How to Conquer Fears

You cannot conquer all your fears, but there is an easy way to know which ones you can.

Conquering your fears is 2 easy steps: First, learn about what you fear, and second, if you learn that your fear is not truly a threat to you (or a big enough one), you must be directly exposed to it.

The reason you must first learn about what you fear is because there might be a damn good reason to fear it. Heights, for example, most certainly are a healthy fear. Now, heights may be a fear you can mostly conquer, but in this case, you shouldn’t want to, because heights can most certainly harm you and there will never come a day when they don’t.

As for the second step, exposure, you can ask anyone who spends a lot of time understanding human psychology, from psychiatrists to psychologists, and they will all tell you the same thing: Exposure is the best cure for any fear.

Remember as a child when you didn’t want to learn how to swim because you were so terrified of drowning, but then you actually learned how to swim, and now you wonder how you could ever have been so afraid?

Exposure is the cure. Well, learning combined with exposure.

I am terrified of tarantulas. I haven’t taught myself to overcome my fear of them, but if I were to live in, say, South America, then I most certainly would have taken the time to conquer this fear of mine by now. As far as I know, most tarantulas are harmless to humans. So, if I wanted to conquer this fear, I most certainly could. I’d have to hold a tarantula in my hands and let it ….. crawl over me …. a good number of times. I’d hate it at first, but I know in time, I wouldn’t mind anymore.

Fear is a necessary survival mechanism. Hollywood is stupid when it comes to this subject, because they don’t understand this simple fact. Fear isn’t an evolutionary defect, it is our brain’s way of alerting us to danger. But we are animals – we are cowardly primates – and our brain doesn’t always know what the hell it’s talking about.

Most importantly, conquering fear doesn’t always mean you no longer have that fear.

Sometimes conquering fear simply means learning to function around that which you fear. Sometimes it means learning to keep your fear from getting in the way of what you must do, but simply reducing it to a manageable degree. If I were to conquer my fear of tarantulas, it probably wouldn’t mean I became completely cured of my arachnophobia. After all, some arachnids most certainly are dangerous, and it’s a good fear to have when you don’t know if the creature in front of you is poisonous or not.

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