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Overcoming the Fear of Fear

Posted By: Randy GageJanuary 25, 2010

Have you ever noticed that the fear of an event is often worse than the actual event?  In the past, I’ve dreaded going to the dentist for about three weeks before the appointment.  That’s because I had a horrendous dentist when I was a kid.  

Many years ago I found a great dentist in Miami, and most visits actually go quite well.  I wouldn’t rank them at the top of my social calendar, but they are actually pretty discomfort free.  Yet I realized that I was still holding on to dread and fear of an appointment, because I was living in the past.  But when I really did some critical thinking about it, I realized that I really have no rational reason for fear.

Many salespeople and network marketers suffer from fear of rejection syndrome.  They are so afraid of being rejected, they never actual make a prospecting call.  They are not alone.  Many speakers consultants and other professionals have the same fear.  What’s the reality here?

Most times you don’t get rejected.  Even when you experience rejection, most times the person rejecting you feels worse than you do!  They are stuttering and stammering, trying to find a way to tell you they are not interested, and do it in a way that won’t hurt your feelings.

Almost all the time, your fear is worse than the actual reality.  We also know that sometimes, fear is good.

Fear can cause us to take action that protects us from impending danger.  When I race my Viper, I believe that the underlying fear I have keeps me alive.  I experienced the same fear when I flew an airplane.  There was just enough fear to cause me to be careful, weigh my decisions, and take appropriate safety precautions.

So can we agree on two things?

Number one, that most fear is unwarranted.  And secondly that fear can be good for us.  So how about you reposition you beliefs about fear?  Think about that and we’ll pick up there on the next post.

-RG

P.S. I’m not posting much this week, because I’m doing some R&R in Australia.  Tomorrow I’ll be diving the Great Barrier Reef, so I’ll check in on the other side.

27 comments on “Overcoming the Fear of Fear”

  1. Hi Randy...great post..I sometimes feel the fear creeping over me but have learnt to deal with it..this post is a good reminder to keep fighting something which really is just in your head. I happened to be flicking through the channels the other night and caught this item on ASBO's which featured two middle aged sisters who were 'living in fear' from their neighbours. The neighbours were unpleasant but what I noticed was that nothing anyone suggested to help these two sisters was right...they were clinging on to their fear and not giving it up for anyone.....is this the victimhood syndrome or something else.?

    Have a great time...love Angie :))

  2. hmm. Long story yet by my experience fear can never be good. The occurrance of fear signals your whereabout being somewhere, where the essence of fear is lurking to pull you in further. You encounter fear on the trail of fear, which is when you have left the path of love somewhere. Fear can be incredibly disguised. It can take hold of you, seeming like good, and lead you to a place where it will want you to test love by putting something on the line. But love would not work that way.
    The love - spectrum naturally keeps you away from fear - inflicted regions.

  3. The way we deal with fear is indicative of he level to which we are masters of our fate and the extent to which we take advantage of that cerebral cortex that distinguished us from lesser mammals.

    If we choose to rely only on the primitive, reptilian brain, and react to fear by flight, fight or freeze (paralysis), we will fare as well as our physical body can take us.

    If, however, we train ourselves and develop cognitive awareness of our physical and emotional reactions - not only will we able to respond rationally to things that scare us, but the very level of fear will reduce dramatically. We can create the inner calm from which we know that any challenge is only a present on which we can build our own character.

  4. Thanks Randy for always stirring the juices : )

    There are 2 types of fear in my life - fear that cripples me, and fear that protects me.

    The fear that cripples me is always surfaced when I am stepping forward into growth. When I am leaving the security of my comfort zone and reaching for something new. And I 've learned to recognize the deceitful lies that this kind of fear sends me (always disguised at first as completely rational seeds of doubt).

    The fear that protects me is the type of fear, as a woman, that I experience when my intuition is telling me that something is not right. For example - walking alone at night and feeling someone following too closely. That type of fear I always ALWAYS respect, and take action accordingly. It keeps me alert and safe. And am grateful for it.

    Cheers to you Randy. Enjoy your R&R!!

  5. Hello Randy, I did an essay and presentation about stretching in high school. It was was scary topic to me in that time. I received a commendable proposal and applaud from the hard teacher of mine.
    So I learned in my early days what are the reasons for fear and what happens in human body and mind when You start to have areas of tension.

