How to stop being scared

This article was co-authored by Julia Lyubchenko, MS, MA. Julia Lyubchenko is an Adult Counselor and a Hypnotherapist based in Los Angeles, California. Running a practice called Therapy Under Hypnosis, Julia has over eight years of counseling and therapy experience, specializing in resolving emotional and behavioral problems. She has a Certificate in Clinical Hypnosis from the Bosurgi Method School and is certified in Psychodynamic Psychotherapy and Hypnotherapy. She earned an MA in Counseling Psychology and Marriage and Family Therapy from Alliant International University and an MSc in Developmental and Child Psychology from Moscow State University.

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Whether you’re afraid of something specific or you just tend to be anxious in general, you’re definitely not alone. A lot of people struggle with fear in their daily life, and the good news is that there are things you can do to feel less afraid in the moment as well as in the long run. This article will walk you through some simple ways you can start to face and override your fears so they don’t have as much power over you anymore.

How to stop being scared

Julia Lyubchenko, MS, MA
Adult Counselor & Certified Hypnotherapist Expert Interview. 29 April 2020. Fear is a natural response to a perceived threat, and in certain circumstances it can be healthy. However, fear can also inspire a fight or flight response in situations even when there is no threat. Take a moment to assess the situation and see if your fear is coming from an actual threat, or just as a reaction to something unfamiliar. [2] X Research source

  • If, for example, you hear a bump in the night, take a moment to think about if there are other things, such as your neighbor closing their car door, that could make that noise.
  • If there is something real, do something about it, like making an appointment to have a doctor look at the mole, or calling the police if a stranger is walking around beside your house.
  • Think about whether your reaction is due to fear or phobia. While phobias trigger fear reactions, the reactions are disproportionate to the actual danger. Phobias interfere with your ability to cope. You may need the help of a therapist or doctor to deal with a phobia.

Reboot yourself.

THE BASICS

  • What Is Fear?
  • Find a therapist to combat fear and anxiety

To me, being “rich” is not about money. It’s about living with less fear.

Now let me explain. We all have fear. If we didn’t feel fear, we wouldn’t be alive. But there’s a big difference between having fear and being driven by your fears. Most people are driven by their fears, leading them to make (or avoid making) particular decisions that pull them down a dark, sticky dead-end road.

Most of my life, I rode shotgun while my fear sat behind the wheel, steering me through life. I had fear of poverty. Fear of not being accepted. Fear of rejection. Fear of failure. Fear of abandonment. My relationship with my fear caused me to be a beta version of myself. I maneuvered at a very low frequency and, as a result, learned that people don’t really want to be around that. My feet were not planted in a particular stance. So I pretended. I scrambled. I let my fear inflate my insecurity and anxiety.

Part One

You will always have fears, but when you get to a place where you are no longer driven by them, something magical happens. You become rich. You are in touch with your value. You feel powerful. Alive. Worthy.

Anxiety lessens and potential increases, which means the chances of you also gaining financial traction increases as well as things fall into place. You become very potent.

Are you driven by your fears? Are they stopping you from doing what you want or being who you want to be? The first step is owning your fears and then identifying them. Then, of course, the question becomes, “How do I get rid of these fears?”

Well, for starters, here are three tips to no longer be driven by fear.

1. Notice your fears.

Everything starts with awareness. Think about all the fears that are stopping you from being happy. Just observe them. This process is actually incredibly freeing.

Once you do that, recognize that your fears, despite seeming very powerful, are not concrete walls. They can be dismantled and are less powerful than you think.

2. Admit that you are afraid of particular things.

Many people know what they are afraid of, but won’t admit it, especially to themselves. This resistance will only give the fear more power. Denial means you’re running instead of facing. Only when you admit what you are afraid of can you start dissolving your fears.

3. Decide you’re sick of fear.

Many therapists will try to encourage you to explore where your fears are coming from. It’s true: they started somewhere, depending on your story. Often, they will ask questions intended to help you follow the fear all the way to its roots as a way to process it. Indeed, there is a therapeutic process to overcoming your fears which requires this kind of coaching.

