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Summary – 6 sure tricks to overcome fear

One summer evening during a violent thunderstorm a mother was tucking her son into bed. She was about to turn off the light when he asked with a tremor in his voice,

“Mommy, will you sleep with me tonight?”

The mother smiled and gave him a reassuring hug. “I can’t dear,” she said. “I have to sleep in Daddy’s room.”

A long silence was broken at last by his shaky little voice: “The big sissy.”

/end

:) I love the joke. Just love how simple the mind of children can be.

I still remember that there was time when I was still children that I’m terrified of the sound of thunder. And the fact that my parent switched off the television just make it harder to ignore :)

I’m not sure how, but over time, I seem to lose that fear. It makes me wonder though, how can we overcome our fear?

1) Knowledge
This is what I think destroy my fear entirely. I may have learnt more about lightning and thunder and understand that the sound of thunder is actually just loud noise. No danger there. And that if you can hear the sound, means you are still alive and safe.

When you know how to swim, your fear of water will slowly fade away. It will help if you actually enjoy swimming.

2) Check what starts the fear
Some fear start at the subconscious level. Maybe you are afraid of height because once in your childhood you’ve fallen from a tree. You may not remember the incident, but the fear of height has developed from it.

All you need to do now, is to try to trace back the exact root of your fear. The more we know about it, the more ready we will be to overcome it.

3) Face it one small step at a time
This is one of the most important step in overcoming you fear. We can say we are no longer afraid of spider, but there’s no point when there is one and we just walk away. Face the fear.

Maybe we can try this, find a dead spider first. Take it in our hand and examine it for a while. That shouldn’t be a problem right? Later maybe we can try with live small ones,

The change must be gradual. Don’t overwhelm yourself with Tarantula or Spiderman just yet :)

4) Get help from friends
There must be at least one friend of yours who doesn’t share the same fear. Get help from them. For example, you are afraid of computers (which is ironic, since you will not be able to read this if you are). Have the friend at your side while you swith one on.

5) Just throw the fear away
What would you do if you are afraid to see blood, but there is an accident happening right in front of you. Do you walk away?

No, you shouldn’t. What you should do (besides calling for ambulance) is to throw that fear away for a while. People may be dying there, and you worry about some blood?

6) Ask – can you die?
Some fear is very ridiculous. Like fear of birds. Just ask yourself, can you actually die if a bird peck you? There’s never an incident recorded from history of people killed by a bird. So why then are we afraid?

This is actually a good mantra to repeat when you are overcoming your fear. “The worst case scenario is I die, and there’s no way I’m going to die from this”

Conclusion – We may be content with our fear, but why living with one? overcome them and be a better you.

– I wonder –
What’s your fear?

———– Personal Note ———–
One of my fear was needle. I’m stressing the word WAS. But one time, I was diagnosed with a dengue fever and admitted to ward. There, they poked me with needles so many times that I lost count. That time on, I am no longer afraid of needle :)

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This post has 14 comments.


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  1. Dianne
    19 Mar 08 9:47 am

    Perhaps you have a suggestion for this one. My mother is 83. Her fear is death, with good reason (I think). To push it away, she buries herself in stuff/junk, refuses to make friends (because friends just die), and makes herself miserable out of her fear (and she’s not doing much for my brother who is her caretaker). So how do we deal with the fear of death itself? Knowledge is not much help on this one since anything we know is based on belief or faith rather than facts. Any ideas? I don’t know how long she has, but it saddens me that what time she has is being spent huddled and withdrawn. A psychiatrist has determined there is nothing wrong with her mentally, prescribed anti-depressant medicines, but even those don’t do much good. She has a right to fear dying…but is there any way to make the next year or two or three easier for her??? (She’s not actually sick–perhaps she’s really afraid of outliving her children and being left with no one to take care of her.)

  2. filantera`
    19 Mar 08 12:37 pm

    mmm

    used to have fear for lorry……and now i can overtake lorry by left side (i know its wrong sorry) while shouting, “sorry optimus prime!!!”

    dear Dianne,

    i feel sorry for your dear mother. believe me, i know how it feel because right now i am taking care of my grandmother at almost the same age as your mother.

    this is what i do. i try to cherish every moment of her life… do what she really enjoyed. and take care of her health without too much stress.

    find out what she likes most. maybe shopping. or maybe she has something she want to do for a looooong time, maybe visit niagara falls perhaps. and let her not think about death. cherish every single day of her life. Most of all……..love her the most. at least, she will feel like, if she was going to die tomorrow, there are no regrets left.

  3. 19 Mar 08 3:02 pm

    Dianne – I agree with you, that the knowledge approach may not be as useful for this specific case. The elderly especially at that age will usually has a strong foundation of what she believe, and it’s not that easy to introduce new ones.

