When Fear Bites

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When Fear Bites

“The only thing we have to fear is fear it’self – nameless, unreasoning, unjustified, terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.” Franklin D. Roosevelt

Everyone has a fear of something. Insects, snakes, heights, flying, going on a first date, speaking in front of crowds, dark rooms, swimming, needles, and dentists …just to name a few. Fear can wear us down due to the unnecessary panic that fills us and blinds us from all our normal rational thinking.

A wise missionary once said,

“The only fear a Christian should entertain is the fear of sin.

All other fears are from Satan sent to confuse and weaken us.

Why do I blog on this subject today. Very simple really. I have confronted my biggest fear. Standing strong, I walked through the door that takes me through to the one place I fear more than anything. I stood for a moment trying to get in control of my thoughts. I took a few deep breaths, and made my way inside. There I stood gazing at a demon dressed in her blue gown, face mask pushed down over her chin. She looked up and saw this 6ft2 giant, with his large shoulders (hence my nick name 2 carpets), starring down at her. This was the moment, would one of us turn and run away. My fear gave me away. Whether it was the shaking arms, swinging body, or the visible fear showing through my eyes, she knew I’d be jelly in her hands. She made her move. Do you have an appointment? My mouth was dry, I fought to get the words out. “Yes, I have a 3.45 appointment, my name is Larry Lewis”. She replied “That’s great, if you can sit over there, the Dentist will call you”.

Silly really isn’t it. The irrational fear we hold to things. There I was just going in for my annual check up to the dentist, and all day long I was petrified. 30 minutes later I walked out without a scratch.

Many of our fears are tissue-paper-thin, and a single courageous step would carry us clear through them. ~Brendan Francis

Having researched this subject with a group of males, I’ve discovered the 5 questions that immediately rack their bodies with terror, where their mouths fail to open from fear of answering, when their wives ask these questions.

The 5 questions most feared by men are:

1…What are you thinking about right now?

2…Do you love me sweet heart?

3…Do I look fat in this dress?

4…Do you think that girl at the bar is prettier than me?

5…What would you do if I died?

“I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.” Frank Herbert, Dune

When you are focused on an impending situation you have wrongly construed as being filled with fear, your body undergoes many changes that prepare it for intense action, even though this is a mistakenly activated call to arms. This brings on symptoms like: difficulty in breathing, increased body temperature, localised sweating, decreased motility of the stomach, constrictions in the stomach and intestines, as well as making your hair stand on end. I should have taken a picture to proof this to you as I stepped into the dental practice.

Turning off this feeling of fear is not that simple once the floodgates have been opened. The brain’s cortex cannot get a grip on it; it overrides anything logical that might have a remote chance of running through your head.

What do you fear? You know you have to face this fear once and for all. Overcome it, and then live the rest of your life without having this fear.

“Courage is resistance to and mastery of fear — not the absence of fear.” Mark Twain

What would cause you the most fear? Dealing with it once and for all then getting rid of it, or living with it day in and day out for the rest of your life? By you just dealing with this fear it’s going to save you loads of grief in the future. My suggestion is face it head on as soon as it arrives. Say to yourself the only way to reduce your fear is to build up new trust in your ability to handle anything that comes your way. If you can do that, there won’t be a fear in the world that you can’t handle.

Fear over takes you like a sudden fog, limiting your view and clouding your reasoning. Does fear paralyze you, or do you know the way to push through it? Fear of failure affects everyone. When you recognise it in your own life, you can take these 4 steps to see above it, get through it, and achieve your goals.

1. Identify it. What is it you fear? The first step in beating your fear is to identify exactly what it is you fear. You have to understand it, by examining your fears closely, so as to determine their origins, depths and effect. Once you have a thorough understanding of the problem, you can begin the journey to eliminate them.

2. Evaluate it. Can it harm you in any way? Why do you fear it. What is the worst that can happen? Write down exactly what you are fearing will happen , and get specific. Figure out exactly why you fear it. Ask yourself series of empowering questions and act on them, questions such as, “Do I want my fears to control and devour me? Will I allow fear to stop my enjoyment of life? Am I going to let it prevent me from looking after myself? Am I happy with what it is stopping me from doing? If not, what do I plan to do about it and when will I begin?”

