Facing your fears

Facing your fears

We all have our own fears and insecurities. As kids, we were born fearless and very brave. But in time, as we grew conscious, we did experience things that led us to feel afraid of experiencing them again. This is how we all developed the fears we have today.

Fear is a normal response to everything that might put our safety and security in danger. Without it, we might not be able to protect ourselves from legitimate threats. The problem with fears is when we have the same response to imaginary or out of proportions threats. This usually happens when we have gone through a trauma or bad experience in the past and we are just scared of that thing being repeated again.

Getting over your fears

There’s only one way to get over our fears, insecurities and traumas. And that is to expose ourselves to them. Face them and learn things can go bad, but they usually turn out just fine. We need to realize this is life, and learn how to make things work in our favor instead of living with these fears.

In case of traumas, we can ask for specialized support to help us face them. But facing them is still the only way to go about getting over them and live again fully.

Let’s look into more details into some of the most frequent fears people have and see how we can fight them. I’ll use personal examples as well, as some of them I’ve experienced on my own. And one can speak best of the things he or she has experienced. I hope you can relate, or at least get the idea of how to fight your own fears in order to get rid of them.

Public speaking

After death, the second fear people have is of public speaking. And it can be really terrifying having to speak in front of an audience, be it of only a dozen people. We don’t even want to think about a really large one. Having so many eyes looking at you, waiting for you to impress them, yes, it can be really scary. Out of all the people in the room, you are the one being looked at. And when all the lights are on you and the room gets silenced waiting for you to start, oh my, you really feel like you’d want to be anywhere but there…

Still, this is a matter of getting used to that feeling of being in front. Of leading the audience into the story you’re about to say. It takes practice to be able to ignore those scary feelings, trembling voice and shaking hands. But you need to eat this elephant if you want to be able to speak in front of other people and inspire them. If this is none of your interest, skip this and move on to the next headline.

Being able to speak in public is more or less like learning to drive. In the beginning, you need to pay so much attention to the car’s gear, windows and the many signs. You are really not able to speak with anyone else in the car or even listen to music. In time, once you get to automatically do some things, driving becomes easy and you are relaxed, able to enjoy the talk with the other passengers or listen to music.

Same goes with public speaking. Only by practicing you’ll be able to not think any more about your nervousness and beating heart. And only by practicing you’ll be able to enjoy it as you initially wanted. Start maybe with a smaller audience made of friendly faces, then challenge yourself every time with a larger, not so friendly audience. Go to toastmasters meetings, those are a great way to get you in the right position to start as a public speaker. They’ll teach you techniques to be a great one, and will also put you in a position to practice.

Heights

This is definitely one of my fears as well. Being high above and look down is something that terrifies me, makes me tremble and gets my mind stuck. It’s hard to think I’m still safe and all is well. I’m sure many of you can relate to what I am saying, the fear of heights is a pretty common one, even if some of us feel it stronger than others.

To overcome it, we need to confront it. One really scary thing you can do (I’ve tried it and it’s super awesome in the same time) is to try Google Maps in augmented reality. You literally are outside planet Earth, between stars. And look at the Earth from space. Then you get closer to the Earth, fly above mountains, and explore how our world looks like. From above. It’s shit scary, but extremely beautiful as well. I literally felt my legs cannot move at all and my heart beats like crazy. But it was such a great experience.

Other ways in which you can face the fear of heights is to climb tall buildings and enjoy the city view from above. Or climb high mountains or go wall climbing. Whatever is within your reach, do it soon and do it often. Start smaller and then go higher and higher, till you’re able to take a glider and go on roller coaster with no fear!

The fear of flying

This is a very common fear, approximately 30% of the population is afraid to fly to a certain degree. What helped me overcome this fear was to understand the principles of flying and learn what helps to face this fear. Everything is covered in this older article, where I am detailing on how I’ve discovered what works for me and how I applied everything in order to fly at ease.

I would only add that there are more and more flying simulators you can go to in order to experience flying and turbulence and face your fears of these.

Being alone

I have a really strong opinion on why being alone is healthy for any individual, at least for a while, during some key moments in one’s life. There’s a recent rant I wrote on this topic, and on what does it really mean to be on your own.

Some people are just afraid of this to the point they accept toxic relationships, being unfairly treated, while other accept extremes, such as a violent treatment. Facing this all and giving it up in order to be alone is an act that requires courage. Requires facing all the demons and fears I know you experience.

-Learn to be alone and to like it. There is nothing more freeing and empowering than learning to like your own company.-Mandy Hale

I have been through that, and not once. The worst is when you live in a foreign country, your family is not around and you are simply on your own. You can’t afford to sit down and feel afraid. And strangely, you don’t even think of that. Somehow, you do find the courage to move on, to learn, to grow and enjoy the days to the best you can possibly do. What happened to me when I lived alone in a foreign country? I ended up visiting Asia, Brazil, Tunisia, and 20+ countries in Europe. I did meet people around the world and experienced things not many people experience. Is this bad? Don’t think so.

What happened to me when I moved in alone after a break-up? I ended up investing in new projects, discovered what my true passions are, and did what I was never allowed to do before. I felt free, and I took advantage of that. To the fullest. And when I was ready, the right one came along and now I still feel free and happy, I still pursue my dream and I feel more alive than ever.

Face this fear. Be on your own. Travel, explore, get to know the world, and get to know yourself. Being afraid of this and making compromises leads only to soul death. A lengthy, slowly, painful death. Don’t let your soul die. It’s not worth it! It feels awful too. Trust me, I’ve been through that and now my only fear is not to get back there ever again. But this is another story, for another time.

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