    I strongly think we should go deep to figure out what is actually bothering her. Maybe these questions help

    1) Is there a time when she is living her life? (I mean, exactly the opposite of her condition now)

    2) What incident trigger the change? maybe the death of family members, friend etc

    3) How exactly did you know that she is having fear of death?

    Now these questions should highlight the root of the problem. It may not be fear of death after all. Maybe she is just depressed, or frustrated with an incident etc.

    Assuming that she is afraid of death as you mentioned. And that she is hiding away avoiding friends and the world. Since she hides from the world, maybe we can bring the world to her

    But please don’t overwhelm her with buffet of food, or friends visitting every single day. We should start with what she love the most. If for example, she likes to read, drop her a book (of course an interesting ones). Preferably a thin one so that she can finish it fast and the excitement is still there to start another one.

    If she dislikes having friend over, why not ask one of her bestfriend to write her a letter. Make it official with stamps and all. She may read it or not, but most probably she will, and when she does, she is one step closer to letting other people in her life.

    Try other things too… but remember to only use her favorite things. Let her find her way back slowly..

    Hopefully this will help

  4. 19 Mar 08 3:07 pm

    filantera – Please stop doing that kay.. My son/daughter still need his/her uncle :) Even though I can guess what trigger that fear of lorry

  5. tic
    19 Mar 08 6:31 pm

    fear wiht death… everybody scared if talk about it

  6. banji
    19 Mar 08 6:53 pm

    tic – unfortunately it’s inevitable. So the only way to cope with the fear is sometimes to understand it. that’s where religion usually comes in.

    I believe in Islam, it is actually advised to think of death in order to motivate us in living better life, right?

  7. Dianne
    19 Mar 08 7:33 pm

    Thank you for the ideas. When one is too close to a situation, it is easy to think in terms of the problem instead of solutions. Greatly appreciated answers.

  8. 19 Mar 08 7:34 pm

    Hmm… I heard of this surefire method that drives phobia away too.
    It works something like this:
    With your eyes close.. Imagine you see yourself from your eyes. Then slowly ask them to change their vision form their eyes to above the room, as though the participant is a camera from above watching themselves. Then imagine interacting with a spider (with the camera perspective)
    well, something like that…
    They say this method works because whatever is further from you doesn’t seem so much as a threat as compared to experiencing the real deal in a close distance.

  9. 19 Mar 08 8:11 pm

    6 Sure Tricks To Overcome Fear…

    I still remember that there was time when I was still children that I’m terrified of the sound of thunder. And the fact that my parent switched off the television just make it harder to ignore….

  10. banji
    19 Mar 08 10:16 pm

    Dianne – A pleasure to help.. Do keep us updated ya? :)

    3POINT8 – That’s an interesting approach. Thank you for sharing :)

  11. ruhi
    19 Mar 08 10:27 pm

    talking about fear,, remember banji.during our silat lesson.one step of our silat is to do the ‘gulung tenggiling’ (tul ke istilah ni,tak ingat dah) until now i can’t do that. kind of jealous when i saw banji,abg syak,n other gayong warrior(cewah2) perform the act nicely n smoothly. “wah,dasatnye depa buat,nampak macho n cantik je” … tension tension

    dulu time join silat,try2 gak nak buat,tp mmg tak jadi langsung.takut tengkok terkehel.skrg ni,dah nak jd mak budak,lagi la langsung tak pernah try dah.. rasanya takleh diatasi sampai bile2 kot,, sadis, sadis

  12. banji
    19 Mar 08 11:18 pm

    ruhi – long time no hear ruhi :) hows the honeymoon

    Yes, those Silat learning days are really good times. The trick actually is to cast away any fear. Then only the move will be non-hurtful. That’s the irony right? the more you are afraid, the more hurtful it will be :)

    Dah nak jadi mak budak?? tahniah!

  13. sam
    04 Apr 08 3:18 am

    Im 16 and i dont know why but i have such a terrifiing fear of thunder i take sleep pills when it comes to try and sleep it out i stand out side before the storm and study the weather. Before it i start to think
    “dam dam dam a stroms comeing!!” and i freak my mind out thinking there shalll be something bad!! its phycolgical with me.

    also one more fear is end of the world i know this sounds so very very pefetic but you know lol lots of fears are!!

    x

  14. banji
    04 Apr 08 10:30 am

    sam – That’s no pathetic :) We all have our strength and weakness. Instead, I think you are pretty much on the right way, since you already knew what you’re afraid of.

    The next step is to do a lot of research in those things. Like try to understand how lightning can be dangerous, how end of the world would happen.

    In short, have you tried the tips outlined here? :) tell us how it’d go

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