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10 Tips to Overcome Fear

Aug 17, 2007
Fear will keep people from accomplishing their purpose in life and from living to the full. In most cases, fears are irrational and unnecessary. Here are some tips for overcoming those limiting and harmful fears you may have in your own life.

1. Put a name on your fear. Know what it is by identifying it in detail. Once you know the enemy, it is easier to look at it like it's just another challenge that needs to be dealt with. Consider it like a room that needs to be painted or a similar common task.

2. Psychologists sometimes use a process known as systematic desensitization. The idea is to get a little closer to the feared item each time you are around it. Get used to the way the fear makes you feel. Eventually, the item will not have the capacity to create the fearful emotions in you any more. This method works well when you have an irrational fear of an animal or object.

3. Don't give up the quest to get rid of a fear. Sometimes fears can be tenacious. It can take a long time to completely overcome them, but the reward is worth it, so hang in there.

4. Don't obsess over fearful or troubling thoughts. This can be challenging in itself, but is very necessary. One idea for turning off unwanted thoughts is to think of your thoughts in the same impersonal way you might think of your stomach rumbling. "Oh, there goes my brain rumbling again."

5. Put the fear into perspective. Fears can rage like an inferno, when in reality they are little more than a candle flame. Don't let yourself waste too much energy on fearing the frightening item.

6. Don't be too hard on yourself if the old fear raises it's ugly head from time to time. Overcoming a fear takes persistence. Be patient with yourself. Let yourself be vulnerable to change.

7. Learn progressive relaxation. Sometimes it's called self-hypnosis, but whatever name you learn it by, it's a valuable skill to learn how to relax your muscles. Deep breathing is a good first step to becoming relaxed. Focus on your abdomen as you breath in deeply to a count of four. Let your stomach protrude as it fills with air. Then release the air slowly, from the top down. Take several deep breaths and then begin to relax your muscles one at a time. Focus on them individually and tell them to relax. Start with the feet and work up toward the head. Going through deep breathing and relaxation can help you face a fearful situation without the normal reactions.

8. Analyze your fears and see just how irrational they are. List reasons why it is unnecessary to let yourself be paralyzed by this fear. For instance, think of other people who aren't troubled by the fear at all. They make it just fine, so why can't you?

9. Be aware that sometimes fears become more uncomfortable at first when you challenge their hold on you. Be committed to overcoming.

10. Learn to let go. Sometimes it is hard to let go of ideas and feelings, even when they are uncomfortable and damaging. They seem right, somehow. If you are to get rid of these unrealistic fears, however, you must let them go.

You can overcome the fears that limit and control you!
About the Author
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