Overcoming Phobias & Irrational Fears: How To Overcome Fear Of Flying, Driving, Needles, Height & Public Speaking
We are all familiar with fear because it is what we all experience at some point in our lives. We fear losing a loved one, we fear failing an exam/ interview, we fear rejection, we fear uncertainty, in fact, uncertainty is fear on its own. This singular reason has kept most of back from achieving a lot of things we set out to achieve.
Fear is universal – regardless of who you are or where you come from, we all have experienced or are still experiencing it. It makes us feel withdrawn and literally stops us from getting things done. It stands as the stumbling block between us and a particular dream or goal.
How Fears/Phobias Work
Imagine you want to start up a business, something you have not been involved in before (jewelries for instance) what fear tells you is that there are lots of people already in the business before you so the market is saturated, it also tell you that you do not or may not have enough resources to start up your business, it also tells you that you will not have enough customers to sell your products to and a lot of things. Now this is from the peripheral aspect, when you allow it to permeate you, then you begin to see and believe all of it. So to counter fear, you have to have a possibility for every impossibility life throws at you.
For instance, if it tells you that the market is saturated or you are the first doing it, tell it that you will definitely do something different from your competitors which will leave your mark on the hearts of your consumers (for a saturated market) or that you being in the market alone is going to cater for their needs specially since it is just you in the market (for when you are trying to carve a niche for yourself). The best thing to do when fear comes is to counter it with an opposite. Learn to see the good in every situation and always keep an open mind.
What really is FEAR?
A lot of explanations have been given as to what fear really is. But to simplify it, let us look at some of the meanings that were drawn from the acronym of the word.
Two examples come to my mind easily: FEAR – False Expectations Appearing Real and FEAR – Forget Everything And Run. Whichever way you choose to look at it, it is an impediment and a stumbling block.
There are different types of Fears (there is literally a type of fear for everything, can you beat that?) Since fear is worldwide, the solutions proffered can actually serve as a template that can be followed by anyone willing to push past it and live a fulfilled life, devoid of whatever fear.
For the purpose of this work, let us look at some selected fears, there name(s) and how to overcome them:
Fear of Flying
The fear of flying or being high up in the air is called “aerophobia” or “aviophobia”. This results from when being high up in the air and then having the feeling of falling from there. Usually, people who are scared of flying find it hard to fly or stay in high storey buildings (anything more than the first floor is already high). They cannot also go skiing OE mountain climbing because looking down will make their heads spin and give them vertigo. To resolve this, here are some tips to help you: remember, they may take a while to imbibe and practise. What is important is that you are trying and making steady progress daily. Some of the tips include the following:
- Do not let yourself to be in any situation that makes you fear heights (this is for starters). Whether it is friends or colleagues or family, prefer to go at your pace. Of course you cannot continue with this fear for the rest of your life yet, no one expects that you will stop it immediately.
- Be around people who encourage you to break your fear. For instance, you cannot refuse to fly simply because you are scared (imagine having to travel to another country for work or for a vacation and missing out on it just because you are afraid). Instead, be with people who will encourage you to take it one step at a time. )
- Remember,that if virtually anyone can do it, then you, even you can definitely move past it. It also means that it is not insurmountable so wake up and brace it. The results will begin to show in about a month or more. The key is consistency and having positive people to nudge you some more.
Fear of Needles
So the fear of needles or sharp pointed objects generally is called “beloniphobia” or “aichomophobia”. People with this type of fear dread the sight of needles, pins and all sharp and pointed objects. Injections to them are like nightmares regardless of how ill they are. Some of the tips for eliminating this dese include the following:
- Have a talk with them. Talking gently with them and explaining that needles and indeed all pointed objects will cause especially when they are not used carefully. For instance, in the case of an injection, it is not something anyone enjoys, but sometimes it becomes absolutely necessary and unavoidable. You can even add (for empathy sake) that even you experienced its fear at some point in your life.
- Ask them which one they are most scare of and then begin with that one. This teaching should be practical and experimental so that as you are talking about it, they are also seeing it as well. Make them touch and handle it one after the other and explain to them that some of them are an absolute must in our daily lives (the kitchen knife for instance). It is when they are not careful enough that they can get hurt.
- Finally, five it some time and then see how they fare with it. It should not be difficult to surmount if it is taught with patience and a lot of understanding.
