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Sep 11, 2013 at 05:10pm IST

How Oprah Winfrey overcame her fear of balloons

Los Angeles: There are not many things that scare Oprah Winfrey but the talk show queen has an irrational fear of balloons. The media mogul, however, decided to confront her fear after her entire staff surprised her with balloons on her 40th birthday.

"I really don't like balloons, and for my 40th birthday my entire staff decided to surprise me. I come downstairs and the entire audience is filled with balloons. Literally, I'm stepping over balloons, having to walk through balloons and I'm so, like, 'Oh! When is one going to pop?'

"It was an anxiety-filled day. I don't like them because it reminds me of gunfire which really freaks me out," Winfrey said while narrating the story in a promotional video for the October issue of O Magazine.

How Oprah Winfrey overcame her fear of balloons

Winfrey says she had to turn her weakness into something she and her fans could learn from.

Now 59, Winfrey said she had to turn her weakness into something she and her fans could learn from, which is the theme of the magazine's October issue.

Winfrey said the balloon incident, she said, "became a metaphor for facing all my fears: No way around it, just walk right through it."

"There are a few things that in life, if you allow them to, can really keep you from moving forward. I don't have a lot of fears because I understand that you have to really walk through it."

The OWN mogul also recalled another instance when she had to push herself. She was afraid to give a speech in front of a Harvard audience but decided that facing the fear "head-on, walking through it, actually getting up and doing that speech, would be more meaningful to me than staying at home and thinking what would have happened had I done it," she said.

The October issue of O hits newsstands on September 17.

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