- I am afraid of failing
- I am afraid of what people will think
- I am afraid of ….
Many people will say ACTION is the only tool to overcome fear. I have found another one that has served clients well: reframing often works.
When you reframe the thinking about a fearful situation you can overcome the power it holds on you. Try to “trace it and erase it.” If you trace where the fear came from you can often erase its ability to control you.
Now I’m not talking about erasing the fact that something bad happened to you because you can never go back and undo that, but by realizing that many of our fears came from a single isolated event, we can learn to erase the automatic response we can reframe our thinking. I remember when I was a little kid we traveled over the Mississippi river over a toll bridge. High above the churning Mississippi we’d ride with my daddy in stop and go traffic. The tollbooth was at the apex of the bridge and, for a 6-year-old, that was a long way down. My dad probably never knew the incredible fear of bridges that he fueled in me when he teased. “Dana, did you feel that? I think it’s moving. Don’t sit too close to that car door; you don’t want to fall off.” He probably never figured out that he was fueling in me an incredible fear because for a long, long time I really had an unhealthy fear of bridges. Now I’d be lying if I told you that I love crossing bridges. I will tell you this: once I traced this fear to an incident, the kind of fear that paralyzes is gone. If you can trace it, you can erase it.
Have you overcome a fear? Please share how you did it!