With everything going on in the world right now, there is so much fear around. I don’t think there has been a time in my life (I’m nearly 57 as I write this) when I have felt so much fear in the air, wherever I go. It’s heartbreaking to see so much of it going on, but we don’t need to let fear take us over in these times.
Fear has the capacity to ruin your day if you let it, and ruin your life one day at a time if you let it. Fear is a sometimes-necessary fight or flight response when an animal, including humans, is in imminent danger. But while fear is a natural and understandable reaction, it can also cloud our judgement and make us react to life’s challenges in a way that hinders instead of helps us. So we need to be able to face our fears and win in order to be free.
Here are some steps to overcome fear that you can take now:
- Identify your fear. Can the source of your fear hurt you? Remember that fear itself can’t hurt you. The first step in defeating your fear is to decide whether your fear is rational.
- If you fear something that can’t harm you, then your fear isn’t rational. So there isn’t anything to be scared of although sometimes, this is a lot easier said than done.
- If the source of your fear can harm you then your fear is validated, but you have identified the fear and can now do things that will help to alleviate it.
- Is your level of fear greater than the level of possible harm? Or is the likelihood of harm smaller or greater than the level of fear you feel about it. We often feel more fear than is justified by the situation. Availing yourself of as much information as you can about the thing that scares you will help you to deal more rationally with it.
- People react differently. No matter what the cause of your fear, others also experience similar and react in their own way. Look around for those who share your experiences and learn from how different people respond in similar situations.
- I really do not like heights and am scared of flying. Once, my friends helped me face my fear by getting me to join them on a mountain trail. The next day, despite much protesting from me, they managed to get me on a gondola ride up a mountain. Another time, a friend got me on a plane for a weekend trip to London.
- If you’re afraid of flying, you will have friends who have flown, so talk to them about it. They may not go to the lengths my friends did, but one thing is for sure; everyone feels fear sometimes and they will understand. It is also possible that they had the same fear and overcame it. Ask them what they did that allowed them to transcend their fear.
- Whatever your fear is about, look to those you know who may have experienced similar fear and ask them how they deal with it. Sharing your experiences will help you to overcome your fears.
- Face your fear head-on. While talking about your fear is a good place to begin dealing with them, ultimately you will need to face your fear head-on. You will never get over a fear just by talking about it. Your fear will be defeated only when you face it.
- There is no need to face everything alone. Make use of your support network. Talk to your family and friends. Those who care for you will help you to overcome and live your best life.
- Confront your fear safely. Just like my friends helped me, take someone you trust with you on your journey towards defeating your fear. Then unlike me, confront your fear in small manageable steps.
- Do things differently. Decide that you are going to face your fear. Set the intention that you will defeat this fear and take those steps. Fear is born in the mind and grows because you feed it. Starve your fear of nourishment by changing the way you respond to it and watch your fear dissolve.
- If you can convince yourself that a fear is real when it is irrational, you can reverse it and realise that you did not need to feel so afraid. So many of our fears, we create within our own minds. Notice when you feel afraid, stop that thought in its tracks and turn it into something more positive.
- Take the offensive. Rather than running from your fears, use the advice in this post and attack your fears head-on.
- Research the source of your fear and learn as much as you can about it. Look at what different perspectives there are from those who experience the same fear, from information about to deal with the source of the fear as well as how others have fought and defeated the fear.
- By looking at as much information as you can find, discover the best way to destroy your fear by directly attacking it.
- Often, the best way to defeat a fear is by doing the thing you fear. So, if like me, you are afraid of heights, you might take a friend with you for moral support and find ways to confront your fear. You can take things in stages and over time, your fear will vanish.
- Just keep going, levelling up when you can, until you aren’t afraid anymore.
Some fears are completely rational and help to protect us. My fear of heights could save me from a careless accident if I am up high leaning over a balcony or wandering too close to the edge of a cliff. But it does not help when I am in an elevator or I need to get on a plane.
Fear is normal and rational fear can be helpful. But if your fear is controlling your life and stopping you from really living, then it is time to confront and defeat those fears. Do not put off till tomorrow what you can do today. Start now and send your fear packing!
Those of you who are having problems with anxious thoughts might be interested in this article I found by Barry McDonagh, here it is: Eliminate Anxiety and Panic Attacks For Good