Monday, 16 March 2009


Fear is a feeling that too often runs our lives. Whether it is fear of commitment, rejection, failure, death, flying, or any other phobia, it tends to keep us from living our lives to the fullest. Fear can be handled rationally and can be controlled if you are willing to work on it and are motivated enough in controlling it, instead of it controlling you.

The first thing you need to do is take the time to get to know your fears. Most of the time, people are aware of their fears, but never really get to know them. Set up a time when you can sit down and have an interview with your fear. What is your fear and where does it come from, and why do you fear it? These are questions that must be provided with answers in order to better understand your fear, so that you can start brainstorming about methods that will work best for you.

Start with acknowledging what the fear really is. Once you are fully aware of what your fear is, then work on figuring out where it comes from. For example, if you have a fear of failure, what gave birth to such a fear? There is a cause for everything, so if you feel puzzled on tracking down the place of where it came from, keep looking inside yourself until you find it. Did you do poorly in school as a young child? Did your parents constantly pressure you to do well, making you feel anxious and incapable of ever pleasing them? Knowing where your fear comes from is the biggest key to understanding it. Understanding your fears is good because it also means that you are able to find solutions to it.

After making the discovery of where your fear(s) come from, you may then ask yourself why you fear it so much. Many people have a fear to fly, for instance, because they hear news of airplane crashes and are terrified that they might share the same fate as the planes that crashed. Others fear flying because they are intimidated with the fact that they would be so high above the ground. Learning why your fear exists so strongly is important and will help you learn more about yourself and the way you think about things.

Once you figure all of this out, what do you do to handle your fear? Research tends to help greatly. Let's say you have a fear of commitment. The best thing to do is look back at all the experiences that helped build this fear. Did you get heartbroken several times from past relationships and now run away when an opportunity for a serious relationship comes to surface? Go back in time to those relationships and re-live what went wrong and why. You will discover that all those situations were different in some way and handled in different ways. What does that tell you? It tells you that no one is the same and no relationship is perfect. Admitting to this fact will help you understand that running away is not the answer, but what you really need to do is face and accept the imperfection in your relationships and work on ways to better the challenging situations.

Talking about your fears with people will help too and feed you more knowledge on your fear. If your fear is commitment, then talk to a friend about it and ask them how their relationships are and how they handle challenges. You will soon learn that not all relationships end in heartbreak and that you are capable of having a happy and healthy relationship, just like anyone else. Talking about your fears will also be good self-therapy. Sometimes, just letting something off your chest helps tremendously, making you feel stronger and more prepared to face your fear and control it. So keep talking about it for as long as you need to.

Facing your fears and accepting that they exist will be a big breakthrough for you. When you feel strong enough to face it, just go for it without giving in to the intimidation. There is no doubt that it will be difficult and perhaps even impossible to go through with it in your first few attempts, but with practice and support from yourself and others, you will eventually stare you fear in the face and realize that you were the more powerful one this whole time.

Finding methods that work for you may take time, but will be worth it when you see how dramatically your life will change. You will be able to face the world more open mindedly, as well as do the things you have always wanted and deserved to do. When you allow fear to control your life, you are really pushing away experiences that you were meant to experience.

The important keys you need to remember are:

1. Defining you Fear
2. Finding out where it comes from
3. Learning why you fear it so much
4. Accepting it's existence
5. Facing it and taking control

The truth is, you might never terminate you fear entirely, but you will learn to take charge and decide just how much you will make your fear a part of your life and just how much of an influence it will have. There will be times you will want to give up and forget about conquering your fear, but every time these temptations come around, just remind yourself of the life you actually really want. A life that can be completely happy and one you can live to the fullest. When you remind yourself of this, use that strength right then and there and dare your fear to a challenge and show it who is boss!