Tips to Stop Fear Ruining Your Life

Why am I scared?

Firstly, what are you fearful or scared of?

Is it heights? Talking to new people? Some people are even scared of baked beans.

Everyone has their fears and for all different reasons.

And you never question that fear, you just distance yourself from whatever it is you are scared of and hope that you will never find yourself in that situation again.

Conquer that fear

In order to conquer that fear you need to understand why you are scared. You need to look into the past and present so as to understand which feelings are underneath that fear.

Here is a typical exchange that I might have with a client suffering with the fear of talking to new people. This is a hypothetical scenario:

Therapist: ‘What is it about talking to someone new that fills you with fear’

Client: ‘I am scared that I will not ‘ know what to say or will stumble my words.

Therapist: ‘What’s wrong with that?’

Client: ‘Well then they will think I’m a fool.’;

Therapist: ‘But, you would never see them again.’

Client: ‘Well, they might tell other people that I am a fool and then everyone would think less of me.’

Therapist: ‘Who are these people that would think less of you?’

Client: ‘I don’t know them, but I might meet them and then everyone would think I was a fool.’

This scenario brings to light the judgement one might feel when talking to new people. Fear of making a fool of themselves whilst also being judged, and thinking that judgement would become part of their identity.

This is one example, but not everyone is the same. What are your personal reasons behind your specific fears? Whether it is fear of failure or feelings of sadness around a loss, it can be anything that you connect and identity with.

Tips to help you understand.

Something you could try at home to help uncover this is a Thought Record:

Think of a situation that makes you feel scared, write out why you are scared and then what feelings are evoked. By doing this you are making the situation real, understanding a part of yourself that you have always run from, as previously, the fear has been too much to bear.

It wouldn’t surprise me if while you are doing this exercise, certain memories are evoked, maybe memories of where this fear came from.

Our fears are routed from the past so by shining a light on them we can understand where they come from, how they affect us now and then start making plans to change the way we relate to those situations.

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