Fear of Public Speaking
Now this fear is very common worldwide and nearly all of us have experienced. Standing in front of tour classmates to deliver a seminar is ever easy talk more of when it is now public with a larger number of people.
This type of fear is called “glossophobia”. The people that usually suffer from this are mostly introverts, people with very low self-esteem etc. Usually when you are given a speech or a paper to deliver, the first thing that comes to tour mind is not even what to write or how to research on the given topic, your mind first goes to how many people will be coming and the calibre of people that are coming. Once these thoughts and more assault your mind, concentrating on the given task becomes an issue.
Here are some of the tips to help solve this fear:
- Realize this fear is universal, so don’t best beat up yourself. Some of the MST famed public speakers of all times faced this fear before they learned to work on it. If they can get past it, you too can only if you mean to.
- Learn that while speaking (at least for someone still trying to get past the fear) do not make direct eye contact with your audience. This is because their intense and sometimes unfriendly glare is capable of making you forgot tour well rehearsed speech. What to do? Look above their faces and then focus on staring above their heads. This way, you are not making direct eye contact with anyone.
- Do not rehearse too much. Because if you do, even something as little as you coughing or pausing to think can make you forget everything. Go in with a paper if you can but if you cannot, try and rehearse as much as you need to but also, learn to improvise and ad lib when necessary. Spice up your narration with adequate stories here and there. Such will be sure to keep your audience’s attention glued to you. As you know, the human attention span is very small and fleeting, if your content is not food enough, they get bored and rune you off their minds.
- Be confident of what you are saying. Act like you own everything that you have written down. People are always very quick to point out when a speaker sounds tensed and unsure of their selves. In this situation, all they will be waiting for is when you finish so that the questions can come This will not be an issue of you actually took your time to conduct your research.
- Try engaging your audience more. Make it an interactive session by asking them questions and asking for their thoughts on a given Just Carey everyone along as you go ahead.
Fear of Driving
This fear is very rampant even if people do not show it. People that suffer from this fear are afraid of driving and sometimes, being driven as well. This fear is called “vehicophobia”. Now picture this scenario: your child falls sick in the wee hours of the morning and you know ordering for a taxi may take a while. Yet, you have about two cars comfortably parked in the garage. Now are you going to just sit there and wait for the taxi when you are quite aware that every minute spent is precious to the survival of your child? I believe the answer is a no. So if you are dealing with this issue, here are some of the ways to overcome it:
- Start by learning how to drive. This is the first and most important stage and if you have learnt it already, congratulations on skipping the first step.
- Start by driving in streets and very short distances. Do not get into the express road yet until you are very sure you can manage on your own. Master all the techniques possible (especially how to reverse and park). You do not want to get stranded on the road.
- Ask someone with more experience to sit on the passenger seat the day you will drive on the expressway. Do not over speed bit do not go slowly either. Moderation is key. Always your foot is firmly fixed on the brake not the accelerator so that you will avoid the mistake of speeding and ramming into the next vehicle when in fact you wanted to apply the brakes.
Fear Of Heights
The fear of heights is another common fear and it is closely related with the fear of flying or being in high places. This fear is called “acrophobia” and comes when people are scared or being in elevated places.
It makes their heads spin and gives them vertigo. When they are up there, even looking down becomes a problem because it is almost as though they will lose their balance and fall. To combat this fear, the following needs to be done:
- Understand that it is almost impossible not to meet situations that you require to be in an elevated building e.g, having a meeting with say another company you people are planning on partnering with and the meeting place is on the fifth floor of the complex. Will you say you will not be there because of your fear? Absolutely ely not. So do not let that deter you. What you can do is to take it easy one step at a time. Tell yourself it is something you have to do for your own self.
Fear Of Fear
Just when you thought you had seen it all right? We now present to you the “father” of them all – the fear of fear itself.
It may sound awkward but it is the sum total of everything that deters you from achieving more.
To combat it funny enough is actually simple: just have an opposite word to combat fear whenever it starts giving you a thousand reasons why what you are planning on doing will be a failure.
Say this not just with words but backed by actions as well. Gradually, fear will become a thing of the past and you will live beyond it.
I encourage you to read this powerful article on overcoming fear.
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Have a blessed weekend friends.