How to Conquer Your Fears

Tips to face your fear


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Franklin D. Roosevelt, the great American president, once said, “the only thing to fear is fear”. He who was himself so great a conqueror of disability and pain (Roosevelt was disabled by polio) brings us, in these words, face to face with one of the great enemies of human happiness, efficiency and success.

If we want to battle with fear and conquer your fear – then we are indeed well on the way to securing the richest blessings life can offer. And let it be said right away that fear can be fought, and can be conquered by us all.

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“the only thing to fear is fear”

Our fears vary tremendously from one person to the next.  Some are vague and indeterminate. Others are all too painfully clear and real. Some are of an intensely personal nature – fear of some particular individuals or our own domestic life. Some are wider, and may indeed embrace the whole of mankind – fear, for example, of atomic warfare.

Whatever our fears may be, they have much in common, and the method we apply to conquer our fear or the strategies we apply to face them and conquering them is broadly the same.

Here then are five ways to conquer your fear:

Face your fears:

Those  who say glibly “Put your fears behind you” do not understand very much either about fear,  or about human nature. To try airily to dismiss your fears is not only well – nigh impossible but often also highly dangerous. The effect of the attempt may be only to drive the fear more firmly into the subconscious.

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Rather, own aim should be to bring fears out into the open, where they can be examined, and seen for what they are. This is not to suggest that by facing fears they will automatically vanish. It is here that we meet the next step in fighting fear.

Assess your fear first before starting to conquer your fear:

When fear is faced frankly and openly, recognizing the fact that we are afraid and refusing to pretend that we are not, then we are in a much better position to see exactly what is the nature and force of our fear.

Some fears will indeed seem to have been not worth worrying about. I remember waking up in the middle of the night, when a child, with the dread sense that a bat was flying wildly about the bedroom. Fortunately, a light switch was close at hand. The bat was in fact only a moth.

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That is typical of many of our fears. Imagination magnifies our fears until we examine them in the cold. We examine them in the cold light of reason. This is why worries and anxieties, which seem so formidable at three o’ clock in the morning fall into  a more reasonable perspective when we face them the following day. This process of assessment of trying to see our fears for what they really are, may have the effect of dispelling them altogether.

Some of our fears will be real enough. Our examination of them will only lead us not to dismiss them but to take appropriate action.

Share your fear to conquer your fear:

Once the reality and nature of certain fears are recognized there is often a good deal to be said for telling someone else about them. One level of this process of sharing is that of some intimate friendship.

Those who are ministers, doctors, psychiatrists or social workers know from their own experience how mere listening can be of tremendous help to those whose minds are haunted by fears. Many a fear seems to lose its grip because it has been put into words publicly.

“Do the thing you fear, and the death of fear is certain”.

by Ralph Waldo Emerson truly

This sharing may need to be on a different level from that of mere friendship. At times expert guidance and professional help are needed. For example, some people carry about with them a secret fear that they are suffering from some incurable disease. Sharing is required here but at the level of expert medical advice. The fear may be groundless but only a medical expert can say something authoritatively. A fear shared is a fear halved.

Disable your fear before you an conquer your fears:

Ralph Waldo Emerson truly said: “Do the thing you fear, and the death of fear is certain”. One man tells now for months after passing his driving test, he never ventured in his car into the centre of the city where he lived. One day he had two calls to make at opposite sides of the busiest part of the city. The obvious thing was to go through the city from one point of the other. Time was short and this was an additional spur. But over all this was a sudden realization that once he had done it he had conquered his fear not only for that once but for all time. So it proved.

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To do the thing we fear to do, and to do it now is the surest way of disabling and disarming it.

Replace your fear with confidence and, positive thoughts:

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Nature abhors a vacuum. This is true in the mental realm as, well as in the physical. True, for rest and relaxation our minds need to be cleared of tense, irritating, disturbing thoughts. But the process is better thought of as one of replacing rather than of emptying. Disturbing thoughts are to be driven out by filling the mind with thoughts of peace and tranquility. This is what is sometimes referred to as “the expulsive power of a new affection”. The mind can only normally  cope with one idea at a time. Thus, if a thought strong, positive, confident enough can be put into the mind, it will drive out weaker, disturbing thoughts and take possession of the mind.

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