Facing Fear - Don't just do a toe check

Are you afraid?

Everybody has fears. It is just a part of life. You may be afraid of the dark; you may be afraid of tiny instincts; you may have a fear of heights; or you may have a fear of social situations. There are numerous fears out there. Some are very real and legite while others may stem from your own ability to hold yourself back. According to Wikipedia, "fear is a basic survival mechanism occurring in response to a specific stimulus."

By definition, fear is something that causes feelings of dread or apprehension. It is an emotion that is aroused inside of you. It is a concern or anxiety. Everybody has them; the difference is what you do to face them.

Have you avoided traveling because of a fear of flying? Many people have never set foot on a plane before because of this. But what adventures are you missing because of it?
Have you avoided traveling because of a fear of flying? Many people have never set foot on a plane before because of this. But what adventures are you missing because of it? | Source
Since when did the friendly clown become something that people feared?
Since when did the friendly clown become something that people feared? | Source

Top Ten Things to Fear

In a study done by Bill Tancer, he did research to see what people searched online for "fear of," to see what would come up. The thought behind this was people would seek out information on what they feared most. The results may be something you may also fear.

Here are the top 10 things he found people feared most.

  1. Flying
  2. Heights
  3. Clowns
  4. Intimacy
  5. Death
  6. Rejection
  7. People
  8. Snakes
  9. Failure
  10. Driving

Did your fear make the list?

Is there something you are afraid of that nobody else knows?

Do you know how to face those fears?

What do you do about it?

Facing fears is a difficult task. Frankly, not everybody is up to facing that task. The question is, are you going to be the person that faces your fears and comes out stronger or are you going to be the one who continues avoiding just because you are afraid?

The first thing you need to do is get out a piece of paper and a pen. Write down your fears. This is the first step. You need to see and know what you are really afraid of before you can confront them.

Once you see your list, you need to start bringing that list down. That means facing your fears one at a time. If you are afraid of heights and snakes, you don't need to bungee jump into a pit full of snakes. That is a bit excessive. However, you can start by going to somewhere high and peering over the side. Take in the endorphins racing through as you face your fear of heights. As for the snakes, go to a petting zoo and just touch one or hold one. You will be able to look that snake in the eye and see you are no longer afraid.

Most importantly though, you are going to need a support system. Once you have stated, out loud, that you are going to face your fears, bring someone else along for the ride. This way they are there to keep you going forward instead of backing out at the last minute. This will hold you accountable... and it might make for a fun day with a friends.

While you let fear get in the way

Selvatica - Welcome to the Jungle - Do you want to travel and find your fears are holding you back? Welcome to the Jungle. This little adventure not only can get you over your fear of flying, but it can also give you experiences you never thought you would dare try!

Scarred for Life - Sometimes life hands you twists in the road. You might be afraid of what will happen. But, remember you will come out of the experience being stronger than you were before.

Jump in with both feet!

Did you ever have that moment where you are about to go swimming, yet instead of just jumping in you dip in your toes to test the water. Why do you do that? What happened to that childlike attitude where you jump in with both feet... regardless of how cold the water might be! Are you afraid of how cold the water is? Do you think you will get hurt because of the temperature?

When it comes to facing your fears, sometimes you just need to go big. Don't just dip a couple toes in the water, jump in with both feet. That means if you have a fear of rollercoasters don't go on a Merry Go Round... go on a rollercoaster. Face that fear and don't be afraid to go for the jump. What will come out of it is a much stronger person. A much stronger you!

Who knows, what you might have once feared, might be something that you now enjoy. So jump in with both feet and stop doing the toe-check. You can do it!

So which fears are you ready to start facing?

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Comments 54 comments

Kathleen Kerswig 4 years ago

Good article - thank you for the suggestions. The fear that keeps cropping up for me is the fear of the unknown. I tend to project into the future (usually negatively) and I worry about things that never end up actually happening. I don't think I'm alone in this either. Sometimes we just have to face our fears, (in my case, face the unknown), and trust that all will be well.

I am glad you mentioned using a support system when facing fears. We can all use support in everything we attempt to accomplish. Thanks again for sharing.


