Tell me something you are scared of doing and I’ll tell you something you need to do.
Some forms of obsessive thinking and compulsive behavior can be managed with exposure therapy. The idea is that exposing the subject to the things that cause the obsession weakens the effect of the obsessive thoughts (and therefore limits the triggering of the compulsive action.)
This exposure to pain is similar to that of those who prepare for public speaking. Toastmasters, one of the most popular groups for this kind of training, is based mostly on exposure. All members talk in public at least once every session.
Through exposure things don’t necessarily get better–the anxiety might never go away–but things do get easier. We learn what facing our fears looks like, making it easier to repeat the experience knowing we have succeeded in the past.
Doing the things we resist the most is the path toward growth.