How NOT to Get Electrocuted (Or, How to Conquer Your Biggest Fears)


Last week half of an outlet in my kitchen stopped working (the half I plug my coffee pot into!). Yes, this IS an emergency in my world, even though I live a 2 minute walk from a Starbucks.

It’s beyond my ability to fix a cranky electrical outlet but my Daddy has the tools and knowledge to deal with it. He checked a couple of things and then proceeded to take the outlet apart.

When I casually mentioned to please not get electrocuted because:

  • I wasn’t opposed to performing CPR, but
  • it’s been a long time since I took that class, and
  • I’m pretty sure they’ve changed it again

… he responded that there was nothing to worry about.

Nothing to worry about?! 

Wires behind the outlet are not something I ever want to play with. I can just see myself touching the wrong wire and being fried cripsy!

Why was I afraid of something that held absolutely no power to disturb my Dad’s feeling of safety?

I don’t fully understand electricity and the wiring inside of buildings, but he does.

He could tell me:

  • exactly what the voltage and amperage were in each wire
  • what each of the wires were for, which were safe to touch and which weren’t
  • how to avoid ending up with an electricity-into-muscle-spasm-induced death grip on a live wire that’d kill me

The point?

One of the biggest lessons my Dad has modeled for me over the years is this:

You don’t have to be afraid of things once you understand them.

If something feels scary, overwhelming, or doesn’t make sense,
seek to learn and understand it
(or understand yourself and your reaction to it)

and once you do, it loses it’s power over you.

It doesn’t mean there’s no danger or risk.  Once you understand something you can make educated, calculated decisions about how you engage with it.

So, if you aren’t rewiring outlets, how does this apply to you?

Afraid of sending an email to your list?  Step back and take time to understand how you got subscribers and what they’re looking for from you–then send that and know you don’t need to be afraid!

Worried about losing money in your first attempt at a Facebook ads campaign?  Invest in a great course on ads, ask your colleagues for guidance, and learn how to make them work.  No more worry!

A little scared to hit publish on the blog post you’ve been writing?  Identify what it is that causing you to feel that way and then evaluate if it’s really true and what the worst that could happen is–as well as the best!

Don’t want to write a blog post no one reads because you’re concerned about wasting time?  Be intentional about building connections and community so you have an audience.  Grab my free training to boost your traffic and learn how to promote your next post like a pro.

Unsure about stepping onto a bigger stage through teleclasses, webinars, video or speaking live?  Why?  Do you understand the mechanics of it and how to prepare?  Learn enough to get the basics and then go for it.  (And learn to reframe any possible mistakes or “failure” into more learning because you never fail unless you give up!)

A few years ago, new to dealing with Celiac, I was afraid of any new food.  I wouldn’t eat away from home.  I hovered over even my mother in the kitchen, though she’d had repeated and very thorough, emphatic lessons on what I could and couldn’t eat.  I’ve put a lot of time and energy into familiarizing myself not only with my required diet but with the typical kitchen setup and recipes I’m likely to run into, what foods are generally safe in restaurants, and exactly how to read a label.  I’ve got apps that help me figure out what’s safe quickly.  And I’ve made peace with dealing with reactions when I have them.  I understand it now and I’m in control.

One of the big things I’ve been focusing on over the past year in my personal life is understanding and conquering many of my own fears and imagined limitations.  I’m reading things like A Calm Brain: How to Relax into a Stress-Free, High-Powered Life and Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions to better understand the psychology, physiology and chemistry in play when I want to go hide under a table or when I feel on the verge of an anxiety attack. Turns out when you understand that, you can control it, too, or at least choose better responses.

I’m still doing one thing every single day that scares me. And that’s getting tougher because the more I do it, the less I find I’m afraid of.

There’s a book, a website, a program, a workshop, a coach, a mastermind, a friend, a colleague (you get the idea!) to guide you into a deeper understanding of anything you need or hold you accountable for empowering yourself. 

Take control over your fears and learn to take smart, calculated risks.

What’s something you might be ready to understand better so you can move forward through your fear?

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  1. Michelle, what a great post! Thanks so much for diving into this huge subject of fear and how to wrangle it. You did it beautifully.

    1. Thanks, Kebba, appreciate you reading and commenting. :)
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… Five Creative Ways to Find Your Next Big Blog Post IdeaMy Profile

  2. Hi Michelle
    Your right this is a fear of anything unknown and a fear of getting out of the comfort zone which so many of us avoid at any cost. Which is a shame because so much more can be achieved by stepping outside of the norm.
    Great stuff lee
    Lee recently posted… New, Sweat suits for womenMy Profile

    1. Hey Lee, I totally agree–outside the comfort zone is where awesome things happen!

  3. Hi Michelle,

    Thanks for a terrific post.
    The electricity thing resonates with me. (at 60 hertz ;-})
    It has been a great few years watching you change as you grow and take on new challenges. You are a rising star and joyfully share the wisdom you gain as you master it.

    Thanks again, keep up the terrific inspiration.

  4. Michelle,

    I needed this post! Thank you for being that little voice that reminds to get back to my blog.

    Cheers to you.


  5. Dear Michelle,

    This was another outstanding blog post. It is not only helpful to me, as a blogger, but to virtually anyone. You have some very sound, positive suggestions to get beyond our fears, and you explain it in a way that makes it easier to relate to. Thanks, Debbie Seiling
    Debbie Seiling recently posted… Be Not Afraid…My Profile

  6. Love you post, Michelle! I have gone through so many of the fears that you mentioned above, all of them in fact… How did you know so well? ;)

    Anyway… Currently working on one of them as we speak so this post is right on! Thanks for the reminder :)
    Delia recently posted… You asked: How can I blog better, faster?My Profile

  7. Great advice, Michelle. The unknown can create great fear in many. Knowledge is power. I, however, continue to have a fear of electricity ever since I foolishly tried to unpry a stuck cord in an outlet with a metal can opener as a child ouch!

  8. These are very sensible advice Michelle. Life is full of risks at all times, but as long as we know what we are doing, then we will have nothing to worry about. We just have to have faith in ourselves.
    Connor Harley recently posted… Help with Setting up a BusinessMy Profile

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