I was driving my daughter to pre-school and as we drove by some homes with Halloween decorations, she exclaimed, “Ooh, that’s scary!” There’s a lot of things that scare her now. She recently declared she was scared of “goose,” which perplexed me until I realized she meant “ghosts.” Last year, she was deathly afraid of Darth Vader no thanks to my husband for putting on his Darth Vader mask thinking it would be fun to show her. From that point on, she freaked out at every sight of Darth Vader.
Everyone has fears. Spiders, airplanes, heights, water, clowns or Darth Vader. I once wrote some of my fears in a song called “Paralyzed”:
“Fear of the unknown, of the things unseen
Of being left alone or caught somewhere in between
Don’t wanna finish last, failure haunting me”
Some fears may be silly but some are debilitatingly real. Some fears can prevent you from living your life to your greatest potential. What fears plague you? Here are some tips to help you get over your fears.
#1 Seeing others conquer the fear
I have a mild fear of heights. Specifically, I have a fear of descending from heights. I hesitate going down steep stairs, ladders, ski slopes, etc. What helps me conquer this fear is seeing others go down whatever steep obstacle I’m fearful of and do it successfully. If so and so can make it down safely, then I have confidence I can make it down safely. If I see multiple people make it, then I have even greater confidence I can do it and there is nothing to be afraid of in the end.
#2 Don’t face it alone
It’s important to share your fears and have people in your life that won’t belittle your fears. It may not be a fear for someone else, but your fear is real to you. I think what we also fear is being along facing our fears. I always feel better when someone is with me walking down a steep flight of stairs. If I have fears of failure, it means the world having that friend who can encourage me that I’ve accomplished other things in life and that many successful people have failed before they succeeded. Even facing the fear with someone who has the same fear can be helpful because you can understand one another and spur each other on.
#3 Shrink the object of your fear
Break down your fear to something manageable. Going down 50 steps on a staircase is very scary to me. If I break it down and tell myself I’m only going five steps at a time, it’s not as daunting. I just have to do it 10 times and I’ll be at the bottom. If you’re afraid of spiders, consider how much smaller they are compared to you. If you’re afraid of clowns (and apparently I’m not the only only one who thinks clowns are scary since “killer clowns” is a trending thing right now), remember there’s a regular person behind the makeup or mask.
#4 Have faith
Ultimately, you need to have faith that everything will work out and you will be ok. I have a strong faith in God and praying for strength to conquer my fears is helpful to me. You may find your faith in something else but faith is key to overcoming your fears. Without faith, we have doubt and doubt is what leads to fear. I’m only afraid if I doubt I’m going to make it down a ladder.
I know it’s harder to get rid of fears and insecurities if you’ve been harmed by your objects of fear in the past. I shared with you some of my fears and many are works in progress. There are different kinds of fears and not all of them can be addressed in the same way. Hopefully these suggestions help you stop being paralyzed by your fears and start making progress to overcome those fears.