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Jude's avatar

Tell me about facing your fears and overcoming them, please?

Asked by Jude (32098points) March 27th, 2012

Encouragement and success stories is what I need right now.

What did you have to do to face and overcome your fears?

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11 Answers

Blackberry's avatar

I never approached or talked to women. I was jealous and couldn’t understand guys who could do it so easily, even seemingly unaffected by rejection. I knew I had low self esteem. I didn’t think there was a point because no woman would ever want to talk to me, anyway: I had a crappy car and I didn’t have a lot of confidence.

Some time passes, and I’m tired of my life passing me by while everyone else is getting laid and meeting people. I had some unsuccessful encounters when I finally got the courage to talk to a woman, but the rejection only made it worse. It didn’t help that some women were rude about it, either.

More time passes and I guess I became slightly more confident the older I got. I started caring less about what every single person thought of me. I changed how I dressed, talked more in social situation instead of being quiet all the time and analyzing everything etc. I started getting compliments so I knew that may have come from some of the changes I was making.

I started realizing there’s actually nothing physically wrong with my looks. I started thinking about the good things I can offer instead of the bad things, just noticing my strengths and weaknesses.

So basically, as time passed and I started noticing my worth and what I can offer, I gained more self esteem and confidence. Now, I get more butts than an astray, lol. Ok, not really, but a few butts is better than no butts.

janbb's avatar

I was always terrified of being left to cope on my own; most specifically that I wouldn’t be able to manage all the practical details of living that my husband handled for us. Now that I have, I find with most issues that I have had to face, I can find a way to solve them by thinking about the problem calmly – sometimes it has been learning to do something I didn’t know how to do, sometimes it has been calling someone and asking a question. Sometimes it is being willing to pay for something that I used to have done for free. (Let’s not get too imaginative with that one.) A few nights I have howled with frustration, panic and loneliness. Joining a walking group and making some new,great friends who are also single has helped enrich my new life immeasurably. iam getting to do things that I really want to do. Lately, there is more peace and joy than there has been for many a year and I find I am busy enough that I actually crave solitude some times. I do think an asset I had through all of this process is that in recent years I have come to realize that I am basically a likable person and that I can reach out and connect with people.

likipie's avatar

All my life (which is a whole 16 years. Such a long time, I know!) I’ve been afraid to love. I mean I’ve always loved my family, I’m talking about love love. I’ve been terrified of opening up to anyone, of letting anyone in. I don’t like talking to people about my issues, not even my family. Hell, I can’t even tell my therapist the truth. But then he came along. I know this probably sounds like your typical Taylor Swift love story but when I say “It was different with him” I don’t mean it in the cliche way. It really was. He was so sweet and gentle, never told me to eat when I said “I’m not hungry”, he never forced me to talk about anything I didn’t want to talk about. He was such a gentleman, he even asked for my permission before he kissed me. But I was still terrified… As much as I enjoyed it, the kiss scared the shit out of me. It was my first real kiss with a guy and I didn’t know what to do. I went into deep depression, started cutting myself more and more, ruining all the progress I’d made. After he saw that I had started cutting again, we broke up. It was hard but I was kind of relieved. I’m just not ready for a relationship yet. But now I know that I can talk to him about anything and he’ll really listen. I’m not so afraid anymore.

Trillian's avatar

Being cheated on was a horrible fear for me. It happened with my last SO and I was devastated. It hurt every bit as much as I imagined it would. I was not, however, an object of general derision, which I also was afraid of.
As the days went on, I found that I was able to survive.
I’m not afraid of that particular event anymore. Going through it was actually liberating in a way.

CaptainHarley's avatar

In Vietnam, I learned ( among many other things ) to tell my emotions to STFU when that’s what was needed, and then I just did what needed doing. Seriously, learning to control your own emotions is sometimes difficult to do, but the payoff is well worth it. They are, after all, YOUR emotions. You own them. They are yours to control.

Mariah's avatar

I realized I was suffering more by not facing them than I would by facing them.

