Overcoming Fear: How Could Miss Muffet Have Defeated the Spider?

Random epiphanies strike me when I’m engaged in domestic activities. When I was making pumpkin custard today, the Little Miss Muffet nursery rhyme popped into my head. I realized that this children’s ditty is actually a story of how a little lass succumbs to her phobias, instead of overcoming fear. Wowie zowie!

Little Miss Muffet sat on a tuffet
Eating her curds and whey,
Along came a spider,
Who sat down beside her
And frightened Miss Muffet away

1. Little Miss Muffet sat on a tuffet  Miss Muffet became idle and complacent. She sat down on her tuffet, or small footstool. Miss Muffet lost her mojo and gave up. She pulled out of the game, sat on the sidelines.

2. Eating her curds and whey  Just like numbed-out and dumbed-out media-addicted zombies who languish on the couch eating bon bons, Miss Muffet zoned out on her duff chowing on dairy products. Curds are the solids left in the cheese-making process, and whey is milk protein. (Hey, maybe curds and whey were like pints of ice cream in days of yore).

3. Along came a spider, who sat down beside her  Whoa! Some arachnid plopped itself next to her. Miss Muffet realized she was no longer alone. Shock!

4. And frightened Miss Muffet away  Miss Muffett ran away at the appearance of a dinky little spider.  

Indeed there are some very dangerous and poisonous spiders skulking about in dark corners. However, most spiders, no matter how deadly, can be squashed with a shoe. Miss Muffet chose to run from her fear instead of grabbing her Uggs and smashing the spider, thereby overcoming fear.


What can you do if you have a Little Miss Muffet Attack?

1. Realize that you’ve had an attack. Admission of falling prey to your own fears, whether they be spiders, talking to people, or driving a car.

2. Face your fears. FEAR stands for False Evidence Appearing Real, or Face Everything and Recover. Grab a shoe, flyswatter, or whatever, and smash that fear. Stand up! Show the spider who’s boss.

3. Get back on the road to success. How do you do that? Take action! Success is built incrementally by little slight-edge decisions and actions. Whether you’re supposed to contact people, write a paper, or give a speech, take those necessary steps to get it done.

You will encounter many “spiders” along your journey, but the key is never ever to permit yourself to let them stop you from taking action. And if you do, you can always rewrite your story.  Here’s the little known second verse of the rhyme (ok, I wrote it, it’s a bit cheesy…pun intended)..

Miss Muffett’s Comeback , by Nancy Carroll

Miss Muffett took her shoe
And smashed the spider anew
No longer full of fright
She trudged on with all her might
And became a top leader- Whoohoo!

How do you personally recover from a Little Miss Muffet attack? What do you do to snap out of a pity party, give fear the boot, or launch your comeback?

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