What scares you the most? For some of us, it’s a dangerous animal such as a snake, spider, or even a tiny insect. Others of us have more widespread phobias such as public speaking, heights, or death itself. Whatever our fear may be, it’s a safe bet that it’s weighing us down. How awesome would it be if we were somehow able to stand up for ourselves and face that fear head on? Let’s help each other achieve that goal. This article provides the steps that we’ll need for overcoming fear. It may be difficult and take a lot of energy, but if we stick to these tips, we’ll be able to overcome just about anything!
1. Take time to rationalize the fear.
This is one of the first steps in trying to overcome not only fear but anxiety or addiction as well. We have to know what it is we’re afraid of before we can start becoming unafraid of it. Once we’re able to make sense of what it is we’re afraid of, we should take time to understand what about it makes it so scary. For example, let’s say we’re afraid of the dark. Think about it for a second. Does it really make sense to be afraid of the dark, or is there a deeper meaning behind that fear? Is it that we don’t know what’s in the dark that makes it scary? Or is it perhaps because of something that once happened to us in the dark that makes us afraid of it? Taking the time to truly understand why we’re scared will help us in overcoming fear.
2. Give ourselves a pep talk.
Giving ourselves a pep talk when overcoming fear can take on many different forms. We alluded to it in the previous step, but now we really have to downplay the fear itself. Once we see it for what it is, we’ll be able to go through the next step much easier. One way to give ourselves a pep talk is by thinking of the positive part of the situation. Being positive could mean something as simple as showing that we’re grateful. For example, if we’re afraid of the dark and we’re in our bed at night, be thankful that we have a bed or that we have a roof over our head. Showing gratitude in the midst of conquering our fear is an excellent way to overcome it.
Another thing we could do is think in terms of actual scenarios (i.e., what’s the worst that could happen?). Thinking of a fear this way helps with the first step in rationalizing it while also giving us time to talk ourselves through it. There are other pep-talking techniques such as the Sedona Method which involves asking ourselves a series of questions. More information about that can be found here.
3. Slowly start to associate ourselves with the fear.
This will be the toughest part of the entire process. After naming our fear, making sense of it, and understanding it, we now have to train ourselves not to be afraid anymore. The only way to do that is by taking it on. Using the fear of the dark as an example, we would want to do something such as sitting in a dark room with no windows.
We should do so during the daytime so that we can quickly leave and go back into the light if necessary. We’ll definitely have to get uncomfortable during this phase, so here are some tips if we find ourselves getting a bit light-headed or nervous:
• Practice controlled breathing exercises to calm ourselves down. Take a deep breath, breathing in through the nose, then out through the mouth. This should help us calm down and get the heart rate steady.
• Use a little method that we’re going to call the “five-sense countdown.” The purpose of this little trick is to calm ourselves down when we find ourselves in an uncomfortable situation when overcoming fear, and it uses each of the five senses. First, name five things in the room that we can touch. Second, name four things that we can hear. Third, tick off three things that we can taste. Fourth, call out two things that we can smell. Last, name one thing we can see. Granted, if our fear is being afraid of the dark, this will be difficult. In that instance, just think about a happy place and conduct the five-sense countdown there. When overcoming fear, we have to stay focused and keep our mind at ease. The five-sense countdown will get us back on track if we find ourselves freaking out.
4. Find someone to embark on this journey with us.
Overcoming fear can be a very difficult process. Having people in our corner to help us along the way is a great way to ensure we don’t digress or revert back to being fearful. Best friends, spouses, and close family members are all candidates for being our go-to while we’re overcoming fear. Explain to them what we’re trying to do, and let them know that their support will make it easier for us to go through the process. Don’t try to recruit someone who won’t take us seriously. In our example of the fear of the dark, we wouldn’t have someone in our support system who’s going to make fun of the fear by making silly ghostly sounds. We only want positive vibes while overcoming fear because any negativity can cause us to shut down our progress and go back to our comfort zone of living in unaddressed fear.
So those are four steps that we can take for overcoming fear. It can be nerve-wracking to overcome fear, so let’s be there to support each other in the comments below and get advice on other ways to be emotionally healthy.
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