THE BASICS

  • What Is Fear?
  • Find a therapist to combat fear and anxiety

But you know what? At some point, you just have to make a choice to not be afraid anymore. At some point, you have to decide to enter the arena. Yes, you can actually choose to be less afraid. No, this doesn’t mean your fear is just going to go away. But it will move the ball. It will create a shift. Examine where your fears are taking you in your life and make a decision, now, to no longer allow those fears to drive your life.

Part Two

Yes, today I still worry and stress and have fears. But I can honestly say I am no longer driven by them. And the results I see in my life by keeping fear from driving my decisions is the traction I need to continue growing stronger and more fearless.

I am also not afraid of anyone, and I’m not saying in an arrogant way or that I’m better than anyone or physically stronger (because I’ll be the first one to tell you I can’t fight). I mean that I don’t depend on other people to make me happy or make me feel valuable. Years ago, I truly thought others held the power to my happiness, a belief system that was born out of fear.

Fear Essential Reads

Why the Fear of Disappointment Is Detrimental to Your Life

This Genetic Disorder Knocks Out Prejudice

A lot of times, we’re afraid of people because we want something from them or expect from them that we may not get, especially when it comes to relationships. That’s why I developed my video course How To Attract Your Soul Mate & Discover Your Life’s Purpose to share what I’ve learned in my experience as a therapist about how letting go of fears allows us to tap into our power, and radiate inner strength and charismatic energy to the rest of the world. It is that energy that attracts others, not fearfully searching for another person to “complete” you.

If you don’t want anything from others other than an organic authentic connection, there’s really nothing to be afraid of. Think about all the people in your life and who has power over you. Then ask yourself why this may be. It’s usually because you care what they think, or because you believe they have the power to take something away from you. But really, no one can take away your truth (except for you).

So what’s the fastest way to reposition your life? Not allowing yourself to be driven by your fears. Not being afraid of people because you want something from them.

When you are no longer afraid, you are completely free. If you want to be rich, stop playing the lottery and start working toward being less afraid.

If you’re ready to take action, consider becoming a certified life coach and helping others break through fear.

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7 Ways to Stop Being Scared

It is natural to feel scared of certain things or situations. It is your body’s way to tell you that certain things can be dangerous, and this often leads to a fight-or-flight response. You start experiencing problems when your fears cripple you and affect the quality of your life. You can lose your social skills if you have a fear of people. That is when you have to learn how to stop being scared and start living a better life.

How to stop being scared

7 Ways to Stop Being Scared

Know What You Are Scared Of

To learn how to stop being scared, you first need to identify exactly what makes you scared. Be specific here. Saying that you are afraid of people is never going to help. You have to determine what types of people frighten you. You may be scared of females, males, or people who do not like you. There may also be certain situations when you feel scared – it could happen when you are with a large group. Whatever it is, just be clear about it.

Talk to Someone You Can Trust

When you have a scary moment, be sure to tell a close friend about it. While it is always better to call a close friend or some family member, you can also call a hotline for people who have trouble dealing with anxiety. The idea is to talk to someone and listen to what they have to say about your irrational fears. In most cases, they can say things that would help put your fears to rest.

Practice Deep Breathing

You will not be able to learn how to stop being scared until you know how to control your breathing when anxious. The things are only going to get worse when you start hyperventilating. Learn to take deep breaths when you are anxious. This helps relax your nerves by providing your body with more oxygen.

At the same time, you can start focusing more on your breathing and less on the situation that has triggered an anxiety attack in the first place. Moreover, breathing helps calm the hypothalamus, which controls your flight or fight response.

Start Journaling about Your Fear

It always helps to develop a better understanding of your emotions when you start writing about what you feel in different situations. You can read those pointers and realize that most of your fears do not deserve that much of attention. Moreover, writing about things you might feel scared of helps bring your fears more into your conscious mind, which puts you in a better position to overcome those fears.

Learn to Develop a Detached Reaction to Things

Another good way to learn how to stop being scared is to develop a detached reaction to things that scare you. What it actually means is that you should distract yourself when you find yourself in a situation that scares you.

You can pick some mantras and repeat them when you find yourself in scary situations. Make yourself understand that things are not that bad and they will turn out well. You can also try things to physically distract yourself – simply drinking a cup of tea and focusing on its taste, warmth, and aroma can relax your nerves. Therefore, the sooner you learn to detach yourself from scary situations, the better. It will take some practice but you will eventually get there.