Alecia Murphy profile image

Alecia Murphy 4 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina

The past couple of years I've been trying to face fears. Not necessarily out of a desire but a necessity. I finally realized that it was me making a big deal out of things that should have easily come to me. My fear I recently conquered was driving. I thought for so long I was too nervous and too uncoordinated to do it but finally I made myself do it and it's one of the best things that's happened to me.


barbergirl28 profile image

barbergirl28 4 years ago from Hemet, Ca Author

@Kathleen - I too have the fear of the unknown. I often times think about the future and wonder what it holds for me. I guess that would probably be one of my biggest fears. That unknown has held me back so many times from going for more for myself, purely because I don't know how what I do will affect others. Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I think this is something pretty important for all people to realize... it is ok to have fears... but it is how you deal with them that really makes the difference! :)


barbergirl28 profile image

barbergirl28 4 years ago from Hemet, Ca Author

@Alecia - Congratulations on working through your fears. That deserves a great big kudos and a high five. I have always loved to drive, but it is weird how the older I get, the more afraid I get of driving. I still do it out of pure necessity, but while I have never let a big snowstorm stop me, suddenly I start thinking more about that kind of stuff. Congratulations - you have made such a great accomplishment! :)


Kathleen Kerswig 4 years ago

You're right - how we deal with our fears makes a huge difference.


raciniwa profile image

raciniwa 4 years ago from Naga City, Cebu

this is a great hub, fear is part of our emotions because it keeps us safe, and keeps us away from danger...

i am afraid of heights, snakes, lizards, leeches...i don't know how to overcome those but thanks for the suggestion...


barbergirl28 profile image

barbergirl28 4 years ago from Hemet, Ca Author

@Kathleen - And sometimes that is going to be the hardest part. We can all list what we are afraid of and come up with ideas as to how to face them... but doing it... that is the hard part.


barbergirl28 profile image

barbergirl28 4 years ago from Hemet, Ca Author

@raciniwa - I am deathly afraid of heights. I don't like driving on tall mountains and looking down from tall buildings even scars me. But, because I don't like looking... that is what I do. I am still afraid of heights, but at least now I can still see what I would have otherwise avoided. And I am also seriously scared of insects. Small, big... doesn't matter. I usually call my husband over to dispose of them so I don't have to deal with them. It gets my heart racing every time. Unfortunately, when he isn't home. I have to deal with them. Thanks for stopping by. :)


mythicalstorm273 profile image

mythicalstorm273 4 years ago

Very interesting thoughts! You already know my greatest fear... how am I supposed to face that? Although technically my greatest fear is not Zombies. It is the idea of Zombies but mostly my greatest fear is an incurable disease taking over the world and leaving society as nothing but a distant memory. That is my greatest fear... how would I ever get over that? Still for normal fears like heights and stuff you really offer some great advice! I keep telling Darrel he has to face his fears. Guess what he wants to do to get over them! He wants to go rock climbing! Of course he wants to get in better shape before he attempts it, but it is on his goal list! I'm so proud of him :-) You really wrote a great hub about fears! I hope that you keep up with your writing so I can read more of your wacky thoughts! lol. In all seriousness though I love how you write and greatly enjoy reading your hubs :-)


RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO

BBG - you are right on!! I am afraid of fears! LOL. I have always liked to face them - head on. It is the quickest way to make them go away. I did need a reminder. I think this is a very brilliant hub! Everyone has fears...and even thinking about the root of it can lead to understanding them and you are right - I think they have to be dealt with.

Up and everything...tweeting and sharing - this is a great thought provoker for sure!


barbergirl28 profile image

barbergirl28 4 years ago from Hemet, Ca Author

@Myth - I know perfectly how you can get over your fears of zombies (since that is the closet thing to an incurable disease ravaging through the world) First things first, you can play the zombie board game that Eli got for his birthday. Those aren't even scary so that is a stepping stone. Now mind you - I challenged you not to toe dip. So jump on in and watch a zombie movie. If you can face them in the movies and not be scared, you will find that you are no longer afraid of them. But in all fairness, those things are meant to be scary. So try a funny zombie movie like Shaun of the Dead or Fido. But you are right, if you are scared of zombies it is pretty difficult to face a fear that doesn't even exist! LOL

As for my writing, I won't stop. I have been passionate about it for way to long. It might slow down a little bit now that I have to actually come up with different ideas other than P90X, but I will never stop. However, one of my fears is not having an audience to share them with. How horrible would that be to write and never be read. Better get onto that book! :)


barbergirl28 profile image

barbergirl28 4 years ago from Hemet, Ca Author

@Real - I love thought provokers. This is something that I have been discussing at great lengths with another person. My main advice was not to just toe-dip but to jump in with both feet. If you toe-dip you leave yourself up to back off because you only had a taste. You need to face them head on... and sadly, that is the only way it will work. In the end, we will be stronger because of it!


Ruchira profile image

Ruchira 4 years ago from United States

What a better way to start a NEW year than to accept your fears and learn to challenge them.

