is for fear. Fear can be a good thing. It keeps us from touching a hot stove, or walking down a dark alley (hopefully!). It’s a protective, survival instinct. There are three other types of fear that we might not think about all the time:
1. First, we can’t forget the sort of fun, oogedy-boogedy chiller fear we get when we watch horror flicks or go to a haunted house around Halloween. That scares us for a bit, but we get over it because we know it’s not real, it can’t hurt us.
2. Internal fears. These are usually triggered by things or events outside of you. But, they are caused by internal emotions, which can make them hard to recognize. They show up as our fear of failure, fear of success, fear of rejection, lack of self worth and doubt.
3. Subconscious fears. Our fears become so internal that we start to believe them, and this truly limits us. An example of a limiting belief (or subconscious fear) is thinking you’ll never get a job because every job you’ve ever had was terrible. Or thinking you’ll never get married because really you’re truly worthless.
Here are five steps from the University of Florida’s Counseling and Wellness center on how to handle fears:
- Get clear in your mind what it is that you’re afraid of. Ask questions like, “What about that scares me?”
- Become aware of your self-talk. What are you saying to yourself that scares you?
- Exaggerate the bad consequences you fear. Begin to recognize that you were probably already exaggerating and didn’t know it and that what you feared is indeed and exaggeration already.
- Visualize yourself still being afraid, but handling the situation in an acceptable manner.
- Gradually expose yourself to the feared situation by doing things that more and more closely approximate what you fear.
Here’s to a wonderful day!