Fear Challenges: How to Beat Fear Definitely in 9 Steps

Fear is an emotion experienced when it is perceived that there is a threat, real or imagined, in the present, future or even past. When fear is not based on something real or that really endangers your life, it will be causing you discomfort and prevent you from reaching your full potential.

Precisely that is the great problem of not fighting fears; you paralyze yourself and cannot grow as a person or achieve your personal goals. Learning how to overcome fear  and control it will give you great advantages and results in your life

  • You’ll feel better.
  • Your self-esteem will rise.
  • You will overcome the limits imposed by fear and reach your goals.
  • You will grow as a person or professional.

With what you will learn in this article, you can start to face and overcome fears as varied as animals, talking in public, talking with people, emotional dependence, heights, going out, traveling alone, talking to women, talking with men … Can you eliminate a fear at all? Some yes, although having a little bit is not going to hurt you. The important thing is to overcome it and not let it paralyze you.

How to Beat Fear

If you work to manage and master your fears, you will have more freedom, you will increase your chances of developing yourself personally and you will stop having that sense of fear so unpleasant and that prevents you from moving forward in your life.

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  • 1 Why are you afraid?
  • 2 9 Steps to overcome fear

Why are you afraid?

Can you not be afraid? Yes, although if you lose your fear of something that is dangerous, it is not beneficial for your safety. Imagine that you are not afraid to go too fast while driving. You will be much more likely to have an accident.

When you are afraid of something, it is because having a first unpleasant experience with a situation, animal or person,  you have felt anxiety and have escaped without facing it.

From that first experience, you have escaped every time you have encountered a similar situation and thus avoid the crisis again, however, it is not the best way to lose fear . 

On the other hand, there may be some fears that are innate, such as fear of heights or fear of speaking in public.

The only way to lose that fear is to face the stimuli that are avoided (public speaking, dogs, heights, people), starting with simple tasks. As self-control increases, more difficult tasks become available.

It is necessary to practice each task as many times as necessary until overcoming fear and controlling anxiety. Therefore, regular practice is necessary.

9 Steps to overcome fear

The most used and most effective technique to overcome fear is live exposure. It is based on exposing yourself to situations / things that cause you fear, little by little, self-control and overcome them.

The main objective is to break the situation-anxiety-escape sequence. For example, break the sequence “have to make a presentation in class-anxiety-flee”.

Therefore, you will approach what causes you fear.

If for example, you are afraid to travel by bus alone, you will take a trip and try to overcome that anxiety.

When you are able to stay longer and have more control over yourself, you will face more difficult situations.

To be successful in dealing with your fear, it is convenient that you follow these steps:

Note: I will use the fear of speaking in public as an example.

1-Make a list of situations that cause fear or anxiety

-To ask questions in public (being yourself part of the public).

-Respond questions in public (being yourself part of the public).

-Make presentations in public before 10-50 people.

-Make presentations in public before more than 50 people.

– Talk to unknown people.

-Talk with friends in front of other people.

-Speak you -interacting- with the audience (being you who makes the presentation).

2-Sort those situations according to the degree of difficulty

1-Talk with friends in front of other people.

2-Talk to unknown people.

3-Answer questions in public (being yourself part of the public).

4-Ask questions in public (being yourself part of the public).

5-Make presentations in public to 10-50 people.

6-Make presentations in public to more than 50 people.

7-Speak you -interacting- with the audience (being you who makes the presentation).

3-Prepare the approach tasks according to the degree of difficulty

That is, plan weekly tasks in which you expose yourself to those fears. Start with the situation that gives you the least fear, that is situation 1 (talking to friends in front of other people). This is called in the professional world of psychologists as exposure therapy.

For example:

  1. Talk with friends in front of other people.-WEEK 1.
  2. Talk to unknown people.-WEEK 2.
  3. Answer questions in public (being yourself part of the public) .- WEEK 3.
  4. Ask questions in public (being yourself part of the public) .- WEEK 4.
  5. Make presentations in public before 10-50 people.-WEEK 5.
  6. Make presentations in public to more than 50 people.-WEEK 6.
  7. Speak you -interacting- with the audience (being you who makes the presentation) .- WEEK 7.