My fear is that I fear a lot over small things..lol

gotta learn to just admit that I am human and it's okay to fear and gotta learn to accept it..lol

voted up as useful indeed!


drbj profile image

drbj 4 years ago from south Florida

Interesting list of fears, Stacy. I would add two more to that list: fear of the dentist, and the fear of public speaking. The latter keeps me gainfully employed as an executive coach working with senior executives who need to improve their public communication skills.


barbergirl28 profile image

barbergirl28 4 years ago from Hemet, Ca Author

@Ruchira - I never even thought of the timing of this but yeah, this is a great way to start the New Year. I have a fear of little insects. Funny because as I was responding to a comment on here I saw a cricket and just about jumped on the couch and called my daughter over to save me. Don't worry - I faced my fear this time! LOL


barbergirl28 profile image

barbergirl28 4 years ago from Hemet, Ca Author

@drbj - They did have fear of public speaking listed in the top ten list... but ironically no mention for fear of the dentist. Now that you mention that, I am actually very surprised about that. I only fear the dentist when they have a drill in their hands... which has only been once in my whole life. LOL


jpcmc profile image

jpcmc 4 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

I am afraid of heights but I enjoy mountain climbing and rappelling especially when I was younger. I guess the adrenalin rush was too addicting.

"Do the thing you fear most and the death of fear is certain" Mark Twain

But after all those hours hanging from a rope, the fear of heights is still alive and kicking.!


Soldieringon profile image

Soldieringon 4 years ago from Hemet, CA

Great hub! Voted up.


barbergirl28 profile image

barbergirl28 4 years ago from Hemet, Ca Author

@jpcmc - I have always had the fear of heights. I haven't gone mountain climbing but I have rappelled and it is such a rush. I also love rollercoasters but the heights of them often time scare me. I shake the entire time waiting in line. But I get on anyway... it is over before you know it! :)


barbergirl28 profile image

barbergirl28 4 years ago from Hemet, Ca Author

@Soldieringon - and once you get through it... there is nothing left to fear. It is like that with P90X... you know it is coming but once you finish... you know what to expect! :)


mythicalstorm273 profile image

mythicalstorm273 4 years ago

I have watched Shaun of the Dead... It was stupid. I also have a poster ( a gift from somebody at work) that has the survival tips for the zombie apocalypse. The thing about it is that my fear is greater than zombies. They just embody my fear. Then I also have really bad nightmares. I fear sleeping almost as much as I fear zombies. But I have a hard time facing any fear because of the reaction I have while I am asleep... so what is your suggestion about that? I have such bad nightmares that most nights I wake up in a cold sweat convinced that something is about to pop out and kill me. Often times it takes me over a half hour to calm myself down and even then I end up falling back into the dream to have it happen again. Imagine dreaming over and over and over again that zombies are breaking through your windows to eat your face off... So what is your suggestion to deal with that?


barbergirl28 profile image

barbergirl28 4 years ago from Hemet, Ca Author

@Myth - Get a dreamcatcher ;)


jpcmc profile image

jpcmc 4 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

@ mythicalstorm273

Have you consulted any professional? A psychologist, a pastor or a shaman would be nice to talk to about this. But seriously, if it's already interfering with your quality of life then you need to get professional advice. I sincerely hope this gets resolved. BTW, I have dreamt a zombie dream several times now. It’s the same scenes and it still gives me the creeps. It started when I saw the movie Night of the Living Dead.


barbergirl28 profile image

barbergirl28 4 years ago from Hemet, Ca Author

@Jpcmc - It seems there are a lot of people who can't watch scary movies because of the dreams it causes. The hard part is, sometimes you can't really control your dreams to defeat the demons in them. You just gave me a wonderful idea for a hub... I am going to have to do some research! ;)


RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO

And the other positive is either way - when you face your fear head on - you can put it behind you! And hopefully leave it there...!

I think people became afraid of clowns after IT was written - I have always thought it was kind of a funny thing to fear but I am hearing lots of people say stuff like that!


barbergirl28 profile image

barbergirl28 4 years ago from Hemet, Ca Author

@Real - Eli is deathly afraid of clowns. He actually likes the movie IT because the clown dies in it. He blames it from his childhood when he swears he remembers the clown decorated diaper bag hanging up in his room. Apparently they were evil back then in the shadows. Even now a days, he will go out of his way to avoid them. I don't think they are scary - well, unless they are meant to be - however it is a great fear for many.

