The only thing we have to Fear is… Fear itself

Phobias, they are all around us. Have you ever wondered how you got that fear of heights? Or why you despise speaking in public? You too can learn how fear works, and how to control your fears as well.

First, we must assess fear on a biological aspect. Fear is a fight-or-flight response mechanism that has been bred into humanity from our dawn. We have fear in order for our minds to quickly assess a potentially dangerous situation and to react promptly. This mechanism has aided in running, adrenaline production, and self-defense.

Today, fear is practically useless in developed societies. We as Americans fear far too much. We make fears out of things like doors, windows, telephones, memories, heights, and the like-wise. How can we help tame those beastly monstrosities our minds have cooked up, known as fears?

Since fear has been integrated into our genetics for a long time, there is no true way to remove fear; only ways to control it. The first and foremost way to control your fears is by acknowledgement. If you accept you are fearful of something, no matter how ridiculous, then the true-process of healing can begin.

Ok, so you’ve accepted and acknowledged you’ve had this fear. Simple enough, but now you must move on to step two: Assessment, how did you get this fear? Why did you get this fear? If you can give yourself a better understanding of your fear, it will help you, in the long run, to not only overcome, but surpass your fear.
After this, you must move head on into tackling your fear. Many a person would much rather be anywhere than in the presence of their fears. If you put yourself around what is scaring you, for instance a public speaking class, you will become calmer and more eased around your fear. Who knows, it may even turn out that you enjoy what you feared!

Rinse and repeat! If you only face your fear once, it will not accomplish anything. All that will do for you is a quick, painful experience that you want to end fast. Repetition is a vital component to conquering your fears. Without it, you will simply slide back into a possibly debilitating mentality.

Finally; after you have become comfortable with your fear and have defeated it by being around it so much, it may no longer seem as a fear. You still may not enjoy it, and you don’t. The purpose of fear again is a safety mechanism, and sometimes it truly is better not to accomplish your fear. Just remember, as Franklin Roosevelt once said, “The only thing we have to fear – Is fear itself.”

After all is said and done, enjoy your new life! Go out and do the things you couldn’t before. Deliver that great speech to your boss or class. Ride that rollercoaster. Ask that significant other out! Fear can’t harm you, but missed opportunities can.

Tim Frisch is a student at UW-Stout in Menomonie, WI and a regular contributor to and