Counsellor & Psychotherapist
Masters of Counselling & Psychotherapy UofA
Member of the ACA College of Supervisors
Level 3 Member Australian Counselling Association
Unsplash Thought Catalog
We are born with only two fears they are the fear of falling and the fear of loud noises. It is likely that you find yourself the guardian of quite a few more fears than two and that they also vary in intensity.
To understand something I find it helpful to reduce it down to it's most basic elements and work it through from there.
What does fear mean in our language?
It is a noun which describes the emotion of fear to be unpleasant in nature and is provoked by the threat of
danger, pain, or harm.
The synonyms which we use to describe this unpleasant emotion are words such as terror, fright, fearfulness, horror, alarm, panic, agitation, trepidation, dread, consternation, dismay, or distress.
We can find ourselves express a fear of someone or something which is likely to be dangerous, painful or harmful
We describe this state in the following ways : be afraid of, be fearful of, be scared of, be apprehensive of, dread, live in fear of, go in terror of, be terrified of, be terrified by, cower before, tremble before, cringe from, shrink from,or flinch from.
Many of us will spend a great deal of time being controlled by our fears or even resenting that fact that the emotion of fear exists in the first place.
Fear has an evolutionary purpose for animals and humans to promote survival . In relation to human evolution the people who were smart enough to be afraid of the right things survived and subsequently passed on their genes.
So I said we are born with two fears but collect many more than that on the way to growing up so how?
The majority of our fears are created organically as we grow from childhood to adulthood. evolve throughout our childhood years. We are taught many of our fears from our parents or caregivers as they attempted to keep us safe from the dangers of the world so we could reach adult hood. Some of those fears passed on would have been logical and reasonable. Some not so much. Some would have been pure fiction but we can come back to that later.
Survival Mechanism Against Pain and Rejection
In a similar way to our childhood years, as adults we also have a tendency to naturally manifest irrational fears based on the experience of pain and rejection within our lives.
A Simple Lack of Knowledge
Many of our adult fears are simply manifested through a lack of knowledge that we have about people, events, objects, circumstances or even about ourselves.
As children we are very open to the possibilities of questions that could help us to find effective solutions to the challenges that we face.
On the other hand, as adults, our questioning strategies somehow deteriorate into a self-sabotaging language
Every time we question our strengths, abilities, intelligence and skills, we build upon the layers of references that keep our fears alive and constant within our lives.
If you seek to overcome your fears successfully, then you must begin by transforming how you ask questions.
The “how” of overcoming fear
1. Validate your fears
Is this fear justifiable?
Does this fear actually make any sense?
2. Understand your fears.
Why does this fear have a hold on me?
How did I originally come to fear this?
3. Determine the consequences of your fears.
What am I likely to lose if I continue to hold onto this fear?
b. What am I likely to gain if I overcome this fear?
4. Plan ahead in a rational and proactive manner
a. How will I deal with this fear emotionally, physically, spiritually and mentally in the future?
b. What’s the worst that could possibly happen? How will I effectively deal with this scenario?
Walk your way through the roadblocks
1. Take small consistent steps
2. Use your belief in a way that empowers you. Do not accept your fear to be the truth.
3. Face your fears – what we resist persists
5. Turn of your excuses and challenge those self sabotaging thoughts
6. Don’t take yourself so seriously – choose to laugh at those fears
7. Change your perspective – of self, others and the situation
8. Choose courage over fear – take risks, learn from your mistakes and try new things
9. Accept responsibility for your behaviour, decisions and actions no matter what the outcome. This doesn’t include blaming, shaming or guilting
10. Believe in yourself - take down the walls you have built with self limiting thoughts and actions.