Speaking of which - there is a commericial for flat rate shipping. They emphasis people's fear of clowns as they got one as a Christmas present and where trying to send it away. Funny commercial. I will have to find it if you haven't seen it yet!


alocsin profile image

alocsin 4 years ago from Orange County, CA

It's number 2 for me. And I love the title -- makes it easy to remember what to do when facing my fear. Voting this Up and Useful.


barbergirl28 profile image

barbergirl28 4 years ago from Hemet, Ca Author

@alocsin - Ah - that one is it for me too. Probably the first on my list followed by little creepy crawling bugs.... shudder... As for the title... that was the whole inspiration behind this. I said it to a friend and realized... that is a great way to think of it! If you do a toe dip you might back out with only a small taste - so you might as well just jump in and go for it!


Steve LePoidevin profile image

Steve LePoidevin 4 years ago from Thailand

I used to skydive when I was younger and crazier...ok maybe just younger. My first time in a plane was when I started jumping out of them. I didn't actually land in a plane until about the fifth or sixth time up. To this day, I get a little worried when the plane is landing lol.


Credence2 profile image

Credence2 4 years ago from Florida (Space Coast)

Greetings, Barbergirl, we all have a phobia or two. In spite of all the great advice, I will usually have my fear of heights, but oddly enough not of flying itself. Food for thought, thanks Cred2


barbergirl28 profile image

barbergirl28 4 years ago from Hemet, Ca Author

@Steve LePoidevin - I have never been skydiving. My husband keeps trying to get me to go. Maybe one day... but I am not going to lie, jumping out of a plane scares me to death!


barbergirl28 profile image

barbergirl28 4 years ago from Hemet, Ca Author

@Cred2 - I too will probably always have a fear of flights. Oddly though flying in a plane has never bothered me. Now jumping out... that is a whole different story. Glad it could give you something to think about!


Sharyn's Slant profile image

Sharyn's Slant 4 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

Stacy,

I'm AFRAID to tell you what I fear! Okay, okay, I fear clowns. Yup, they are creepy little monsters that need to stay away from me. I admit I was really glad to see those little buggers on the list. And something that kind of goes along with clowns that I fear are balloons. I do not like balloons. They scare me. They are unpredictable and I don't like that. I must have been traumatized as a young child or something. It's no wonder I could never work in a circus. No way can I even dip a couple toes in to face these fears. Nope. I just know I'm not going to be able to sleep tonight. Thanks!


barbergirl28 profile image

barbergirl28 4 years ago from Hemet, Ca Author

@Sharyn - You are definitely not alone... it did make the top ten list after all for fears. Although I have to admit, I have never heard of anyone being afraid of Balloons before. That is a new one to me. I hope you slept well though and this didn't bring up to many distrubing thoughts! :)


Sharyn's Slant profile image

Sharyn's Slant 4 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

I had a hard time sleeping, kept hearing "pop, pop, pop." - gosh I hope you know I am kidding ;)


barbergirl28 profile image

barbergirl28 4 years ago from Hemet, Ca Author

@Sharyn - ha ha - that is just too funny. Seriously - yes... I am laughing at your pain... lol! ;) Good thing I can understand sarcastic typing! LOL


GoodLady profile image

GoodLady 4 years ago from Rome, Italy

Fear is such a good topic and wonderful you wrote a Hub how to deal with it.

Certainly facing it head on, naming the fear helps to deal with it.

Loved your suggestion to talk about it with someone.

Thanks. Voted up


barbergirl28 profile image

barbergirl28 4 years ago from Hemet, Ca Author

@GoodLady - Facing your fears can actually be very thereapeautic. Now I am not saying you face them and get over them... but it definitely is good for you. For some reason facing fears has been a big topic of conversation around her lately. I can't complain... it has spun a great idea! Thanks for stopping by and commenting! :)


Brett.Tesol profile image

Brett.Tesol 4 years ago from Somewhere in Asia

Up and awesome. I used to have a mild fear of heights, but after an outward bounds course, that is GONE. They had me doing the trapeze from a ships mast, rock climbing, abseiling and a whole load of other "fun" stuff lol. Was a great experience.

Thanks for SHARING.


barbergirl28 profile image

barbergirl28 4 years ago from Hemet, Ca Author

@Brett - That sounds like a fun experience. I have done some rapelling and it was great. I screamed the whole way down. However... I still have that fear of heights. I would love to try rock climbing though but trapeze from ships mast... that is just nuts! LOL


sgbrown profile image

sgbrown 4 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

I am terribly afraid of flying! I try to be realistic and go over the facts and convince myself it is safer than driving. My brain agrees, my heart doesn't. I have found that the more I do fly, the less afraid I am. Thanks for sharing your advice. Voted up and useful! :)


barbergirl28 profile image

barbergirl28 4 years ago from Hemet, Ca Author

@sgbrown - I always get that feeling of tension when the plane takes off (and sometimes when it lands), but usually midway through - I don't seem to notice. However, I have a cousin that won't set foot on an airplane because of his fear. Thanks for sharing your fear with us! I am glad you are getting closer to conquering! :)


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

I feel good as I had only one on your list of fears being snakes. Have always been afraid of them. They creep me out. Even if I see one on TV it sends shivers down my spine. Not sure if I could go to a petting zoo and actually hold one.

