Feel the fear and do it anyway!
One of the biggest fears we face is fear of the unknown. We can’t put our finger on exactly what we are fearful about or articulate why we are fearful, therefore assuming it cannot be helped. For example, a person might be fearful about being a failure in business or unable to provide for their family. The more they think about failure, the more they believe it will happen.
The once successful businessman may have made a few bad decisions or is fearful in the current economic climate to take his business to the next level. Negative self-talk sets in and grows and grows and even although the business may still be profitable, he eventually believes he and his business are doomed. This limiting self-belief can be very destructive to the mind as it begins to impact on his other emotions and affects his ability to perform at his usual standard, stunting his personal growth. All of a sudden he finds he is fearful of public speaking or making a decision, which in the past he thought nothing of. His mind becomes conditioned to expect the worse and it often becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy.
A top athlete may have a small setback which develops into a fear of failing every time. Instead of being focused and in the ‘zone’, he may suddenly be unable to obtain this state of mind. Negative self-talk sets in and he convinces himself he cannot win.This fear affects his emotions which in turn has an effect on his physiology. He may tense up and physically be unable to perform as well as he could as a result of this emotional turmoil.
It is easy to be held back by the ‘what ifs’ and the ‘maybe’s at times in our lives. The young man may never find out if the girl in class will go out on a date if he is too fearful to ask her. The self-doubt sets in as he talks himself into believing he isn’t good enough for her, playing out in his mind ‘what if she says no or maybe I’m just not good, attractive or funny enough for her to want to go out with me’. That fear of failure stops him from ever finding out. The fear clouds his judgement and he is unable to feel the positive vibes she is sending out or see the signs that she is indeed attracted to him.
A once confident, competent driver may have a small accident that allows fear to set in. All of a sudden they go from being unconsciously competent to consciously incompetent. The fear that they have a repeat performance is blown out of all proportion which affects their anxiety levels. What was once an enjoyable activity becomes one of panic as they become tense and their concentration goes into overdrive, which in turn has a negative effect on their performance. This fear of the unknown may affect their breathing; they may sweat profusely and shake - a physical reaction to an emotional response.
Hypnotherapy can help the client to overcome the negative self-talk and dispel the irrational fear.
Common fears are public speaking, fear of failure or success, fear of flying, fear of dogs or spiders, snakes and so on and so forth.
The client can be shown self-hypnosis techniques to help him relax and control his breathing better to calm his mind and banish any fears he may harbour. Hypnosis can teach him that the fear is not real, only his perception of it is standing in his way of a successful and fulfilling life. The businessman can get the belief back that his business will succeed again, the athlete can once more get into the zone and compete to his best ability, the young man may be pleasantly surprised when the girl says yes to him once his confidence grows and the driver may realise that having one mishap does not make him or her a danger on the roads, but actually a better driver. Fear can be very debilitating if left to manifest, yet it can be overcome and a good therapist can help you do that regardless of what the fear is.
The aim of the therapist should be to help get rid of the fear so that the patient can regain control over their emotions.
As Franklin D Roosevelt said at his first inaugural speech, ‘there is nothing to fear but fear itself’.