Basically my choices were, keep living in fear, with the self hate that goes along with it, or attack them head-on and maybe you’ll find out they were unfounded.

My best success so far is in dealing with my fear of failure. I was scared to even attempt classes that were out of my “comfort zone” because I assumed I would perform miserably. However, I realized I expending so much energy beating myself up about having this fear and making myself feel miserable about it, that suddenly it was clear to me that it would be worth it to take the chance.

So now I’m taking intro to robotics engineering, and yeah, it’s hard…I just bombed a quiz a couple of hours ago actually…BUT, I’m not as much of a flailing idiot as I was expecting to be. I’ve been surprised by my own ability to rise to the challenge. And I’m gaining some confidence in my abilities.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

Since I live with mental illness, I have a lot of unreasonable fears, ones that the vast majority of people consider silly. One such fear is of parking lots. They terrify me. When someone suggests meeting someplace, my first thought is about where I’m going to park. I am not the type of person who can randomly jump in the car and head some place without a thought in my head as to where I’m going to park.

There was one busy parking lot in particular that scared me the most, and I would avoid shopping at that store. The problem was that store housed my pharmacy. I had to go there.

I sat myself down and meditated about parking there. I used guided visualization to come up with a strategy of getting into the lot and into a parking stall on a particular row. From that time on, I would drive to the store, enter the lot always through the same place, and head straight for the row that I picked. If there was no space available, I left. I didn’t try finding space in another row. I left. I didn’t shop that day.

This sounds silly, I know, to a lot of people, but it is a real fear that I have. Now, when I set out to go to this store, I don’t worry and fret over parking like I did before. I can set out on the journey and pull into the lot calmly. It’s a big improvement for me.

I use this same type of meditative visualization on many problems and worries in my life, and it helps tremendously. I brings me solutions.

Shippy's avatar

I live in constant fear of all sorts of random things. A lot are rational a lot are not. It is odd as I was thinking a lot about fear over the last few days. I guess they call it generalized anxiety disorder. But anyhow @Hawaii_Jake I can relate to the parking fear. I have fears also of doctors, hospitals, medications, dentists, being ill, heights, planes just to name a few. I think medication is the only way I can deal with mine.

I was thinking about fear because nothing kills life more than fear, or living, nothing ruins being alive as much as fear. I wish I could over come it.

Fluthyou's avatar

I think with all firsts, there’s the fear of the unknown. I guess the first thing I have to remember is that that nagging guilt afterwards if I don’t do it is going to bug me more than actually trying it, whatever it is. Also there’s always more than one opportunity to go for what you want.

I hate public speaking. I fail when it comes to class participation but as long as I have been in school there’s always been something to show or pitch… at worst, I stumble over my words into a puddle of incoherency garble garble garble and feel embarrassed. But its gotten to the point that no one time sticks out as particularly shaming and I can just identify the fear in myself and that it is misplaced. I am mostly pressed by the fact that it’s a class and I have to present and refusing to would only draw more attention to me, the lesser of two evils I guess.

I don’t know if there’s a word limit on this thing but I have an endless list of fears. I don’t overcome all of them… I haven’t, but I think if ever you’re stuck take the active route over the passive one. I literally have to tell my mind to cool it or quiet down… and I guess it works because I’m functional. Good luck.

rojo's avatar

I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.
Bene Gesserit Litany Against Fear.

NomoreY_A's avatar

I used to have a weird thing about elevators, hated the damn things with a purple passion. To the point I’d have rather climbed 9 or 10 flights of stairs than get on one of those coffins. I know you’re going to think the way I overcame this is nuts, but here’s the deal. I was reading a biography of Dean Martin somewhere, and I found out that Dino himself had had the same issue. When he moved from New York to the West Coast to continue his career, he found himelf in Vegas one night, and after his act, he got on an elevator and rode it up down continually until he began to realize there was really nothing to fear. I figured if it worked for a guy like Dean Martin, it could work for me. I forced myself to ride an elevator up and down when I was visiting a friends condo one night, and it worked. I still don’t like the damn things, but I can use them now without an anxiety attack.

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