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.
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.
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:
There are various suggested treatments for phobias, including self-help treatments such as:
The techniques and treatments I use to overcome fears and phobias include:
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.
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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!
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