Emotional Wellbeing

Mental Health


Mandy Kloppers

Life’s an experiment

Life’s an experiment – you better believe it. If we could just push fear aside, be less scared of rejection and failure and care less about what other’s think, we would be so much braver.

Think about it. What have you stopped yourseld from doing recently because of the fear of what other’s might think? I can think of a few. I hid behind a large sarong recently because I feel shy about walking around a public pool just in my swimming costume. I still have to work at just doing things I please without fear of reprisals. CBT (Cognitive behavioural therapy) teaches us how to create behavioural experiments to test out our fears.

I had one client who had a phobia about wetting herself in public. Despite the fact that this had never happened, she constantly worrie that one day she would not make it to a toilet and would wet herself. So, one day, we went to the local shops together and I deliberately sprayed water on my trousers, to make it look as if I had wet myself.

Before we did this, I asked her to predict what she thought might happen (this is important so that you can test out your theory). She predicted that everyone would notice and stare.

We walked around together, she kept her distance, quite horrified at this experiment but it did teach her something. It taught her that her predictions did NOT come true. When we avoid life and avoid what we fear, we never figure out what the truth is. The fear and the anticipation rules us.

Sure, I got a few odd stares but no one stopped, shrieked, dropped their shopping or pointed at me. The truth is – most people are very self absorbed in themselves. This taught my client that her fear was out of proportion. It helped her to look at her fear and her predictions differently.

So, do just that. Create regular experiments. if you think strangers will be mad at you if you are nice and kind and speak to them – try it out. The more you experiment in life the bolder and braver you will be.

Mandy X