    In that essay I learned that the stretching is a normal step when going into areas of presentation. And if You are comfortable with Yourself and the fear it will boost Your presentation to the higher quality. I also learned to void "not breathing" because it starts / initiate the chain of events of fear. The number one thing is to make sure that You have been breathed good. When basics are in good condition You may / you can go forward to keep the concentration under high level to focus to the presentation and subjects of it and to focus someone from the audience and smile to him/her. Have a moment or feeling that there is someone very special to whom You are telling these words of wisdom.

    I recognize that certain tension will grow immediately, if I am asked to speak to one of the big event. I realize, however, that it is only due to just that I have not yet prepared to draft properly. And when I am so tension before performance is normal. I just have to remember to breathe properly and keep the titles written with a BIG CAPITAL of sight that I get to the top and I can relax.

    No fear - life is a unique opportunity to develop and grow!

    Markku from Finland
    my 48th birthday was yesterday
    and it is no longer than 24 moths
    to go to have the 50-year celebrations
    going on and make the all-time speech!

  6. Love this post Randy, we all have to confront this in our lives to some extent.

    The anticipation is often much worse than the actual deal. I've always realized this after any type of medical procedure. The same is true for the activities required in network marketing.

    Have a great dive tomorrow!

    ~ Dorene Pierceall

  7. Fear and exhilaration appear at the same times. When mountain climbing there are moments when you have to let go of where you are to get where you want to go. There is a space and time of something closer to terror that comes after the fear followed almost immediately by getting where you want go.... or a long fall ... and the belay line yanking your stomach.

    There is something worse than fear for me. Indifference and just going through the motions hoping the motion will 'turn you on' but when that does not occur you realize it is up to you to bring what's needed to bear. Hoping to let go of the indifference, almost like a sad satisfaction with nothing matters, while expecting someone or something else to light your fuse can keep you stuck for a long time. This is worse than fear for me and seldom happens when you have a work out buddy.

    Enjoy the Great Barrier Reef Randy.

  8. now handle most fear with EFT. I try to stay in "objective" mode, by saying "isn't that interesting that came up?". Once its released, it feels like a weight has been lifted on my shoulders. Very cool stuff!

  9. I'm not sure who actually made this statement, but it's in keeping with the essence of this post: "Life begins at the EDGE of your comfort zone".

    Fear I believe, is the factor that keeps us in the comfort zone. In fact, I am working on an exciting business model as we speak that is targeting a specific type of fear that is widespread with the goal of dispelling it completely! The result will be an level of empowerment that will cause a segment of the global population to achieve more and expand their lives.

    Thanks Randy

  10. Great post as always. I believe that we should always stop and spend a moment ananlyzing the fear. Is it the fear that arises out of self preservation? If so, rethink the activity. Otherwise it is the fear that keeps you where you are. Only by facing it and taking that first step(usually the hardest) can we grow and become more than we are! I find that once I get past the first step, it is usually easier to continue with momentum, and that what I thought I was afraid often doesn't ever materialize!

  11. Enjoy Australia and the diving!

    I've dealt with the fear of rejection for most of my adult life, possibly stemming from my 'people pleasing' persona. Tough one to break, and can really cripple your progress and success!

    So how do I handle it? I just do it anyway ... and I feel so empowered afterward. As a matter of fact, I try and visualize how great I'll feel afterward and it helps motivated me to 'just do it'.

    As Emerson said ... "Do the thing, and you will have the Power."

    Best to you,
    Scott

  12. I think fear can also push us out of our comfort zone. When we realize we don't like things the way they are, the fear of being "stuck" can push us out of our comfort zone. The pain to stay stuck in our comfort zone can be greater than the fear of change.

  13. I may being going off the subject a little bit again... but
    we can change our thoughts about things that are not good for us or unwarranted. In Catherine Ponder's book, "The Dynamic Laws of Prosperity", she talks about the "Law of Increase". She describes this as "In other words, let your main thought, when thinking of yourself and others, be the thought of riches, prosperity, success and victorious good."

    She says that we can use this to quickly change our circumstances. The key is to always use the Law of Increase and NOT Decrease.

    Catherine Ponder says "When people criticize, condemn and belittle others, they do not realize that through the law of mind action, they are asking for the same things to happen to them." The law of decrease limits us.