Ideally, practice 3-5 times a week. Longer sessions tend to produce better results than short sessions.

It is recommended that you withdraw from the situation if the anxiety you feel is highlighted. That is to say, you feel dizziness, acceleration of the heart rate, muscular tension, fear of losing control …

If you have a feeling of discomfort but feel that you are in control, you can continue to expose yourself to the situation.

4-Make rewards and advance in the list

If for example you have completed situation 1, give yourself a reward.

What is completing situation 1? This: having spoken with friends -or known people- in front of other people at least once a day and for a week.

When you complete it, put a reward that you like. For example; watch a movie you like, buy a shirt …

What is completing situation 2? Have spoken with 4-5 unknown people for a week.

When you complete it, put a reward that you like. For example; watch a movie you like, buy a shirt …

Note: it is important that you do not give yourself rewards if you have not overcome the situations. 

When you reach the most difficult grade, keep practicing to keep the results, the lack of practice will make you return to the initial situation.

5- Plan your setbacks

If for example, you want to overcome the fear of swimming, do not do it alone and less if it is at sea. A plan that may arise badly.

If your fear is traveling alone, get on an urban bus so you can get off quickly if you get very nervous.

6-Tips to deal with the situation

When you find yourself in situations to overcome, you can follow these tips :

-Take your time, without hurry.

– Breathe slowly and deeply.

-If you see that it is difficult to control yourself, stop and start again.

-Premia your achievements.

-Try to stay in the situation.

In order for you to succeed in your task of overcoming fear , it is necessary that you perform these tasks constantly and with increasing difficulty. 

Remember that this technique can be done alone or accompanied. If you decide to launch yourself, remember that it is important to set realistic goals, be aware of what it is that you have trouble doing, practice constantly, perform self-control ( breathing ) techniques and plan if a problem arises.

7-Tips to face resistance to face fear

Normally you have a resistance to being exposed to situations that cause anxiety.

To overcome that resistance:

  • See if you are delaying the exposure sessions.
  • Recognize that it is normal to experience strong emotions during exposure to feared situations.
  • Avoid negative thoughts such as “never overcome fear”, “it is dangerous”.
  • Seeing therapy as an opportunity to improve.
  • Think of the rewards of overcoming fear.
  • Recognize that feeling bad in the exhibition is the way to overcome fear.
  • Do not over saturate: if you feel excessive anxiety, withdraw momentarily or repeat the next day.
  • Prepare solutions: for example, as a precaution of a possible stop of an elevator, you can bring an emergency telephone.
  • Reward for small successes.

8-To improve the results

 

-The specific information about your progress through the registers increases the effectiveness. That is, take note of your progress in a notebook. 

-Breathing training is useful in people with respiratory problems. Look at these relaxation techniques.

-The appearance of catastrophic thoughts or images makes necessary the use of cognitive (thought) restructuring techniques. Visit this article to modify your limiting beliefs.

– Cognitive techniques can increase the effectiveness of exposure; it can increase the motivation at the beginning and at the end the relapses.

9-Other modalities

Modeling

If you see that it is something very difficult for you or something that you can not control, ask someone for help, look at him and follow his instructions. If for example you try to talk in public or talk to someone, look first as your partner does and later do it yourself. 

Exhibition in the imagination

It’s about imagining yourself talking in public, talking to the guy you like or traveling alone on the bus. The problem is that the stimuli continue to provoke fear in reality therefore it is necessary to practice also live.

It can be useful: 1) when live exposure is difficult ( fear of death, fear of flying, fear of storms) and 2) to motivate when the fear of stimulation is excessive.

Exhibition through new technologies

Virtual reality consists of generating three-dimensional environments in which the person has the sensation of being physically present and interacts with the environment in real time.

The advantages are: it allows the control of what happens, you can build and manipulate the context and feel more intimacy. However, it can not replace live exposure and the cost is high.

In short, the most effective modality is self-exposure. Although at first, it may be something more “shocking” and difficult to start, it will give you the best results.
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