What you need to know about fear and how to overcome it

What do you do when you experience fear in your life?  Do you run and hide or rise to the occasion and face it head-on?

There two types of fear in our lives; good and bad.  Good fear keeps us safe from danger.  For example, most of us have a healthy fear of tornadoes, hurricanes and other situations and people that can cause us harm.  Then there is bad fear, fear of rejection, problems or situations that could possibly be resolved and fear of consequences of our actions – just to name a few.

I know it can be easy to look at the word fear as an acronym for Forget Everything And Run.  For many years of my life, that is what I did every time when I experienced fear.  I believed that if I didn’t see, face or if I just ignored what frightened me it will just go away.  I started when I was young,  I ran, hid and avoided bad report cards, asking a girl out or even asking a friend for his phone number on the last day of school, and giving someone bad news or telling them something that I knew would disappoint them, especially when I had to face my parents after I did something wrong. 

I was young.  I was foolish.  I was wrong!  Forgetting everything and running from my fears did not make them go away, it caused unnecessary anxiety about grades, missed opportunities with girls I wanted to date, loss of friendships that still haunt me today and it made things worse when it came to punishments from my parents for inappropriate behavior.

The days of forget everything and run are behind me.  I have discovered a better way to deal with anything that frightens me and a new acronym for the word fear – Face Everything And Rise.

How to face everything and rise

  • Learn as much as you can about what you fear.  Do research and become educated.  You will either not fear what you understand, or you will have the appropriate amount of fear or concern.  Remember, knowledge is power.
  • Share your fears with your support group.  Sharing your fear with the right people can give you comfort.  You may learn that others have similar fears..  You may also learn form your support groups a way to deal with your fear that you had not considered.
  • Don’t dwell on the fear 24/7.  Be sure to set limits on researching a solution or just worrying.  Becoming consumed with your fears only give your fear more strength to interfere with your life.  You need to take mental health breaks if you are going to become victorious over your fears.
  • Distract yourself form what is causing you fear.  Walk away from whatever is causing you fear and do something relaxing.  Engage in your favorite hobby, start a new hobby, read a book, go watch a movie, take a walk or exercise.  Just do something to get your mind off your fears.
  • Draw from past success of overcoming fear.  I feel confident saying that this is not your first go around with fear in your life.  Think about situations that you feared in the past.  Are they any that are like what you fear now?  Realize that if you overcame fears in the past, you can overcome this current fear.
  • Turn your fears over to God.  Last, but most important, pray.  Prayer can allow you to let go of your fears.  Praying to God can give you hope that He will be by your side and guide you to victory over what you fear.

Benefits of facing your fears

Facing fears is an opportunity to grow and become stronger mentally and emotionally.  For me, I have found that each time I face my fears and overcome them, I gain confidence that I overcome larger fears in the future.