This is an article written by my amazing 17 year old daughter. It has a great message, so with her permission I am passing it onto you!
An important first step to end your fear is to first recognize it because according to an article on Lifehack.org, denying your fears is a way that they can integrate with the subconscious part of your brain and eventually cause anxiety. But it’s good to understand how having fear isn’t something to be afraid of and that sometimes, bravery isn’t the best option. For example, what would you do if a giant moose was charging? If you try to tackle it, you’re going down, but if you listen to fear and get out of the way, then you’ll be safer, which brings me to my next point, which is analyzing your fear.
As quoted by Seneca and found on PositivityBlog.com, “We are often more frightened than hurt; and we suffer more from imagination than reality”, which reigns true here. When we think of our fears from our own perspective, they almost always seem to be daunting dangers, looming over us and ready to strike, but if we stop and take the time to analyze our fear from a multitude of views, then it might not seem so bad, like with my fear of cicadas. Sure, for bugs, they’re loud and well-sized, but they’re actually harmless and the most they can do is land on your arm for a few seconds before flying off. However, after this step comes the hardest one; exposing yourself to those fears.
When edging out of your comfort zone, you might think at first that your fear may be insurmountable and that you’ll always be afraid. But you are capable. Look at yourself and how far you’ve come in public speaking, which according to research from PsychologyToday.com, around 25% of people report experiencing heavily. Just as seen in this class, the process of exposing yourself to your fears is done in small steps, like if you’re afraid of spiders, then maybe you can start by googling a few images of them, then looking at a spider when you find one, and eventually catching and releasing one.
However, taking those baby steps can be quite nerve wracking, and understandably so, which is why it is equally important to reward yourself for your little victories. In fact, as mentioned in an article on LifeHack.com, if you don’t give yourself a little something to celebrate your steps in the right direction, then there’s a good chance of you indirectly discouraging your improvement and maybe even just giving up. So maybe for doing something scary, you could give yourself a couple pieces of candy now, that way you can stay on track to mentally reward yourself in the long run.
To summarize, everybody has fears, but by acknowledging them, analyzing them, exposing yourself to them, and treating yourself, you can overcome them. Just as Karl Augustus Meninger said, “Fears are educated into us, and can, if we wish, be educated out”.
Edberg, Henrik. “73 Inspirational Quotes on Fear [Updated for 2019].” The Positivity Blog, 14 Sept. 2020, www.positivityblog.com/22-inspirational-quotes-on-fear/.
Rehman, Faisal. “11 Simple Ways To Get Rid Of Your Inner Fear.” Lifehack, Lifehack, 2 Dec. 2020, www.lifehack.org/articles/communication/11-simple-things-you-can-get-over-your-inner-fear.html.
Tsaousides, Theo. “Why Are We Scared of Public Speaking?” Psychology Today, Sussex Publishers, 27 Nov. 2017, www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/smashing-the-brainblocks/201711/why-are-we-scared-public-speaking.