The birth of fear...
Is there anything more primal than survival? Unless you're trained to be extreme you will fear anything that can put your life in danger. It's an instinct deep rooted. Fear is honest but what isn't honest is the true danger to your survival.
Almost two years ago now I conquered my fear of the so called eight legged freak. I understand where my earliest stages of this phobia was developed. Films like Arachnophobia where the giant queen of tarantulas was given a killer personality. All who came across these killer tarantulas had no chance of escaping it's deadly venom. The film had me jumping, ducking and diving. I was a hot sweaty itchy fidgity mess just watching the film. Spiders became a serious issue. I had to avoid them or accept something terrible.
Spiders along with heights were my most terrifying fears. Today I'm no where near as afraid as I once was.
I have hypnotherapist Nick Mawer to thank for this for his incredible lessons. I'm going to share a story based on a true story Nick shared with me. "A friend of mine was working in his dark neglected attic doing DIY. As he was banging nails into the wood he couldn't help to notice a series of cobwebs surrounding him. He became immediately on edge and off focus worrying about the habitant with 8 speedy legs, beady sharp eyes and fangs that he just spotted in the middle of his web. He had a job to do so he held his ground but kept a watchful attentive eye on the spider who lifelessly stayed still minding his own web. The man kept banging in the nails as the spider did nothing. A few hours passed and the man began to forget about the spiders presence. By the end of the job the man felt less scared and even plucked up the courage to take a closer look at the mysterious lifeless spider. Then suddenly the spider pounced. And the man jumped with fright. The man quickly realized that the spider was afraid of the man. The mans bravery over time saw him conquer his fear. He then went on to help others. When every human was cured of spider fears he invested into research to cure spiders fear of man.
Okay so I got carried away with the story but the first bits are true. The man did go on to conquer his fears according to Nick. The strategy was distraction of anxiety. The man in the story started off in his scary environment. He was in a position to do or die. Banging the nails into the wood was an exercise that helped him increase his feel good hormones like serotonin. Over time his breathing became more relaxed and his body no longer recognized danger. Adrenaline wore off. Interesting...
So that's one strategy.
Put yourself into a do or die environment and find a D.I.Y type exercise to distract your anxiety. Be aware, hold your ground and focus on your D.I.Y task. Over time breath slow and see the threat as a friend. Create your positive environment by being positive in your thoughts. Of course this worked a treat for my fear of the Chilean Rose Tarantula. Okay, lets back track. I should point out I don't necessarily mean home improvements when I say D.I.Y (do it yourself).
Where this might not work....
However If I had to jump out of a plane with a parachute I'm sure this strategy could work but won't if I don't trust that I will survive. The question, what if the parachute doesn't open comes to mind? I'm not sure If I trust this extreme process and I don't want to die like this. HEAVY for a Thursday morning!......Faith questionable? I'm able to work on roofs now so that's a big thing in terms of my fear of heights! So no need for the extreme. Take control ;-)
What's your fear?
Working out, meeting new people, spiders, butterflys, heights, other?
I challenge you to face it. If you can't do it alone I recommend you reach out my friend Nick Mawer, myself or someone close to you.
The world's a less scary place when I face it,