Whatever it happens to be,
a fear can be challenging, but when
conquered, very liberating.
Fear is an emotion experienced in anticipation of some specific
pain or danger and is usually accompanied by a desire to flee or
fight. It can be real, or imagined.
It is certainly not always a bad thing. When fear serves as a warning
signal for impending danger or a life-threatening situation, it is
necessary and life preserving. If we didn't feel it in certain
situations we wouldn't react appropriately and we'd put ourselves
at great risk.
If a fear is imagined or irrational, it can be paralyzing and hold
us back from living life fully and productively. Many imagined fears,
such as fear of rejection, looking foolish, or of failure are the
types of fears we must learn to manage and overcome. If we let them
control our lives, we would never venture forth or strive to become all that we
There are, of course, some fears that our having them, or not,
doesn't affect our lives. For example, if someone has a fear of
public speaking, yet has no need, intention, or desire to speak
publicly; trying to conquer the fear is of no consequence. There is
really no motivation, or need, to work on conquering it.
If, on the other hand,
the fear of public speaking will hold one back from progressing in their career, or
getting ahead in any way, then it's time to work on getting rid of
Strategies for Overcoming Fear
Acknowledge the fear. Whether it's imagined or real, the first step in overcoming fear is to admit
that it exists. We all have fears; it's human nature. Denying or
ignoring them doesn't make them go away.
Analyze it. Where does it come
from? Is it real or imagined? Can it be put in a different context?
For instance if you think it through to its logical conclusion,
what's the worst that can happen to you? Once you've determined
what that might be, ask yourself if you can deal with, or overcome it.
More often than not, once you go through the process of analyzing it,
the fear isn't as scary as you originally imagined.
Face it. Allow yourself to feel
it, and then do it anyway. Act in spite of your fear and treat is as a
challenge for personal growth and an opportunity to become stronger.
Be persistent. Do the thing you
fear over and over again. By doing it repeatedly it loses its power
over you and you become less vulnerable to it.
Develop courage. Sometimes the
answer may not be to conquer a particular fear; it may be to develop
courage. If you focus too much on any one fear instead of trying to
you may in fact, intensify it. By developing courage you build
self-confidence and resilience. You also build a healthy approach towards
facing all fear.
As Mark Twain said:
"Courage is resistance to fear, mastery
of fear, not absence of fear."
Here is list of top 9 fears according to Forbes.com:
Fear of bugs (especially spiders), mice, snakes, bats
Fear of heights
Fear of water (drowning)
Fear of public transportation
Fear of storms
Fear of closed spaces
Fear of tunnels and bridges
Fear of crowds
Fear of public speaking
How many on this list can you count as your own? Decide which ones
you may want to work on, and then overcome your fears!