Get rid of Mageirocophobia once and for all!


Mageirocophobia, fear of cooking, is not going to be cured with avoidance therapy. If your phobia is severe or life-threatening, you should seek professional help like cognitive-behavorial therapy, which focuses on replacing the reflexive negative thoughts about your fears with more rational thoughts instead. With severe Mageirocophobia, this is a definite first step if you are to overcome your fear and learn how to cook with confidence.

For those of you with less sever versions of Mageirocophobia, there are ways for you to reduce the effects that it has upon your life. We all have fears that we have immediate negative reactions to, but if you can do some positive self talk to replace those thoughts, it can get you through the fear and eventually past the fear.

For example, if you're thinking, "This is never going to taste right." Replace it with, "this is going to be a great meal," or "everything will come out alright!" This may sound a little hokey, but hang with me. This works!

Many years ago, I went to a Brian Tracy seminar and he taught me something that I have carried throughout my life. If you're feeling a little down in the dumps, stand in front of a mirror, look yourself in the eye and repeat, "I'm the best. I'm the best. I'm the best. I'm the best." This really works. If you tell yourself, "It's alright, it will come out alright," it will, in fact, come out great in the end.

So, if you're thinking, "I haven't cooked this meat enough, someone might get sick," instead, remind yourself, "I've used a thermometer so I know it’s safe." If you're thinking, "No one is going to like this meal," replace it with, "It doesn’t have to be perfect, just cooking a nice meal is great and my family will appreciate it." You could also tell yourself, "I've tasted everything, so I know the seasonings are correct," or, "I’ve chosen a simple recipe that’s not too hard."

Reassuring yourself is a wonderful way for you to begin to eliminate the fear of cooking and embrace learning how to cook in a way that brings joy into your life and others. You should also be aware of the difference between "of poor quality" and "not to my liking". Sometimes your taste may be different than someone else's. You may put additional red pepper flakes on a dish which makes it not to someone else's liking, but does not mean that it's poor quality. I came across this situation several times in the catering business. Don't let this impede you from learning how to cook.

If your phobia isn’t overwhelming, there is a direct approach to getting over your fear of cooking forever. However, keep in mind that you need to make sure that you’re ready for each step or you could make your phobia worse.

3 Steps to Conquering Mageirocophobia

1) Pick One Method - choose one cooking method that you can repeat with confidence (for example, if you know how to make a grilled cheese sandwich, you know a saute method, add some tomato or ham. If you can make soup, you know a moist cooking method, you can add some shrimp and expand from there and build your confidence.)

2) Pick 3 Confident Spices - Find 3 spices that you like together and feel a little more confident in their flavor profiles. It might be basil, garlic and oregano (Italian seasonings), it might be cumin, coriander and red pepper (Mexican seasonings). Get these three spices and begin using them in different dishes to practice with quantities of the seasonings and the flavors that they produce with different foods.

3) Get a Thermometer - Getting an instant read thermometer will allow you to quantify when things are done rather than guessing.

Guessing is something that you are going to try to eliminate from your cooking method. Guessing is the biggest point of stress in cooking. Guessing puts great mystery and inconsistency in your cooking and inconsistency will increase your fear of cooking whether you're cooking with a recipe or not.

Then, once you're psychologically ready, invite a friend or relative over for a cooked meal. You’ll be facing your fears directly when you cook for someone else. And, by repeating this process over and over again, your confidence will increase, your enjoyment of cooking will increase, you'll want to learn more about cooking and completely eliminate your fear of cooking.

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About Chef Todd

Chef Todd Mohr is a Certified Culinary Educator who has empowered home cooks all over the world with the reliable, dependable, repeatable METHODS behind cooking that build confidence, generate creativity and enable anyone to cook with the ingredients THEY desire.

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