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Sign Language Studies

American Annals of the Deaf

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From Topic Boundaries to Omission: New Research on Interpretation
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96     who are out there making their dreams a reality,
97     experience fear.
98     Therefore, fear is not the problem.
99     What we do with the fear is what determines how we live our lives.
100   Although we can’t eliminate fear,
101   we can view it differently
102   and deal with it in healthy and productive ways.
103   You see, we each have places, events, situations with which we’re comfortable.
104   This is known as our comfort zone.
105   We each have our very unique comfort zone
106   based on our own past experiences, our perceptions of our capabilities, and our willingness to be out in the world.
107   Some people are only comfortable in the confines of their own home.
108   Others venture out into the world into the workplace,
109   and others still seem to make the whole world their home.
110   But when a challenge is presented that is outside our personal comfort zone,
111   fear appears.
112   Sometimes, our fear induces enough self-doubt
113   that it actually prevents us from moving ahead.
114   We allow the fear to immobilize us
115   and to stop us from living fully or realizing our dreams.
116   Well, what’s the alternative?
117   If we could shift our perspective and see fear instead as an ally that is telling us,
118   proceed with caution, but proceed.
119   A warning, if you will,
120   that says clearly and boldly,
121   “Growth opportunity ahead.”
122   So, when you felt the fear, you would know that you are actually moving in the right direction
123   towards growth, towards expanding your comfort zone, towards living fully.
124   If we can face our fears squarely and imagine in the safety of our minds,
125   which after all is where fear exists,
126   how we might deal with the challenge,
127   we could take steps towards experiencing the fear and moving forward.
128   We could make progressive approximations towards expanding our comfort zone.
129   You can begin by imagining the worst possible consequences.
130   What if the worst happened?
131   And imagine yourself handling it.
132   Every experience we’ve had began in thought and was projected into the world of being.
133   Thoughts with feeling become reality.
134   We must create what we do in this world twice—
135   once in our minds
136   and then again out in the world to make it so.
137   So facing the fear and imagining,
138   “How would you handle that situation?” (overlap of constructed dialogue and indirect)
139   makes it easier to proceed with optimism.
140   And, as Oscar Wilde said,
141   the basis of optimism is sheer terror.
142   But how can we get past our fears?
143   As Susan Jeffers says in her book of the same title,
144   feel the fear and do it anyway.
145   Each time we venture beyond the confines of our comfort zone,
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