Why are my fears taking over my life?
When we have a fear of something, it can have a significant affect on our life. The problem with fears and phobias is that they can start to take over in ways that we never imagined. The things that we used to feel confident in are now less comfortable. The things that we took for granted are suddenly feeling more of a challenge and the days seem a little harder because you’re avoiding the stuff that you could have done with your eyes closed. Why is it that one simple phobia has brought so much more along with it?
The answer is simple. We all have a comfort zone and we all have a stretch zone. Some of us need lots of Vitamin R (Risk) in our lives and they’re the ones who go abseiling, jump out of aeroplanes and do lots of other extreme activities to feed their adrenalin junkie lifestyle. To some people, the thought of shopping in a new supermarket is enough to bring them out in a cold sweat. Most of us lie in the middle somewhere. We like a bit of a change and a bit of risk (going somewhere new on holiday, trying out a new recipe with an unheard of ingredient) but we have our limits and we like to stick within them.
The problem lies within this element of staying within your comfort zone. As things happen and you develop a fear, or even just feel less comfortable with something, other parts of your life which had sat at about the same level of comfort can suddenly get dragged along with the original trigger. So, for example, driving on unfamiliar roads has always been towards the edge of your comfort zone; the same comfort level as driving on a motorway. You have a trigger that causes you to feel really uneasy about driving on unfamiliar roads (you were driving alone in the dark on an unfamiliar road and got significantly lost), and you suddenly find that not only has the unfamiliar road driving moved into your stretch zone, it’s taken your feelings regarding driving on motorways with it. You’re now avoiding two types of driving and your comfort zone has got a bit smaller. It may stay that way but equally, for some people, it may trigger more issues to avoid.
The good news is that with hypnotherapy, working on the fear of driving on unfamiliar roads can equally overcome (or greatly reduce) the fear of driving on motorways (which had no trigger of its own). As one was dragged out of the comfort zone, it can also be dragged back in. This is why when we overcome a challenge, we often feel more confident to take on another one.
So if you’re struggling with a fear that has developed in your life and you have no idea why or where it came from, it could simply be related to something else which has no obvious connection, it just happened to be at the same comfort level.
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About Catherine Evans
Catherine Evans is a counsellor, hypnotherapist and BWRT® practitioner working in a private practice in Reading. She works with a variety of clients and has a special interest in working with issues related to pregnancy and post-birth.