Very afraid of flying, but do it all the time - 5 flights this week, 4 next week. Flight last night so terrible that took big step - grabbing passenger next to me (did ask first) - held on for half hour - retired university arts professor from Oregon. Take flights though terrified because travel is requirement of job, like attending conferences, serve on national work groups, assist other associations, like seeing the world, and family lives in other states. That "face your fears" thing may not change it for the next flight, but will get you where you want to go. Doesn't mean doing more than necessary - such as recreational jump out of plane or becoming a pilot.
Fear holds us back all the time. Fear of unknown, fear of not having regular paycheck, fear of audiences, fear of being controversial, fear of change ... I even had fear of blogging. But there are always other passengers to grab .... and maybe it's easier to take whatever that fearful step is knowing that.
What are you afraid to do ... Could you maybe do it anyway?