3. Re-interpret it. Remind yourself it’s an irrational phobia . Create positive messages to replace these fears. How can you re-evaluate the reasons for your fears, and find positive thoughts to replace them. Find a way to embrace this thing you fear. See how you are exaggerating the situation.

4. Push yourself to action. Tell yourself off for being so silly. You can control your thoughts. Since you’re only able to consciously think about one thing at a time, only allow positive thoughts to go through your mind. Whenever your fear enters, simply choose to stop it right in its tracks and immediately change that thought to something positive. Think of what you have missed out on, or lost from letting this fear carry on. Take your irritation or annoyance over your reactions and force it to motivate you to succeed in getting over it.

Are you frightened to dream because of fearing the obstacles you might face on your journey? Overcome your fear and bring about the amazing things only you can do.

Start today!

My teeth look great by the way.

There are very few monsters who warrant the fear we have of them. ~Andre Gide

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About the author: Larry Lewis
My name is Larry Lewis, Health & Wellness Life Coach, Founder of Healthy Lifestyles Living, contributor to the Huffington Post, recently featured in the Sunday Mail Newspaper and somebody who went from being an owner of a chain of gyms and fitness fanatic, to a visually impaired overweight and incredibly sick person. Read about my illness to wellness story.
12 Comments
  1. Jessica Brant May 17, 2011 at 8:28 pm

    Larry,
    My most fear question I have is Will I get an STD if the condom brakes?
    Loving you
    Jess

    • LarryLewis May 18, 2011 at 4:57 pm

      Jess – safe sex is the only way … the magnums i wear never break, they’re made for hard and fast riding

  2. charlie nitric May 17, 2011 at 9:00 pm

    Hi Larry –

    You can sum up fear very easily Larry, because it is the root of most emotions people feel. Fear is an excuse to keep us from action! Our Fearful excuse is a reaction to the perceived images projected in our mind, both consciously and sub-consciously. A fear can be experienced in a millisecond and the mind has already sent a reaction response to the body before a person even understands what the fear is about. Fears can also be long-term and life-lasting, as in your experience with the dentist today. Good post Larry. 🙂

    • LarryLewis May 18, 2011 at 4:54 pm

      Charlie – your comment is as brilliant as your blog writing

  3. Alpana Jaiswal May 18, 2011 at 2:10 am

    I will be honest Larry,I have some deep rooted fears,my biggest fear today….my on going divorce..custody of my child. I am not afraid to dream,but my fears are there with me.

    • LarryLewis May 18, 2011 at 4:53 pm

      Alpana – As long as your fears, are just keeping you alert, and strong, ready to react and to be pro-active so that you keepn on top of the situation. Keep dreaming, keep seeing the life you want … ask, believe, receive!

  4. Alejandro May 18, 2011 at 3:32 am

    Insects!!!!! Yes I am a wuss. But some do bite and it hurts. SO my fear is valid.

    A

    • LarryLewis May 18, 2011 at 4:36 pm

      If i’m right some of the insects in your country are probably far more fearful than we are accustomed to in the UK. Everyone has something they fear, normally it’s quite ridiculous, such as the fear i have for dentists.

  5. Alejandro May 18, 2011 at 3:32 am

    Fear even

  6. Corinne Rodrigues May 19, 2011 at 6:32 am

    Larry – Great post! I’m glad that you got through your ‘fearful’ experience unscathed. I always feel that the anticipation of something is what makes us afraid rather than the thing itself! I have an irrational fear of lizards (geckos). I’m sure they’re harmless but the fear of having one crawl over me sends shivers down my spine. I must tell you one did recently and I’m still living, but still fearful! 🙁

    • LarryLewis May 19, 2011 at 9:32 pm

      Corinne – it seems that many are a little fearful when it comes to all sorts of creepy crawlies. My own daughter, Carly, is terrified of spiders, and needs her Daddy to come and rescue her. As a coach i should help her get over it, but she will always run into my arms, needing comforting and thank me so sweetly for rescuing her, i just let it go on. Now i feel guilty, lol.

  7. SJ May 19, 2011 at 11:32 pm

    The wheel of fear, it’s a terrible thing and can be a vicious circle. My fear of spiders is extremely irrational I can be brave but I can’t completely rid myself of that fear. I love these tips – I may just try them and see how effective they can be 😀

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