Try to Change Your Thinking Pattern

You feel scared of certain things because of certain pathways that are used when you encounter the same situation. In order to learn how to stop being scared, you need to understand how you can re-wire your brain and change those neural pathways. Neuroplasticity may prove beneficial because it is involved in how you learn new things. It also implies that you can change neural pathways by practicing desensitization, which involves exposing yourself to your fears gradually in controlled environments.

At the same time, you should consider learning more about how you react emotionally to physical stimuli and surroundings. If you are scared of spiders, it is mainly because you are scared of how they look. It means the physical stimulus is their appearance. Then, you experience an emotional reaction, which is fear but can spiral out of control to panic levels. Knowing the physical stimulus can help cultivate a detached reaction, which will eventually help you overcome your fear.

Encounter Your Fears

You will never be able to overcome your fears if you keep avoiding them. Avoiding things and situations that scare you intensifies those fears and never allows your body to get accustomed to those things. The better idea would be to encounter your fears but in a controlled manner.

For instance, you can overcome your fear of heights by taking short walks in relatively higher places. Ensure that those places are equipped with safety. You can then increase the height gradually to overcome your fear. The idea is to make yourself realize that you can overcome your fears only when you stop avoiding them. The more you avoid those scary situations and things, the more they are going to paralyze you. So, start confronting your fears from today!

Taking Time to Live Well

How to stop being scared

Illustration: Joe Snow

Fear can be useful – a way of coping with extreme situations. However, fight or flight mode kicks in whether the danger is real or imagined. Not in actual danger? This advice may help you bump off things that go bump in the night.

Short term

  • Breathe: deep breaths help the body to get back under control.
  • Walk: make good use of adrenaline if you’re about to approach something frightening.
  • Write it down or speak it out: this helps stop the fear from circling around (and around) your brain.

Long term

  • Identify what it is that scares you and why, and tackle it through exposure. But gradually – don’t dive straight into that shark tank.
  • Look after yourself – those old chestnuts of balanced diet, sleep, exercise and avoiding stimulants all equip you better to cope.
  • If it is too big to manage on your own, get help from a professional.

Even longer term

  • In August, scientists managed to erase fear memories in mice brains using light, so a solution may be possible for humans.

How to stop being scared

Fear of failure is common to all of us. We are afraid to fail at something. This is also the reason why most people do not succeed in life because they don’t want to fail.

But why do most people are scared of failure? Well, this goes back to school teachings. Educational systems around the world teach students to avoid mistakes. In school, failing grades will certainly rule you out of school.

This mistakes avoidance conditioned the minds of many. As a result, as a college graduate enters the real world, he/she avoids failure. The only problem is that because he/she is trained to avoid failure, he/she will not take a chance to try new things.

Therefore, the fear of failure hinders the mind to be creative and productive. No wonder why young people who have just graduated from college end up for other people and achieve the goals of their boss but never theirs.

I am not saying that school is useless. I love school and all the basic information I get from college. You just need to realize that school does not teach you everything you need to know. There are so many things that you are yet to learn and discover in real life.

So, what you can do to stop being scared of failure?

There are many things you can do to confidently face your fear. They all stem from the mind. This means that you need to restructure how you think about your current circumstance.

In this post, I will share with you some of the things you can do. These techniques work well for me. But this does not mean that these tips will work for you too. Nonetheless, these things are worth considering:

Reframe your thinking pattern

As mentioned, all the techniques that I’ll be discussing here require a restructuring of the mind. This is because all the emotions are a reflection of how you see your reality. Usually, you feel afraid due to overthinking about the impending negative experience.

For instance, because you are afraid of rejection, you start doubting yourself and thinking that you are not good enough. As a result, you abandoned your goal because you are too scared to fail.

There are at least two major problems here. First, your fear is based on unfounded belief. You don’t know for sure if the goal is indeed unachievable or if you will really fail.

Second, fear limits you from achieving something significant in your life. As a result, you won’t be able to fully discover your true potential.

Because your fear is irrational, you can stop being scared by re-tuning your thinking pattern. Instead of fearing the unknown, try to rationalize whether or not the situation is really fearful. Most importantly, take one step to actually learn and discover the thing that you are scared about. The only way to stop the fear is actually doing what scares you.

