Phobias are a thing of macabre interest, but rational fears are all too real. Naming that fear has become a bit of a quiz favourite over the years and as time goes on we seem to be engulfed in phobias representing every part of everyday life. Hollywood movies have depicted our darkest fears in graphic detail with Arachnophobia, The Birds and more recently Coulrophobia, causing a widespread movement of street invading clowns.

carnival clown

There is however a more intrusive, all too real fear, one that silently paralyses and hampers our ambitions and desires. The fear of failure, the fear of success and the fear of change. Finding a goal that is bigger than our fear is tantamount to success but how do we get over the fear in the first place?

The human instinct is built to cope with fearful situations and if faced with intense threat the human system goes into what’s called fight or flight mode. Either stay and fight or flee. This psychological state is beyond our control and until put upon we have no way of knowing which mode we will choose.


Are Fear and Anxiety the Same Thing  

The experts depict a distinct difference in bodily reactions to a fear and an anxiety- “The sudden re-arrangement of your guts when an intruder holds a knife to your back (fear), is different from the mild nausea, dizziness and butterflies in your stomach as you’re about to make a difficult phone call (anxiety).”  For most of us though, this is irrelevant as however fear manifests itself it still manages to impeded progressions of:

  • Relationships
  • Career
  • Self improvement
  • Studying
  • Motivation


Identifying Symptoms of  Fear

Don’t’ be fooled into thinking it’s a weakness. Everybody, and I mean everybody, has fears, the most important thing to note is that it’s how you deal with fear that sets the achievers apart from the ‘if only’s.’

Fear can have an astounding effect on the body including:

  • Quickening heartbeat
  • Faster breathing
  • Churning stomach
  • Loose bowel feeling
  • Loss of appetite

So it’s important to recognise that these symptoms are perfectly normal and that the rational fear of an everyday event doesn’t escalate into something deeper and more difficult to handle.


Dealing with Fear

The world of psychology since time began has promoted the art of facing your fearsand research shows that by constantly dodging a fearful situation or task, the fear multiplies.

The first time you make a difficult sales call will be the hardest, by the time you have made 10 similar calls you will be wondering what on earth it was you were afraid of.

It’s also worth remembering that when we are afraid of some things that are either new or are alien to us and they go horribly wrong the first few times- it’s a question of analysing what went wrong and working out how to improve it. See it as a challenge, a learning curve and not a fear.

There are many lifestyle changes that you can employ that can help with fears; healthy diet, exercise and relaxation techniques. There are also lots of websites, books and audios that give advice and tips and tricks for dealing with fears, one of which is my own vlog– ‘Eat the frog’. By going rhino on a task and jumping the biggest hurdle first, the rest of the race will surely be a doddle.


As important as it is to face these fears, it’s just as important to recognise the triggers. By acknowledging your fear, recognising the trigger you can prepare yourself mentally for that stomach churning, discombobulating  moment when the fear hits. These fears will not go away unaided, don’t let them hold you hostage forever.

So, remember your goal, plant your feet firmly and say to yourself “come on fear, let’s dance”.

For a look at first impressions, perfecting that handshake and identifying your WHY, delve into

Images by Vic, WerbeFabrik,