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Your Life: Fear of appearing foolish can be crippling

Charlotte Lankard: Time spent worrying what other people think squelches our joy and our fun.
BY CHARLOTTE LANKARD, For The Oklahoman Modified: March 2, 2013 at 11:49 pm •  Published: March 4, 2013
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Images of perfection abound in magazines, movies, talk shows and glossy ads. We forget those who appear to have attained perfection have also had to learn how to be perfect at pretending and performing.

One of the reasons Oprah Winfrey was admired was her willingness to let viewers see her without makeup and hair styled. She was also honest that she didn't have the perfect parents and she openly admitted to making embarrassing mistakes.

I heard people say, “I could never do that!” The fear of appearing foolish can be crippling. Time spent worrying what other people think squelches our joy and our fun.

C.W. Metcalf, a humor consultant to many Fortune 500 companies, says he cured himself of “terminal seriousness” by forcing himself to do things like walk through an airport minus a sock and shoe.

Medical doctor, clown and social activist Patch Adams hosted a fundraiser in Phoenix called “Full Moon over Camelback” where thousands of people paid $25 for the privilege of mooning the city in unison at the stroke of midnight. As charity events go, it was pure genius — no overhead, no auctions and no selling things nobody really wants.

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