Conquering your fears

fearLet’s face it, we all have at least one thing that scares the heck out of us but in reality, it is not at just one thing, there are many things. Fear in the context of this post is defined as a feeling of unease and anxiety caused in the presence or anticipation of danger.

The root sources of fear are mostly psychological and emotional and there are experts who have researched and written extensively about that. I read a few article about the origins of fear and my conclusion is this: fear is an emotional response to a past traumatic experience. When I looked at some of my fears, I realized they are all linked to past experiences that all had an undesirable outcome or that were not positive.

The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek. Joseph Campbell

Not having any fear is different from having fears and conquering them. If you don’t have any fear, email me and share your secret, I wouldn’t mind paying for it. If you do have the same fears as the one I share below, you will find my solutions below helpful, I hope. If you have different fears, see how you can use the principles in the solutions to help you overcome your fears.

  • Fear of deep waters. A regular adult size pool to me is deep. The safest pool of water for me is water in a bucket. Anything bigger than that scares me for two reasons: 1) I don’t know how to swim (that will change soon) and 2) I have a relative and a few acquaintances who died from drowning when I was in my late teens, early adulthood. Those two combined factors make me stay away from deep waters as much as possible, but I don’t like it. Every time I get an opportunity, I go to YouTube and watch videos of swimming lessons. I am just one step away from practicing what I am learning and once I know how to swim and can go into water
  • Fear of dog bites. Americans love pets, especially dogs. That’s great as there are dozens of benefits for having a dog. I have nothing against dogs, I actually like them but they don’t like me back much :). I am not afraid of the dogs but I am afraid of their bites. I was (almost) bitten by a dog when I was in my teen years and that experience is very funny when I think about today but it caused a trauma that is yet to be repaired. How do I intend to repair it? By owning a dog. But I will wait until I get a child who wants a dog before getting a dog that will bite me and exorcise that fear of dog bites out of my system.

I could continue with my list of fears but that will not help make my point which is as stated by Nelson Mandela: The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear. Conquering your fear will take two steps: 1) Identify and acknowledge your fear. 2) Take practical action to reduce or eliminate the anxiety your experience from that fear.

What are some of your fears, and how do you conquer them?