You’re sitting alone, quietly watching TV, and the front door is suddenly thrown open. Your breathing speeds up, your heart races and your muscles tighten. After a split second you realise it’s the wind, and that no-one is trying to break in. Yet, your mind went into overdrive, projecting and imagining demons, monsters or criminals. For that split second you were so afraid, you reacted as if your life was in danger, but, in reality there was no danger at all. Most of our fears (as we shall see through the following chapters) are the result of imagination. What the mind thinks and believes, the subconscious creates.
One of the solutions to certain fears is to repeatedly expose ourselves to the thing we are afraid of, ideally in a positive way. Using this exposure therapy, we gradually bring down the physiological fear response until it’s gone or is at least manageable. Avoidance is certainly not the answer. Try to do something that scares you – talk to a stranger in a lift, speak up in public, contact an old friend that you have fallen out with. But, do everything in small steps. Observe your response and measure it from 1-10, then you can watch the fear reducing, as this automatically dilutes it.
As Mark Twain states: “Courage is not the absence of fear, it is acting in spite of it.”
Face it, see it clearly and you’ll see it diminishing. Just have the thought: “I’m in control. I can deal with it, everything is okay.”
The Way to move away from Phobia Fear
Our phobias can create acute fears that can be quite out of proportion to the action or object concerned. We can be aware that our fear is irrational, but at the same time be at a loss to reason it out. This situation is not helped by others who do not regard the situation or thing as particularly threatening and so give little or no sympathy to such areas as: fear of driving; fear of heights; fear of confined spaces; fear of needles; fear of insects. And so on.
We are often presented with the Reality Frame versus The Fear Feeding Frame: thoughts like “… the plane is going to crash…,” but I know it’s not going to crash, however I keep thinking it.
Phobias have their origins in many possible areas, such as: incidents or traumas; learnt responses; genetics; responses to panic or stressful interactions. So it is useful to analyse the phobia to find the trigger, which can help to remove the emotional response. It helps to remember the event or situation rather than the emotion. Thus we try to understand where the phobia comes from and how it arrives by talking to ourselves.
I know it’s just my imagination, it’s a silly childish fantasy, so I let it go, for I know everything will be fine.
The Way to move away from the Fear of Failure and Success
Here again, we are actively imagining what a new incoming change will bring. This often sabotages innovation and newness. So again we need to talk to ourselves.
If it’s meant for me, I’ll get the job. A jigsaw piece will only fit into the place meant for it. Failure is the springboard for success. It was my qualities and talents that got me noticed, that got me the job. I am able to successfully accomplish what is now being asked of me.
An initial lack of success is like a darts player teeing up the successful dart with one or two preliminary ‘sighters’.
It’s good to remember that many successful individuals such as JK Rowling, author of the famous Harry Potter fantasy series, and the sprinter Michael Johnson, four times Olympic gold medal winner, had a lot of so-called failures and rejections before they achieved their success. Let’s talk to ourselves…
I am able, I have ability. I know, deserve and can handle whatever success may come, and if things don’t exactly work out, I can handle that, and that’s OK too.
Excerpt taken from ‘How to Relax Your Mind – The 10 Best Ways’, by Jim Ryan and Simon Ralph