Taking Charge of Your Fears

Debilitating fears carry a lot of history. They spend too much energy.

Yet so many of us always find ourselves giving in to them. Rather than facing and taking control of them.

"Doc, whenever I'm threatened by rejection, I always imagine a catastrophe. Then I'd feel automatically it's my fault and I'm no good," Jocelyn expressing her fear-thoughts.

Jocelyn was used to weakly assuring herself whenever she received compliments. She doubted her self. Always, in inner turmoil.

Recently, she wondered whether her boss really meant it when he told her how impressed he was of her work. She thought he's just being nice.

Thinking she can't survive rejection or disappointment which she feared a lot, she reduced her expectations. And, second-guessed her self.

By playing to her core fears, Jocelyn made it harder for her to believe that good things can happen. It only cemented her lack of happiness and peace.

In therapy, she learned to pause and process her childhood roots. She did work on the vestiges of her infantile fear-reactions.

At the same time, she took action by taking charge of her fears as she became deeply aware of them.

One way Jocelyn did was deconstructing her fear-thoughts. Reinterpreting her cognitive distortions.

"It's temporary. This too shall pass," she learned to tell her self when she'd think of or experience situational rejection, failure, and disappointment.

Jocelyn realized the feelings won't last the rest of her life.

She got better managing her fears by reframing the specifics of her situation. And, responding positively whatever the consequences.

It's true what James Thurber pointed out: "All men should strive to learn before they die what they are running from, and to, and why."