First of all, everybody has fears and it’s absolutely normal, but if it’s disrupting your daily functioning or preventing you from living your life to the fullest, it’s time to face your fears and take control. Sadly, many people live their whole lives in denial, terror, and misery, when they don’t have to. This year, be one who faces fears with courage and set yourself free from all demons that are holding you back.
The good news is that it’s not as scary as you think and you don’t have to do it alone. Here are some simple steps to get you started.
Identify Your Fears
Take some time to write down your fears and in the order of intensity.
You have to identify your fears first so you can manage them effectively. Choose one fear from your list that is currently debilitating your life the most. If you try to deal with too many fears, it can overwhelm you. Let’s tackle them one at a time.
Acknowledge Your Fears
Even though many people have fears, they have trouble acknowledging them.Take a look at your fear and acknowledge them. Say it out loud. “I am afraid of public speaking. I’m afraid of Frankenstein,” etc. When you acknowledge your fear, you are starting to recognize and take control of your fear, rather than the other way around.
Face Your Fears in Baby Steps
Break down your fear into small pieces and take small steps. For example, if you’re afraid of dogs, start by looking at a picture of just one dog for a few seconds. Next time, you can increase the numbers of dogs and for a longer period of time, and go from there. This method also works with objects, behavior, and people.
Change the Perspective of Your Fear
You may not be able to overcome your fear right away, but looking at it from a different perspective can help ease the anxiety. For example, if you’re afraid of spiders, you can read that most spiders are not dangerous and do not attack people. In fact, very few people die from spider bites and are from remote places in the world. They are actually beneficial animals that kill harmful bugs, which help with our survival, etc. Focusing on the positives and not seeing something or someone as a threat can reduce anxiety greatly.
Have Resources Available
Have a prepared action plan when your fear occur. For example, have a list of places you can go, people you can contact, and things you can do right away when you encounter your fear. I wrote my action plans on a piece of paper and carry them with me in my wallet.
Seek Professional Help
If your fear is serious or you would like to work with someone, I recommend working with a psychotherapist in a safe and confidential environment, utilizing various techniques and treatments, which can result in faster and long term results. I’ve seen many positive outcomes when people work with professionals that specializes in overcoming fears of any kind.
It’s normal to have fears and you can mange and/or overcome them.
Not all fears have to be eliminated. This is a lot to expect and can cause more anxiety. Sometimes your fears can be turned into an alley, just by how you choose to see it.
You already have the courage to face your fears, always. The choice is yours.