Everyone has fears. Even the people that you admire. People that seem so confident and inspire you. Then how come you don't notice fears in some people? Because they don't let their fears control their life.
Fear is defined as being afraid of something or someone. To expect or worry about something or 'just' to be afraid. It is something that we, sometimes unawarely, experience on a daily basis. Everyone deals with other things they are scared of, ranging from fear of death, the dark, speaking in public, rejection, heights or certain animals.
When we think to much of what we are afraid of, those issues can start controlling our lives. It can go up the the point that you won't leave your house.
What is your fear
The first thing to figure out what is it exactly that you are afraid of, or to do. Try to go to the root of your fear. Was there a certain moment that your fear became real? When was it that you started noticing this fear. What event lead to your fear? Is it a broad fear or can it be more defined? Try to make a list of your overall fear, and than subheadings with 'symptoms'. I can take my example, as I have a fear for social gatherings. Lets say I am attending a birthday party.
What am I afraid of?
- Being the centre of attention
- Not having something to talk about
- Not knowing how to respond to other people
- Not knowing anybody
- Nobody wants to talk to me
- I look out of place
- I am unattractive
- I am boring and awkward
This is quite a list, and I could continue much longer. These are real things I am scared of. The dangerous thing about this is becoming your fear. So to say, I am thinking all of these things, but somewhere I know they aren't true. Important thing is to understand that other people don't see me the way I see myself.
The next step is to think about the dreaded situation, but being a bystander. If you are at a party, is this what you really think about. Are you worried about the things listed above. Small chance people are thinking this way. These are just the voices you have created in your head.
Look back at moments when you had to face your fear. How did you deal with those feelings? Did you have a panic attack, started sweating or maybe you didn't feel anything.
The next step is to make small steps towards conquering your fears. If you have a fear of spiders you could plan a trip to the zoo where they keep them, just to look behind the glass. If you are afraid of the dark and sleep with the light on, change your light to a smaller one. Try to make progress by decreasing the light every week.
In order to conquer your fears, you have to face them. Sitting on the couch and thinking about them is not going to make it better. It is easy to say to stop thinking about it and start acting. But that is what I have done. If there was a party I said to myself: Don't think about it, just do it. And that helped. I tried to let go of the negative thoughts, calm myself and got over it. However, the fear still comes back. It didn't just disappear. But I have found a way to deal with it. And that is what I encourage everyone to do. Face your fears instead of hiding from them. Share your fears if you are comfortable with doing that. Look on the internet what other people have done to deal with it. And don't be ashamed. everyone has fears, but not everyone will show them. By making small steps you can gradually overcome your fears. It will take time and a lot of strength, but you can do it. Believe in yourself.