What are the Best Ways to Face Your Fears?

Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison
Some people may have fears associated with speaking to the opposite gender.
Some people may have fears associated with speaking to the opposite gender.

There are many steps you can take to face your fears. For example, you may study the object or situation you fear in order to separate the realities of your fears from the irrational thoughts that contribute to your fright. You may also observe others in situations that frighten you. Sometimes facing your fears even means putting yourself in scary situations on purpose in order to neutralize your fears. Additionally, you may consider seeing a therapist to deal with fears that are interfering with your routine or decreasing your overall enjoyment of life.

A fear of dentists can be overcome by learning more about common procedures.
A fear of dentists can be overcome by learning more about common procedures.

Sometimes rational study of the thing or situation you fear may help you get past your fright and face your fears. For example, if you have a fear of driving over a bridge, you may do well to consider whether your fear is founded. You may study bridges, for instance, and discover the features that are built to keep people safe as they drive across them. You may also learn what the likelihood is of the bridge collapsing just at the time you are driving across it. With a foundation of knowledge in mind, you may feel less afraid.

In some cases, observing others may help you to face your fears. For example, you may have a fear of approaching the opposite sex and striking up a conversation. To help combat your fear, you may observe a friend doing so. By watching your friend successfully approach a person of the opposite sex and strike up a conversation, you may see that nothing terrible happens and feel more confident about trying it yourself. Even if your friend is rejected, you may still learn something from your observations; for instance, you may learn that this type of rejection isn’t difficult to handle.

One of the best ways to face your fears is to expose yourself to fearful situations, as long as they are not harmful. For example, if you have a fear of speaking up in a group, getting practice doing so may help you shed your fear. You may start out by speaking up in a small group of people you know and with whom you feel comfortable. Once you’ve gotten some practice in that respect, you may then move on to get practice speaking up in a small group of people you do not know, and eventually, you may work your way up to speaking in front of a large group of people. By consistently exposing yourself to the situation you fear, you may eventually grow more comfortable and realize there was nothing to fear in the first place.

Sometimes fears are minor and people may function well despite them. In some cases, however, they may interfere with necessary daily activities or even things a person would simply like to do. If you find that you cannot face your fears alone and they are interfering with things you need or want to do, you may seek the help of a therapist. A therapist may use a range of different treatment methods to help you to face your fears and move on with your life.

Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison

Nicole’s thirst for knowledge inspired her to become a wiseGEEK writer, and she focuses primarily on topics such as homeschooling, parenting, health, science, and business. When not writing or spending time with her four children, Nicole enjoys reading, camping, and going to the beach.

Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison

Nicole’s thirst for knowledge inspired her to become a wiseGEEK writer, and she focuses primarily on topics such as homeschooling, parenting, health, science, and business. When not writing or spending time with her four children, Nicole enjoys reading, camping, and going to the beach.

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Discussion Comments

clintflint

@Fa5t3r - It sounds like you had a bad fear but not a debilitating one. I've known people who were so afraid of needles they simply could not sit still for them. Overcoming phobias when you can't even bring yourself to get near the thing you're afraid of is a lot harder and, in some cases, I imagine it just never happens.

Fa5t3r

@MrsPramm - I would say it depends on what the person is afraid of as well and how they react to the fear. I used to be so afraid of needles as a child that I can remember throwing up just from listening to my mother and sister talking about getting vaccinated.

I almost fainted every time I had to face one at the doctor and I didn't think I'd ever get over my fear of needles.

But I ended up facing that fear in several different ways. I donated blood whenever I could. I went overseas and needed a lot of inoculations which was hard, but it definitely helped me to get over it a little bit more. And I was diagnosed with something a few years ago that meant I needed a lot of blood tests, so I had even more chances to get used to them.

The upshot is that I am not bothered by them at all now. I donate plasma regularly, which means a whole hour with a needle in my arm and it doesn't bother me. I don't even get nervous. I just got used to them.

MrsPramm

If you have a serious phobia about something, I would suggest that you take yourself to a professional to talk about it. It's very difficult to cure a phobia even for professionals and you might end up making it worse if you try it yourself.

I basically see it as being like an injury of the body. If it's not too bad, then you can probably figure out how to help yourself with a bit of research and common sense. But if it is very bad, then common sense dictates that you get help from someone who knows what they are doing.

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    • Some people may have fears associated with speaking to the opposite gender.
      Some people may have fears associated with speaking to the opposite gender.
    • A fear of dentists can be overcome by learning more about common procedures.
      A fear of dentists can be overcome by learning more about common procedures.