fill up two tubes. It felt like an eternity although the pain was pretty minor – yay!
We get to the end of the test and I’m celebrating like a drunk who’s just woken up and realized he’d won $10k at the casino the night before.
Then the nurse is like “Houston we have a problem.”
My face turns white. “What’s the problem?”
The nurse says “We can only do these tests between Monday to Thursday. Any other day is prohibited. That’s what head office says.”
I’m thinking to myself lots of nasty thoughts like “Well you tell head office to go F themselves!”
I speak with my doctor and he confirms that this is correct. Basically, I have to go through this fearful experiment all over again in a few days’ time.
Rinse and repeat.
I go back to the pathology center a few days later and have the test again. It’s a pain in the backside but it must be done. Here’s what’s awesome: I’ve never done multiple blood tests in a short space of time. Doing the test again made this horrible feeling so much easier.
I walked in, did my thing, and walked out. I remembered how to breathe. I remembered how to relax. And I knew what had to be done.
“Facing the same fear multiple times within a few days began to crush all my negative energy”
Fears won’t suck as much after a bit of practice.
This fear of blood tests has now changed. It’s still a bit challenging but nowhere near as bad.
My mind has gotten used to what has to happen because practice has made the situation almost perfect.
We all have fears and overcoming them is about embracing the suck, giving it a go and then repeating the process.
Each time you face a fear like blood tests, it gets a little bit easier each time. Sometimes the gains are enormous and other times the gains are small. None the less, facing your fears creates some momentum towards conquering your fear.
Challenging your fears is how you get up close and personal with them. All it takes is a bit of courage and one question: What’s the worst that can happen?
For me, my arm could have fallen off, she could have caused me great pain or I could have passed out. None of these things will see me end up in the cemetery.
The feeling of overcoming fear.
Having significantly lessened my fear of blood tests has given me confidence. If I could conquer this massive mountain of internal pain, what else could I do that makes me fearful?
A better question would be, what fear is holding you back that you could practice getting better at?
We all have fears and we can all look them in the face, respect them for what they are, and then have a go at overcoming them.
The feeling of overcoming fear is so good. It gives you strength and resilience to fight the tougher fights. Doing the things that are uncomfortable is how you build a level of comfort that can put you at the top of your field.
We all have fears and those of us who practice overcoming our fears are the ones who get to taste a feeling of success like no other.
Your fears suck but you can overcome them with practice just like I did.