    Catherine Ponder says we can invoke the law of increase by speaking "the law of increase about yourself and others boldly & positively." Speak of people's successes only and not their failures.

    Catherine Ponder also says "Give yourself an equal thought of increase. You can do it just by feeling that you are becoming more successful and that you are helping others to do so."

    We should not talk about hard times. Instead Affirm:
    "Divine restoration is taking place. The good which the locusts of lack have eaten is being divinely restored. The divine law of balance and equilibrium is doing its perfect work." C. Ponder

    Don't be disappointed and "instead stand firm in faith that something much better is on the way and will appear at the right time."

    "Your Good is created as fast as your good words are uttered!" C. Ponder.

  14. Many years ago I had to speak to a group of very important people: presidents of air companies, ministers of state, embassadors, all of them from France and Spain. The day before I was litterally sick of nerves. Then my husband said I shouldn´t be afraid. I speak and write 5 languages and they most likely only spoke French or Spanish, so they had no reason to think badly of me. Next day the first person I see sitting in front of me was a man with a very stirn and unfriendly face. Ups, nerves! Straight away I couldn´t find a word in these languages, none of them is my native language. Then I asked my audience: please can anybody help me? I speak 5 languages, but I can´t find the translation of ..... in my head. The stirn (minister of state) changed completely his expression and told me the word, after that looking very friendly. My fears were gone instantly. Later in life, when I was fearing incompetence, I just thought back at that moment, and my fear was gone. I knew I would manage somehow... and I did.

  15. Great post, critical thinking will help you evaluate a situation and action will get rid of your fears ! It's funny cause I posted something simillar on my blog a week ago. Thanks Randy !

  16. Funny but nothing that really seems to make much difference to share comes up. Could it bee that my brilliant rational mind is perfect at avoiding fear, and that is what has me stay stuck in precisely those areas of my life, that would REALY have it move forward?

    Pierre Leyssac, Wondeful Copenhagen

  17. For example, I have realized at several times in my life that I need to make a change in my career to achieve my goals. I have had to look at different career options than what I went to school for. That was out of my comfort zone but I did it because I didn't want to stay where I was at. That is where I am currently at again...looking at other options that will take me toward my dreams.

  18. Randy, yes I do agree that most things that I experience fear in never happen. I also agree that fear is good to the point of protection in one's life. That is a unique feature that the Creator put into human beings. I think we need to eliminate fear of negative issues and embrace fear that protects life.

    Thanks for the post.

  19. I like Hill's description of fear as a ghost. It wasn't there until we created it.

    Think of fear as a wave of energy in the mind. You wouldn't be afraid of a wave of energy, would you? Sounds ridiculous, and it is. Which is why you shouldn't fear anything.

    That being said, fear feels very *real*. EFT tapping and meditation are two practical tools which help one to observe and release all manners of fear.

  20. With action the death of fear is inevitable. Fear is in the mind and not reality.

    Great article. Loved reading what you had to say!

    Have a Blessed day!

    Joanna 🙂

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  • 27 comments on “Overcoming the Fear of Fear”

    1. Hi Randy...great post..I sometimes feel the fear creeping over me but have learnt to deal with it..this post is a good reminder to keep fighting something which really is just in your head. I happened to be flicking through the channels the other night and caught this item on ASBO's which featured two middle aged sisters who were 'living in fear' from their neighbours. The neighbours were unpleasant but what I noticed was that nothing anyone suggested to help these two sisters was right...they were clinging on to their fear and not giving it up for anyone.....is this the victimhood syndrome or something else.?

      Have a great time...love Angie :))

    2. hmm. Long story yet by my experience fear can never be good. The occurrance of fear signals your whereabout being somewhere, where the essence of fear is lurking to pull you in further. You encounter fear on the trail of fear, which is when you have left the path of love somewhere. Fear can be incredibly disguised. It can take hold of you, seeming like good, and lead you to a place where it will want you to test love by putting something on the line. But love would not work that way.
      The love - spectrum naturally keeps you away from fear - inflicted regions.

    3. The way we deal with fear is indicative of he level to which we are masters of our fate and the extent to which we take advantage of that cerebral cortex that distinguished us from lesser mammals.

