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Many people struggle with some degree of fear in their lives. Back when I was a child, my fears were all centered around the dark and spiders. As an adult, those fears have changed to more realistic concerns: money, bills, career, relationships and health issues are major worries for most adults today.
These fears can be debilitating and paralyze you into doing nothing or can motivate you to make changes, in your life and in your career, in order to overcome them. But what if the fear is irrational? What if there isn't a practical way to get rid of it? With irrational fears, even when we know rationally that we shouldn't be afraid, we still are. So how do we face such fears?
One way is to use Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). This type of therapy helps us break down our fears into parts and then identify which part of the fear is rational and which part is irrational. Then we work on changing that negative thinking into positive thoughts through the process called 'reframing'. It's not an easy process, but it can be very effective in helping us to overcome our fears.
For example, let's say that you're afraid of spiders. The rational part of that fear would be the knowledge that spiders can bite and sometimes their bites are poisonous. The irrational part would be the fear of being bitten by a spider, even though you may never have been bitten before. CBT would help you to break down that fear into its parts and then work on changing the irrational thoughts into rational ones.
So in this case, you might learn that most spiders are harmless and that even if you are bitten by a spider, it's unlikely to be fatal. You might also learn about the different types of spiders and how to identify them. Armed with this knowledge, you would be less afraid of spiders because you would understand that they are not as dangerous as you once thought.
In addition to CBT, there are many other ways to overcome fears. You can face your fears head-on by deliberately exposing yourself to them in a safe and controlled environment. This is called 'desensitization'. Another way is through 'systematic desensitization'. This involves gradually exposing yourself to the fear in a step by step manner until you no longer feel afraid.
Some people also find self-help books or groups can be helpful in overcoming fears.
If you're struggling with irrational fear, don't let it control your life. There are ways to overcome fears and live a happier more fulfilling life.