currently in: Ronda, Spain

Plowing Forward into Fears – [Needles in My Mouth]

Email readers: click for video

Here is a simple message about recognizing when we are scared…

When we are avoiding things…


I had cavities I needed to get drilled at the dentist, but I was “avoiding the inevitable”…

I got a “nudge” from a friend, and I recognized I was scared.

When we know we should do something in life, but we are afraid… this is an opportunity for growth.

When I recognized this, I decided to “plow forward” into my fears.

Oh, and you get to see me get needles in my gumline…

What I Said In The Video:

Hey folks, what’s happening!

I got a quick story. See if this can relate to your life.

Went to the dentist recently.  Haven’t been to a dentist in WAY TOO LONG.  Like 10+ years.

I though I was healthy.

Turns out I have 6 cavities.  I have no idea how long they’ve been there.

Anyway, went to the dentist, found out it was going to be $900 to get these cavities “drilled and filled”.

Money was short and then on top that, to get these cavities drilled and filled, you need to get needles in your gumline to, you know, numb yourself, so you can “go under the drill”.

So, a month had passed since I went to the dentist, found out it was $900, found out I had to get a bunch of needles.

Luckily a buddy of mine, Adam, we were talking over email, and he’s like, “Don’t wait too long man.  Those are going to turn into root canals.”

And it was that little “nudge”, that little reminder, that made me think, “Damn, why I am procrastinating on this?”

And I had this stupid excuse about the money… and I was also just avoiding the pain, avoiding the fear.

After he sent the message, I was like, “Fuck it!”

So I picked up the phone, called up the dentist office, I tried to negotiate the price (always negotiate ;), and I just went ahead and scheduled it for one week later.

Here I am one week later and I’m on my way there for my 3 o’clock appointment.

I think a lot of people freak out about “needles”… “pain”.

And don’t just take this literally and not just in context, but in general, right, what kind of “needles” do you need to get your mouth, in your life?

So what I decided to do was I just said, “Fuck it!”

I recognized that I was being a pussy.

I recognized that I was procrastinating.

I recognized that I was afraid…

So I just called up and I just decided to move forward in the direction of that fear as quickly as possible.

I scheduled it for one week later.

I really haven’t thought about it too much today…

I just got in the car, and I’m just going there.

I’m bring my iPod and I’m going to listen to a book I’m reading, “Mastery”, by Robert Green, which is phenomenal. (Links: physical book | audio book)

So anyways, I’m literally, just “plowing forward”, going straight at the fear.

I realized that it’s 3 o’clock in the afternoon… by 7 o’clock tonight it’ll be done.  It’ll be over with.

And I’ll have taken care of something that’s important.  My health.

See how this lesson can relate your life…

Are there “needles” that you need to take, but are avoiding because of the pain that will come?

I think a lot of people in life, they chose “long-term pain” because they’re avoiding the “short-term pain”.

I think suffering for a long time is much worse than, you know, “in-and-out”, “nice and quick”…

and life is like this, you know…

Life has ebbs and flows, ups and downs, pains and pleasures.

When you know you got to experience a little bit of pain, especially when it’s beneficial for your health, or beneficial for your life, just move towards that fear as quickly as possible and get it over with.

Maybe if I’m lucky, I’ll take some video of myself getting some needles in my mouth.

This’ll be my first time.  I have 6 cavities, but they’re in pairs of 2, like they’re all next to each other.  So, I gotta get 3 needles.

I’ll try to get some video footage for you.

Anyway, if this vide ends here, move forward.  Move towards your fears and “take the needles.”

If this video doesn’t end here, check out some footage of the needles in my mouth.

Alright, peace, keep rockin’, be well.

[at dentist office]

[text: “total time in chair…1.5 hours”]

[me talking to camera again, this time with a fat lip]….

I think I’m done for now.  I can’t feel this part of my face… right here.

I feel like I got a huge fat lip.

[now walking outside and talking to camera]

Alright, so there you have it.

It was an hour and a half.  Got my cavities taken care of.

And if you saw the video, yea I got a big needle in my mouth, but it wasn’t really that bad at all.

I made this thing such a bigger deal than it was.

I think we just tend to do that ALL THE TIME with a lot of our fears and anxieties.

I think the scariest part about them is the shit we make up in our head.

So to alleviate that, I think moving in the direction of your fears…

and even things you need to care of and are procrastinating on…

When you move in the direction and just take action, and just take care of the shit…

You know that this happens..

Once it’s done, you laugh, and you’re like, “Ha, that was nothing!  I made such a big deal about it.”

People who recognize the secret of moving towards their fears, to move towards the things that they’re procrastinating on, you know, they just conquer life.

They just “get shit done”, and they don’t let their fears and anxieties hold them back.

Rather they, use them as a catalyst, as a symbol, to move towards them, to overcome those fears and grow, and you know, take care of shit in life, and get your teeth taken care of.

Alright, that’s it…

Signing off.

What can you do in your life to move towards the “big needles” that you have to take?

What can you do in your life to move in the direction that scares you, to move towards things you need to take care of, to move in the direction of things you’ve been procrastinating on?

Keep rockin’

Take action.

Talk to you soon.


About Matt

I'm a location-independent entrepreneur, passionate about life-long learning & personal development. Co-founder @ LLC University. Spiritual vantage point. Systems-thinker. Read more about me here: More details.

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  1. Very Timely, I just found out today, that I have to get immediate root canal done and then a further possible 10 fillings over the next few months, it definitely hits the budget in a bad way!! But its true, you just have to bite the bullet…glad to hear it all worked out for you.

    • It does hit the budget for sure. But there is no other choice.

      When I realized this, I got my teeth done, paid for it, and then worked harder the next month.

      You’ll feel so much better once it’s behind you !

      • Hey Matt.. Thanks for the post.. Inspiring as always..

        Tip: have you tried having your teeth checked when traveling abroad?

        Last year i checked mine while in Costa Rica.. 5 cavities = $100 ..

        Many people doubt that developing countries have good dentistss.. And that’s just plain stupid..

        Keep it up bro!

        • Hey Fred, thanks man!

          I did have Mexico in the back of my mind as a place to go for dental, but damn… 5 cavities for $100!

          Clearly a $200 flight to Central America is worth saving $800+.

          I ended up paying $1,150 for getting 8 cavities filled (originally it was 6, but then the dentist found 2 more while drilling).

          Developing countries have great healthcare. Thanks for the reminder :)

  2. Procrastination = fear. Hmmm how true. I always feel so much better when I get down to it. But it’s been a habit for way to long to procrastinate. I gotta look at that one and knock it off ! . . . . tomorrow. (just kidding)

    • lol ;) It seems we all have it in different forms.

      I watched a talk b/w two writers recently where one mentioned the best way to avoid procrastination is to set a deadline and have real-world external consequences if it’s not met.

      Talk about getting things done :)

  3. I went in for a filling a few years back and the dentist asked me a question I’d never heard before: “do you *want* anesthetic?”

    I didn’t realize it was optional.

    With a sudden surge of crazy, and a desire to test my meditation practice, I opted out.

    Did it hurt? Meh. The experience was just kind of… interesting. Plus no pesky shot-in-the-gums causing squirming in the moment and fat, numb-face later.

    I’m not sure if I’d do that again, but I’d certainly consider it.

    • Hey Ben, That’s pretty bad ass man… takes some guts for sure.

      I like how you say, “the experience was just kind of… interesting.” lol

      I say that about a lot… rather than making sure all experiences are great, wonderful and positive, it’s good to look back with the “interesting” perspective… I think it helps us learn much more :)

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