Yesterday, I wrote about the nightmares of cold showers, and I was proud of the fact that I don’t see them that way. It felt like I was conquering a fear and pushing past my limits. However, as we head towards discomfort we find the fears that truly haunt us. When I woke up this morning, I was stress out and panicking over some detail in a post that I had submitted. I slowly realized that it had all been a dream and that none of it was real. In my dream, I was reviewing a post and found that I had written “it” rather than “its”. A small error yet I was thrown into turmoil over the mistake. I feared that I would be criticized, judged, and that everyone would see my mistake. When I became this challenge, I always knew it was double sided, fearing a cold shower and public writing. I knew that writing was a deep-seated fear for me. While I can stand the discomfort of an icy shower, I don’t have as much control over my fear of writing. It is not just a five minute ordeal or something I can just accomplish. It is a constant; it follows my thoughts through night and day.
Consequently, the cold shower was always masking my fear of writing, but deep down I wanted to face this fear. I wanted to start improving my writing and myself. So as I am continuously asked the same question, why, my answer is that your fears become layers like tinted glass in front of your eyes. As you slowly remove a layer of tint your vision becomes clearer and you see the fears that were being hidden. So by learning how to remove one layer, even as simple as a cold shower, you learn how to stand up and face your deeper fears.
Interesting enough I found a solution for a cold shower, sunburns. I would not suggest it, for health reasons, but it does increase your skin temperature. The trouble with sunburns is that the water doesn’t feel cold on the skin, but when it hits another part it can feel ten times colder. In the past, a warm shower would normally make me fall into a trance or daydream. I would practically fall asleep, standing up. This is the relaxing state everyone so abundantly enjoys. On the other hand, a cold shower keeps me focused and snaps me out of that dreamy state.
Resistance is fear. But resistance is too cunning to show itself naked in this form. Why? Because if Resistance lets us see clearly that our own fear is preventing us from doing our work, we may feel shame at this. And shame may drive us to act in the face of fear. ~ Steven Pressfield