Jester got me thinking about this, in his post about kino. He correctly stated that fear is the reason some people are bad at it. Fear is so prevalent in our lives that we don't even recognize that it's there most of the time. I'm not talking about the kind of fear you have when you're running from a wild animal chasing you. That's acute fear. What I mean is the thing we sometimes call nervousness, or anxiety. But like I said, we don't always know it's there, so we don't really have a name for it. It's a constant presence in some people's lives. When you put off doing something, that's fear. You would rather go see a movie than mow the lawn. So the grass grows and grows, until it's a foot high. Because you were afraid to do something uncomfortable. Do you smoke? That's fear. It's a crutch, something that takes your attention from the responsibilities in your life. Is your house messy? This is similar to letting the grass grow. Do you always have your TV or radio on when you're home alone? Fear of being alone with your thoughts. You're fooling yourself into thinking you have company, and you're not so lonely. Do you shop too much? Drink too much? Eat too much? Gamble too much? Crutch, crutch, crutch, crutch. Fear, fear, fear, fear. Some people couldn't be more obvious if they wore a sign that said, "I am afraid of life." You want to get laid so bad, why don't you approach every hot-looking girl you see? Let's all just liberate ourselves a little, and admit to each other (or at least to ourselves) that sometimes in our lives we are afraid. It's okay. There are so many uncertainties in life that a little fear is necessary to protect ourselves. It keeps us sharp. If fear, on the other hand, keeps you from really enjoying life to the fullest, then it's gone too far. Here's a big area of my life where fear has held me back. I want to save money and invest it, because I know that having a lot of money in the future will bring happiness. But whenever I get a decent-size wad of cash in my bank account, I buy something I really didn't need that bad. Why? Because I have a limiting mind-set that tells me that the new CD player will ease my unhappiness in other unrelated ares of my life. It does, for maybe five minutes. I'm afraid to do what it takes to be happy in the long run, because without the quick fix, I'll have to live with some pain in the short term. Sound familiar to any of you smokers, overeaters, drinkers, gamblers, crackheads, etc? What if you had no fear? Just imagine. Whenever you had a thought to do something, you would do it. You wouldn't hesitate, and you would commit to reaching the goal. You would cut the lawn, and you would go to the movie afterwards, if something more important didn't come up in the meantime. Notice I said important, which doesn't necessarily mean fun. But you wouldn't care. Courage gives you priorities, and the strength to live up to them. You would stop smoking, you would stop eating too much, you would stop buying things, trying to fill that empty void in your life that can only really be filled by getting some balls. You could approach any woman you wanted to, and you wouldn't care what she said to you. Damn, I'm so tired of being afraid. I know you are, too. We all have some fear, so please, no responses about how you're not afraid of anything. I only say all this because I think this forum exists mainly to give advice that helps alleviate fears. If we can quickly learn things like kino, eye contact, and acting confident, then that saves us some of the pain of rejection we would feel going through the trial and error process, testing this stuff out on our own. I don't have the solution as to how you can get over your fears, but I do know you have to face them. You can lie to others, but don't lie to yourself. I know from conquering some of my own fears, that once you start doing it, you will feel empowered. And you will see just how messed up the rest of the world is. I hope everybody gets something out of this, because I only wrote it with the best of intentions. Live long and prosper.