It is hard to face your fears no matter what they are and you have given some great suggestions on how to overcome fear.


Entourage_007 profile image

Entourage_007 4 years ago from Santa Barbara, CA

I have a fear of heights that I don't think I'll ever be able to get over. One thing it stops me from doing is working in new york. I would hate to work in new york on the 60th floor - I just feel way too high at that point. One time I was on an elevator going up to the 60th floor and I literally was crouched as close to the ground as I could get.... It makes me dizzy when i Look down. I guess I probably am not a candidate for sky diving haha... Great hub..... As for flying I don't seem to have a problem because I feel safe.


point2make profile image

point2make 4 years ago

I enjoyed this hub and it hit close to home. I have a fear of flying and it has stayed with me all my life. I do fly, sometimes, but if my destination is anywhere within 1000 miles I will drive. The funny thing is I acquired this fear later in life. When I was young I took every opportunity to "fly" including small two passenger planes and helicopters. I loved to fly and now, somehow, I have this "new" fear of flying and a "new" fear of heights. Hard to figure where they came from!! Voted this hub up.


barbergirl28 profile image

barbergirl28 4 years ago from Hemet, Ca Author

@Just ask Susan - Ew... snakes... I shudder at the thought... in fact just yesterday I was on Twitter and I clicked on a link because it said they were the worst parent ever... I had to see why.. apparently their back yard became infested with black snakes... hiding under their deck... yep - I would have been moving! Shudder again!


barbergirl28 profile image

barbergirl28 4 years ago from Hemet, Ca Author

@Entourage_007 - I know exactly how you feel. Heights is one of my biggest fears... however, if I feel safe it really doesn't bother me. I am not so sure I would like to be up on the 60th floor of a building either! LOL


barbergirl28 profile image

barbergirl28 4 years ago from Hemet, Ca Author

@point2make - It makes me wonder if there is something that changes in our "fear center" as we get older. I used to be really good about driving... like crazy and no fear at all. I would speed, I would purposefully do donuts in parking lots covered in snow. I had no fear. Now - I don't know what it is, but driving in bad conditions scares the heck out of me... to the point of almost a nervous breakdown. And then there is roller coasters, I have always had a fear of heights but I loved roller coasters. Now - even those freak me out. I wonder what causes that. I say it is my kids - I gave my courage to them when I was born! :)


Richawriter profile image

Richawriter 4 years ago from On Top of the World

Good stuff BarberGirl!!

Just my kinda topic.

Good tips and a timely reminder for me to take the plunge into the depths of my deepest and darkest fear. (My secret for now ;))

You have kept up an incredible pace of writing articles here and I commend you on that! Well done. I shall do my best to emulate your success. Thanks for the inspiration!

Useful and most certainly up up up and awayyyyyyy!


barbergirl28 profile image

barbergirl28 4 years ago from Hemet, Ca Author

@Richawriter - Thank you so much for the compliment. I have tried pretty hard to keep up with everything on Hubpages. I have always wanted to be a writer and I love sharing my thoughts and opinions and information. Good luck on your adventures here as well...

So, now that you have read this... I hope you take the plunge... and maybe even tell us what your deepest darkes fear is! ;)


prairieprincess profile image

prairieprincess 4 years ago from Canada

Barbergirl, great hub! I sometimes struggle with fears in my life, too, and I love your advice about just diving in. That is a great advice because the longer we wait, the worse the fear itself gets. Thanks for writing -- this is very inspiring!


barbergirl28 profile image

barbergirl28 4 years ago from Hemet, Ca Author

@prairieprincess - Fears are very powerful things. It is crazy how much you can really let it rule your life. I know for me, I have a crazy fear of bugs. I literally go running the other direction. And heights... there is so many things I would love to do but because of heights I back away!


sweetie1 profile image

sweetie1 3 years ago from India

Very nice tips and useful hub barber girl. I really liked the what happened to child like attitude thing. I am afraid of dark places. I would try to over come my fear of dark places now.


barbergirl28 profile image

barbergirl28 3 years ago from Hemet, Ca Author

@sweetie1 - Facing fears is difficult... but sometimes it is just something we need to do. Glad you enjoyed this hub!

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