      If we choose to rely only on the primitive, reptilian brain, and react to fear by flight, fight or freeze (paralysis), we will fare as well as our physical body can take us.

      If, however, we train ourselves and develop cognitive awareness of our physical and emotional reactions - not only will we able to respond rationally to things that scare us, but the very level of fear will reduce dramatically. We can create the inner calm from which we know that any challenge is only a present on which we can build our own character.

    4. Thanks Randy for always stirring the juices : )

      There are 2 types of fear in my life - fear that cripples me, and fear that protects me.

      The fear that cripples me is always surfaced when I am stepping forward into growth. When I am leaving the security of my comfort zone and reaching for something new. And I 've learned to recognize the deceitful lies that this kind of fear sends me (always disguised at first as completely rational seeds of doubt).

      The fear that protects me is the type of fear, as a woman, that I experience when my intuition is telling me that something is not right. For example - walking alone at night and feeling someone following too closely. That type of fear I always ALWAYS respect, and take action accordingly. It keeps me alert and safe. And am grateful for it.

      Cheers to you Randy. Enjoy your R&R!!

    5. Hello Randy, I did an essay and presentation about stretching in high school. It was was scary topic to me in that time. I received a commendable proposal and applaud from the hard teacher of mine.
      So I learned in my early days what are the reasons for fear and what happens in human body and mind when You start to have areas of tension.

      In that essay I learned that the stretching is a normal step when going into areas of presentation. And if You are comfortable with Yourself and the fear it will boost Your presentation to the higher quality. I also learned to void "not breathing" because it starts / initiate the chain of events of fear. The number one thing is to make sure that You have been breathed good. When basics are in good condition You may / you can go forward to keep the concentration under high level to focus to the presentation and subjects of it and to focus someone from the audience and smile to him/her. Have a moment or feeling that there is someone very special to whom You are telling these words of wisdom.

      I recognize that certain tension will grow immediately, if I am asked to speak to one of the big event. I realize, however, that it is only due to just that I have not yet prepared to draft properly. And when I am so tension before performance is normal. I just have to remember to breathe properly and keep the titles written with a BIG CAPITAL of sight that I get to the top and I can relax.

      No fear - life is a unique opportunity to develop and grow!

      Markku from Finland
      my 48th birthday was yesterday
      and it is no longer than 24 moths
      to go to have the 50-year celebrations
      going on and make the all-time speech!

    6. Love this post Randy, we all have to confront this in our lives to some extent.

      The anticipation is often much worse than the actual deal. I've always realized this after any type of medical procedure. The same is true for the activities required in network marketing.

      Have a great dive tomorrow!

      ~ Dorene Pierceall

    7. Fear and exhilaration appear at the same times. When mountain climbing there are moments when you have to let go of where you are to get where you want to go. There is a space and time of something closer to terror that comes after the fear followed almost immediately by getting where you want go.... or a long fall ... and the belay line yanking your stomach.

      There is something worse than fear for me. Indifference and just going through the motions hoping the motion will 'turn you on' but when that does not occur you realize it is up to you to bring what's needed to bear. Hoping to let go of the indifference, almost like a sad satisfaction with nothing matters, while expecting someone or something else to light your fuse can keep you stuck for a long time. This is worse than fear for me and seldom happens when you have a work out buddy.

      Enjoy the Great Barrier Reef Randy.

    8. now handle most fear with EFT. I try to stay in "objective" mode, by saying "isn't that interesting that came up?". Once its released, it feels like a weight has been lifted on my shoulders. Very cool stuff!

    9. I'm not sure who actually made this statement, but it's in keeping with the essence of this post: "Life begins at the EDGE of your comfort zone".

      Fear I believe, is the factor that keeps us in the comfort zone. In fact, I am working on an exciting business model as we speak that is targeting a specific type of fear that is widespread with the goal of dispelling it completely! The result will be an level of empowerment that will cause a segment of the global population to achieve more and expand their lives.

      Thanks Randy

    10. Great post as always. I believe that we should always stop and spend a moment ananlyzing the fear. Is it the fear that arises out of self preservation? If so, rethink the activity. Otherwise it is the fear that keeps you where you are. Only by facing it and taking that first step(usually the hardest) can we grow and become more than we are! I find that once I get past the first step, it is usually easier to continue with momentum, and that what I thought I was afraid often doesn't ever materialize!

