Dealing With Fear

I have heard it said many many times, both as a child and as an adult, “There is nothing to fear but fear itself.” This was first said by Franklin Delano Roosevelt in his inauguration address in 1933.


I Googled the word FEAR and the definition is below:

  1. 1.
    an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat.
    “drivers are threatening to quit their jobs in fear after a cabby’s murder”
    synonyms: terror, fright, fearfulness, horror, alarm, panic, agitation, trepidation,                        dread, consternation, dismay, distress
  1. 1.
    be afraid of (someone or something) as likely to be dangerous, painful, or threatening.
    “he said he didn’t care about life so why should he fear death?”
    : be afraid of, be fearful of, be scared of, be apprehensive of, dread, live in fear of, be terrified of;
Now for the discussion. Keep in mind that what I am saying is my own opinion and I am not medically trained to give advice. I am only voicing the way that I see things. Do not take what I say for gospel truth. You have to decide for yourself if you think that what I have said will work for you. As there are way too many different types of fears to cover, I am only going to talk about a few of them.
Some Of The Many Fears Around Us
Probably the one most people think of first is the fear of the dark. We fear the dark because we cannot see what is in the dark, the unknown, and the dark is or contains the unknown, so we fear it. I used to be afraid of the dark also. Like so many children I feared the “Boogie Man” and the “Monster” that might be under my bed or in the closet. My solution to this was to sleep with a light on in the hallway. But every night before I went to bed I checked the closet and under the bed. Of course there was never anything in either place. So in essence, my fears were unfounded. But, this was back in the fifties and sixties. When I started babysitting for children in the neighborhood, I was the “so call it adult” figure in the house. If the children mentioned being afraid, I had to be the brave one and show them that there was nothing in the house to be afraid of. I made sure that all of the windows and doors were locked and all of the blinds, shades, and/or curtains were closed completely. Once these tasks were completed, the children very happily went to bed. After doing this many times, I realized that I had spent many hours being afraid of something that was not even real, and definitely not in the house. Noe days, I have a room darkening curtain up at my bedroom window, and I don’t like to sleep with any lights on in my bedroom. I do have a nightlight in the kitchen and in the bathroom, but only so that I can find my way in the dark and not bump into anything while going either place.
There are many people that have low self-esteem and are always afraid of what other people are going to think of them. This is especially true if there are any abnormalities about the person. To make my point on this I will try to quote a saying that I have heard a few times, but I may not get it correct, so bear with me. “We are not what others think we are, nor are we what we think are our self. We are, however, what we think others think we are.
When you stop and think about it, it is mostly true. If we think that someone else thinks that we are not attractive, then we act unattractive. If we think someone else thinks that we are pretty, then we “hold our head up and our shoulders straight”, so to speak, and we act pretty. Even people that have some type of abnormality tend to do this to a degree. If someone that is paralyzed thinks that everybody is looking down at him on account of it, then that person most likely will not be outgoing or very talkative. It is possible to see the hurt in their eyes. But if that person is smart and has been praised for being smart, that person is outgoing and talkative and you can see the gleam in his eyes. Why do we need to fear what others think about us? The answer is that we don’t. If we have done our best when doing anything, then we can be proud of our self. We can be outgoing and talkative, knowing that at any given time we have done our best. After all, it is not what is on the outside that counts. It is what is on the inside, in our heart and mind, that counts. Don’t get me wrong, there are some very mean people that think they are the best at everything, but we can’t let these types of people have a bad influence on us. We have to stay strong to what we believe.
Some fears concern everyday things like the water, or even going outside. The fears can be so bad that the person does not take a bath or go outside at all. These types of fears cannot be handled alone. The person needs to work with a therapist on how to overcome these fears. For instance, someone afraid of the water can work with a therapist and the therapist can help them to not be afraid by first just touching the water with the tips of their fingers. Once the person feels comfortable doing this, then they can put their whole hand in the water at one time, and so on until they are able to, let’s say go to the beach, and put their toes in the water, at the edge of the beach. By this time, they possibly are washing their hands or even taking a bath. The person that is afraid to go outside needs to do the same thing and work with a therapist. They can start by just looking outside first. Then they can start to open the door a little, and just stand in the doorway. Next they may go out on the s porch, the step, or the hall outside their door. This would depend on whether or not they lived in an apartment building with everybody’s apartment door leading out into one big hallway, or if the person had a porch. You can get the picture. But it is by taking little steps or doing just a little bit toward facing the fear that will help the person to overcome the fear.
There are some fears that are not as “Tangible” as these, meaning they don’t concern anything that you can touch. These fears concern things like money problems or health problems. It may sound silly, but it has been a proven fact that most of what people worry about on an intangible level never comes to pass anyway, so we have wasted our precious time by worrying and being afraid of whatever it was that was bothering us. I have tried to have the mindset that if whatever it is needs to be good and it turns out not to be good, then I am no worse off for it. By the same token, if it does turn out to be good then I am better off for it. In other words, I try really hard to talk myself out of being afraid and worrying about a whole lot of things. Strangely enough, when I do this, I am much happier than when I don’t do it. In other words, when I am afraid or worrying about something, then I stay upset and feel bad. That doesn’t help anything one bit, so why do it?