Curiosity Didn't Kill The Cat, Fear Did
04-22-2015 at 10:39 AM
Category: Personal Development

I have a cat. He does not have a hat, or play with Thing 1 and Thing 2. He does, however, have a problem with fear. He is the ultimate “fraidy cat.”

Normally I wouldn’t concern myself with the emotional misgivings of a feline, but this fear is impeding on my life. You see, my cat has a fear of his litter box. It stems from a time when he went to do his business and ended with a piece of his droppings attached to his plumage. This led him to the false belief that the litter box was somehow attacking him. He responded then (and still does) by running full speed out of the room where the litter box is located. The final result is that he won’t always use the litter box for his “gift.” Instead, he will defecate in other places from time to time, one of which is my office. Fortunately, this isn’t an everyday occurrence but it certainly is one that is becoming more of a problem.

I have two choices for my indoor-only cat, one of which seems to be the more logical choice.

Choice #1:  Send the cat to individual therapy to learn coping skills dealing with his abandonment as a kitten and the current fear of litter boxes. I would then need to accompany the cat to group therapy where I will learn to help him, with soothing words and encouragement, on how to use the proper place for fecal matter removal.

Choice #2: Send the cat on a long journey…, far…, far, away.

I guess there is a third choice; I could cork him, but my wife informs me that would not be a wise (or legal) choice. Curiosity won’t kill this cat. Fear will –figuratively. He may press my hand in making a decision to terminate his residence in my home. After all, I can’t have the animal using the whole house as a potential litter box.

Seems silly doesn’t it? A small, ridiculous fear not rooted in reality creating a very big problem. That’s the nature of many of our fears. Not rooted in reality but having a dangerous impact in our reality. It is not a matter of not having any fears, for we all have them, but what you will do with your fears when you encounter them. Will you overcome them or give into them? Will they stop you or will you stop them?

This blog isn’t meant to be a therapy session on conquering your fears. There are a lot of tools and techniques out there to help with that. What I want to do is ask you:

What are you willing to do to overcome your fears? What price are you willing to pay?

You see, everything has a cost. To give in to your fears has a cost. To overcome your fears has a cost. What are you willing to pay? Will you choose to do the hard work and pay the price to overcome your fears, set yourself up for success, now and into the future? Or will you choose to pay the price of letting your fears overcome you and set yourself up for allowing something or someone else to control your life.

If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice. Unfortunately, it is not the choice that will allow you to live the life you really want to live.


Jeff Orr is a Personal Leadership Coach to Executives and Business Owners, Author, and Transformational Speaker. Through his coaching company, InDemand Leadership, Jeff empowers his clients to experience internal growth which then translates into sustainable external success. A dynamic and energizing speaker to corporations and groups, Jeff engages his audience through humor, real world stories, and a genuine care for the people he speaks to, helping them to build lasting success internally and externally. He is also author of the highly acclaimed book, Succeed In The New Normal.

Contact Jeff at:

Keywords: fear, cats, leadership, personal leadership, self development, Jeff Orr


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