Most of us have a fear of something. These fears are usually world-recognized such as spiders, snakes or heights, and they seldom interfere with our ability to function normally. Some women, however, do experience fears that greatly impact their ability to enjoy daily life.
We feel fear when we feel that danger is present. Fear manifests itself as anticipation and anxiety, provoking our innate fight or flight instinct. This is why fear is inherently good: it protects us from actual danger that may be harmful or even deadly. Problems arise when fear is purely imagined or even irrational; for example, those with social anxiety disorder fear interactions that have no real threat, only the perceived idea of feeling embarrassed or judged. If unmanaged, these fears can greatly influence how we live life and prevent us from fully enjoying it.
- Identify and explore the fear. Figure out what it is you fear, and then explore the potential reasons behind it. If it is a fear of clowns, think back to when it began and where it stems from. Oftentimes we find the fears we have as adults are the result of childhood experiences and learned behaviors.
- Experience the uncomfortable feelings. When you are faced with an irrational fear, or a fear you would just like to conquer, let yourself fully experience the emotions that are filling you, but don’t let them overcome you. Identify the real emotions that are combining to form fear.
- Do it anyway. After you recognize the emotions, challenge yourself to do it anyway. Fears will never settle or calm down without actually facing them head on.
- And do it again. Consistently doing what we fear creates courage and fosters a sense of self-worth and value. The fears will begin to have less power over you and, even if you never remove the fear completely, you become more able to work around the fears so they do not stop you from fully enjoying life.
There is an incredible sense of accomplishment when we are able to push through our fears and achieve what we once thought was impossible. Overcoming fear does not mean getting rid of the uncomfortable feelings and stress it creates, but being able to manage those feelings so that they do not hinder the ability to enjoy the little things in life.