Be realistic

What I mean by this is that you need to understand that a fearful situation is real. Know that it will not be easy for you. But I want you to believe in yourself and see yourself getting through that challenge.

As I’ve said, be realistic. Nothing lasts forever even fear. It will subside. But the best thing about recognizing the reality of the situation is that it will help you develop effective strategies. It will make you more prepared.

For instance, if you want to start something that you have no prior knowledge about, the fear of failure at this point is real. But instead of quitting from your goal, what you can do is start anyway. You just need to realize that the path ahead is difficult. The most important question is not what makes you fail but what makes you succeed.

Stop focusing on the negative side

Most people scared of failure simply because they mainly focus on what could possibly go wrong. If you focus on the negative side, you are literally building a sense of fear and doubt. People who cultivate a thinking pattern like this are most likely to fail.

You have to understand that nothing can hurt or scare you it is how you perceive the situation that determines your emotion. This is the reason why each one of us has a different or contrasting reaction to the same experience. We differ the way we perceive our world.

But those who are able to remain calm are in most cases become more successful. While those who mainly focus on the negative side of the situation are stuck.

If you want to know how to stop being scared of failure, start from focusing on the positive side.

Repaint the failure

The main reason why most people easily get scared of failure is that people associate failure with bad. Such negative connotation reinforces the avoidance of failure itself. If you want to lessen the fear of failure, you need to change the way you interpret failure.

In reality, failure is not really a bad thing. In real life, failure makes you stronger and powerful. It is the best teacher but the hardest one.

Life does not operate the way the school system works. In real life, you need failure in order to succeed. In school, every hard work is rewarded. In life, it does not matter how hard you work. In fact, hard work alone will not give you the expected result.

Instead of thinking of failure as bad, view it as beneficial in achieving success. No successful person who has not experienced failure.

Every human worries on occasion, but for some of us, the suffering is on a quite different and more life-destroying scale: we are, without wishing to be ungrateful or absurd, more or less permanently anxious .

What makes matters so hard for us, the anxious, is that we are unable to maintain a distinction between what objectively deserves terror and what automatically and unthinkingly provokes terror. The quintessential calming question – ‘Is there actually anything to be scared of here?’ – can’t even enter consciousness: there’s no sense that a benign response could even be possible.

How to stop being scared

Easily terrified people aren’t stupid; they may even be among the brightest. It is just that somewhere in their history, the mental equipment designed to distinguish logically between relative dangers has been destroyed. They have – somewhere along the line – received such a very big fright that pretty much everything has now grown frightening. Every slightly daunting challenge becomes a harbinger of the end; there are no more gradations. The party where one knows no one, the speech to delegates, the tricky conversation at work… these put the whole of existence into question. Pretty much every day is a crisis.

Let’s go in for a metaphor. Imagine that at a formative moment, when the anxious would have been profoundly unprepared and without the resources to cope, they had an encounter with a bear. The bear was beyond terrifying. It raged, it stamped, it crushed. It threatened to destroy everything: it was incomprehensibly mind-defyingly awful. As a result, the anxious person’s inner alarm jammed into the on-position and has stayed stuck there ever since. There is no use casually telling this person that there aren’t any bears around at the moment or that this isn’t the season or that most bears are kind or that campers rarely encounter them: that’s easy for you to say that, you who was never woken up with a giant grizzly staring at you with incisors showing and giant paws clasped open for the kill.

How to stop being scared

The result of this bear encounter is an unconscious commitment to catastrophic generalisation; the anxious fear all bears but also all dogs, rabbits, mice and squirrels, and all campsites and all sunny days, and even associated things, like trees rustling in the wind, or prairie grass, or the smell of coffee that was being made shortly before the bear showed up. The anxious can’t do logical distinctions: they can’t arrange threats into separate boxes.

To start to dig ourselves out of the quicksand of worry, we – the anxious – need to do something that is likely to feel very artificial and probably rather patronising too. We need to learn – on occasion – to distrust our senses completely. These senses, that are mostly terrific guides to life, have to be seen for what they also are: profoundly unreliable instruments, capable of throwing out faulty readings and destroying our lives. We need to erect a firm distinction between feelings and reality; to grasp that an impression is not a prognosis; and a fear is not a fact.