    11. Enjoy Australia and the diving!

      I've dealt with the fear of rejection for most of my adult life, possibly stemming from my 'people pleasing' persona. Tough one to break, and can really cripple your progress and success!

      So how do I handle it? I just do it anyway ... and I feel so empowered afterward. As a matter of fact, I try and visualize how great I'll feel afterward and it helps motivated me to 'just do it'.

      As Emerson said ... "Do the thing, and you will have the Power."

      Best to you,
      Scott

    12. I think fear can also push us out of our comfort zone. When we realize we don't like things the way they are, the fear of being "stuck" can push us out of our comfort zone. The pain to stay stuck in our comfort zone can be greater than the fear of change.

    13. I may being going off the subject a little bit again... but
      we can change our thoughts about things that are not good for us or unwarranted. In Catherine Ponder's book, "The Dynamic Laws of Prosperity", she talks about the "Law of Increase". She describes this as "In other words, let your main thought, when thinking of yourself and others, be the thought of riches, prosperity, success and victorious good."

      She says that we can use this to quickly change our circumstances. The key is to always use the Law of Increase and NOT Decrease.

      Catherine Ponder says "When people criticize, condemn and belittle others, they do not realize that through the law of mind action, they are asking for the same things to happen to them." The law of decrease limits us.

      Catherine Ponder says we can invoke the law of increase by speaking "the law of increase about yourself and others boldly & positively." Speak of people's successes only and not their failures.

      Catherine Ponder also says "Give yourself an equal thought of increase. You can do it just by feeling that you are becoming more successful and that you are helping others to do so."

      We should not talk about hard times. Instead Affirm:
      "Divine restoration is taking place. The good which the locusts of lack have eaten is being divinely restored. The divine law of balance and equilibrium is doing its perfect work." C. Ponder

      Don't be disappointed and "instead stand firm in faith that something much better is on the way and will appear at the right time."

      "Your Good is created as fast as your good words are uttered!" C. Ponder.

    14. Many years ago I had to speak to a group of very important people: presidents of air companies, ministers of state, embassadors, all of them from France and Spain. The day before I was litterally sick of nerves. Then my husband said I shouldn´t be afraid. I speak and write 5 languages and they most likely only spoke French or Spanish, so they had no reason to think badly of me. Next day the first person I see sitting in front of me was a man with a very stirn and unfriendly face. Ups, nerves! Straight away I couldn´t find a word in these languages, none of them is my native language. Then I asked my audience: please can anybody help me? I speak 5 languages, but I can´t find the translation of ..... in my head. The stirn (minister of state) changed completely his expression and told me the word, after that looking very friendly. My fears were gone instantly. Later in life, when I was fearing incompetence, I just thought back at that moment, and my fear was gone. I knew I would manage somehow... and I did.

    15. Great post, critical thinking will help you evaluate a situation and action will get rid of your fears ! It's funny cause I posted something simillar on my blog a week ago. Thanks Randy !

    16. Funny but nothing that really seems to make much difference to share comes up. Could it bee that my brilliant rational mind is perfect at avoiding fear, and that is what has me stay stuck in precisely those areas of my life, that would REALY have it move forward?

      Pierre Leyssac, Wondeful Copenhagen

    17. For example, I have realized at several times in my life that I need to make a change in my career to achieve my goals. I have had to look at different career options than what I went to school for. That was out of my comfort zone but I did it because I didn't want to stay where I was at. That is where I am currently at again...looking at other options that will take me toward my dreams.

    18. Randy, yes I do agree that most things that I experience fear in never happen. I also agree that fear is good to the point of protection in one's life. That is a unique feature that the Creator put into human beings. I think we need to eliminate fear of negative issues and embrace fear that protects life.

      Thanks for the post.

    19. I like Hill's description of fear as a ghost. It wasn't there until we created it.

      Think of fear as a wave of energy in the mind. You wouldn't be afraid of a wave of energy, would you? Sounds ridiculous, and it is. Which is why you shouldn't fear anything.

      That being said, fear feels very *real*. EFT tapping and meditation are two practical tools which help one to observe and release all manners of fear.

    20. With action the death of fear is inevitable. Fear is in the mind and not reality.

      Great article. Loved reading what you had to say!

      Have a Blessed day!

      Joanna 🙂

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