Overcoming Fears, Phobias & Anxiety

The difference between fear and phobia

Fear is an unpleasant emotion that we tend to experience if we feel very uncomfortable or threatened by an object, situation or event in that moment; a phobia is a much more intense fear that is ongoing in a way that is out of proportion to the danger or harm that may occur, therefore it is more extreme and unreasonable than fear.

  • Frightened
  • Terrified
  • Uncertain
  • Nervous
  • Anxious
  • Worried
  • Intimidated
  • Jittery
  • Tense
  • Agitated

For example, a person may feel fear at seeing a large spider and withdraw physically, and then continue as normal, whereas a person with a phobia of spiders, arachnophobia, is likely to have a physical reaction, possibly a panic attack, sweating or heart palpitations.

Phobias tend to formulate during childhood, although a traumatic event at a later stage in life can also cause a phobia to develop. Typically, a phobia comes about due to a particularly unpleasant experience, a frightening event or a highly stressed situation.


How to overcome fear of failure

If you can re-frame the idea that whatever we do in life, sometimes we will get the outcome we desire, and sometimes we need to repeat the action a number of times, even many times until we work out the best way to achieve the outcome we are looking for. If you are able to recognise that this is a normal process in working out how to do anything that is new, from learning to tie shoelaces, to algebra, to baking, to driving a car. The top chefs, the top business people, the top sports people, all started with lots of setbacks, learning opportunities, feedback from what was not working, in order to work out how to get the result they wanted.

Examples you may be familiar with include:

  • Sir Richard Branson, Founder of the Virgin Group, left school at the age of 16, academically he was considered a poor performer and he has dyslexia. This did not stop Branson from starting up one business after another, until he created a very successful and profitable organisation
  • Michael Jordan who is considered to be the greatest basketball player of all time; when at the age of 15 he tried out for his basketball team, he was considered too short to be accepted. He was motivated to prove he could do it, and he continued to train intensively, and with a few extra inches to his height over the next year, the following summer he managed to make the team. Jordan did not fail, he got feedback that encouraged him to press forward, it was his choice.

Treatment for phobias

There are various suggested treatments for phobias, including self-help treatments such as:

  • relaxing techniques
  • breathing techniques
  • meditation
  • visualisation exercises
  • CBT Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.

The techniques and treatments I use to overcome fears and phobias include:

  • EFT Emotional Freedom Technique, whereby you tap on meridian points on your body to release the trapped emotion, in this case the phobia
  • Hypnotherapy, where positive suggestions replace the deeply rooted fear that caused the phobia
  • NLP Neuro Linguistic Programming, which uses verbal and visual cues to re-programme your mind to detach the emotion from the thought which created the fear, and therefore, the phobia.

Book a session now See all coaching techniques


How to overcome fear of flying

Fear of flying
Using any of the techniques mentioned above, with fear of flying, it is also interesting to see how it sometimes relates to other linked phobias. This could be claustrophobia, which is the fear of being confined in a place where you cannot get out of, such as an airplane, or acrophobia, which is an extreme fear of heights, or possibly agoraphobia, which is the fear of being in a place that seems dangerous, unsafe, where it is difficult to escape from.

The root cause is usually a deeply ingrained trauma and the moment the emotion is removed, disconnected from that trauma, the phobia, whichever it may be, no longer has power, no longer has any value and has no more emotional effect on the person.

I am very grateful to Natalie for helping me deal with my fear of flying so quickly and painlessly. I started this process thinking I would have to say good bye to holidays abroad after developing a fear of flying over the past year. With Natalie’s help I have just flown to Berlin and I can proudly report I enjoyed it – even the bumps!

Managing social anxiety disorder

Social anxiety disorder, also referred to as social phobia, is where there is an intense fear of social situations, particularly where one is afraid of being singled out, judged or criticised, and the perceived embarrassment this would cause. Typically, the fear is based on the belief that others are thinking about you, and focusing on you, and this can be changed by realising that people mostly think about themselves, their life and their own problems. Rather than thinking you can read the mind of others, and therefore convince yourself they are judging you, the shift in your thinking is about facing the reality that we never know what another person is thinking.

Natalie Dee life coaching services

London Anxiety Coach
Natalie Dee

Need help with anxiety?

  • London location or Skype: natalie-d

  • Let's talk! ... 020 3411 4488

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