One side of the mind has to treat the other with a robust kindly scepticism: I know you’re sure there is a bear out there (at that party, in that newspaper article, in that office meeting). But is there one really? Really really? Emotion will be screaming yes like one’s life depends on it. But we’ve been here before and we need – with infinite forbearance – to let the screaming go on a little – and ignore it entirely. The cure lies in watching the panic unfold and in refusing to get involved in its seeming certainties.

We need to be like a pilot of a sophisticated craft coming into land in deep fog on autopilot: their senses may tell them that a dreadful collision is imminent, their reason knows that the sums have been done correctly and that a smooth landing is, despite the darkness and the awful vibrations, definitely about to unfold.

To get better, which really means, to stop dreading bears everywhere, we need to spend more time thinking about the specific bear that we once saw. The impulse is to focus always on the fear of the future. But we need instead to direct our minds back to the past – and revisit the damaging scenes with compassion and in kindly company. A consequence of not knowing the details of what once scared us is a fear of everything into the future. What sort of bear was it, what did it to us, how did we feel? We need to relocalise and repatriate the bear, to get to know it as a spectre that happened at one point in one place, so that it can stop haunting us everywhere for all time.

How to stop being scared

That we were once very scared is our historical tragedy; the challenge henceforth is to stop giving ourselves ever new reasons to ruin the rest of our lives with fear.

Table of Contents

How do I stop being scared of writing?

Here Are 15 Ways to Overcome Your Fear of Writing

  1. 1) Don’t Worry If Your Book Isn’t Perfect The First Time.
  2. 2) Stop Thinking About What Other People Will Think.
  3. 3) Create Time For Yourself To Write.
  4. 4) Know Who You Are Writing For.
  5. 5) Outline Your Book Before You Begin.
  6. 6) Break Up Your Writing Into Chunks.

Why do I get nervous when I write?

The causes of writing anxiety are many. Here are just a few: Inexperience with the type of writing task. Previous negative experiences with writing (e.g. someone, maybe a teacher, has given you negative feedback or said negative things about your writing)

Why do I struggle so much with writing?

Many students feel writing takes too long. For some, writing is a very laborious task because there are so many sub-components which need to be pulled together. For others, the reason lies in some processing difficulties, such as dyslexia or dysgraphia.

What does Bibliophobia mean?

Bibliophobia causes an excessive and overwhelming fear of books. Just thinking about reading a book can trigger the anxiety in some people. People with bibliophobia recognize this fear is not reasonable, but they can’t help it.

What is Pseudodysphagia?

Pseudodysphagia, or the fear of choking, is sometimes confused with phagophobia, or the fear of swallowing.

What do most writers struggle with?

Writing Challenges: 18 Challenges Writers Face and How to Overcome Them

  • Writer’s Block. This is what you feel when you find it difficult to write.
  • Lack of Ideas.
  • Lack of Productivity.
  • Lack of Confidence.
  • Getting REAL Clients.
  • The Fear of Selling.
  • Inability to Get Traction.
  • Too Much Competition.

Is it difficult to be a writer?

Depending on who you listen to, becoming a writer is either the easiest thing in the world (“Just write!”) or a proposition so impossibly difficult that only a combination of talent approaching genius, luck, and years of expensive training (i.e. “Get an MFA!”) can turn your writerly dream into reality.

What is the easiest thing about writing?

What is the hardest thing to write?

What is the hardest thing about writing?

  1. Showing up. Actually starting your project.
  2. Dialogue. Getting it to sound realistic with a good flow.
  3. Finding something to write about.
  4. Not just writing, but writing something good and finishing it.
  5. Creating complex characters that win over an audience.

Which writing process is the hardest?

Too often writers get stuck because they’re skipping the outlining stage of the writing process.

How can I write faster and better?

These are our strategies for how to write faster:

  1. Write every day.
  2. Use an outline to write faster.
  3. Avoid editing as you go.
  4. Research later.
  5. Practice your typing speed.
  6. Sit up properly to write faster.
  7. Use talk-to-text.
  8. Do writing sprints.

Is writing in cursive faster?

Once letter formation is learned, cursive writing is faster than printing, and for many students it’s faster than keyboarding. 2. The connected letters in cursive result in increased writing fluency (speed and smoothness). The flow of cursive means your pen — along with your thoughts — doesn’t stop moving.