How to Overcome Fear

In this section you will learn how to overcome fear. You will understand our cognative biases and the causes of fear. You will then be presented with a set of tools which will show you how to change your thoughts and start living from a mind without fear.

Fear is defined as an emotion experienced in expectation of pain or danger and is generally accompanied by a desire to fight or flee. It is a “feel bad" type of emotion and it triggers in us psychological and physical feelings.

Fear precludes us from enjoying life and experiencing love. 

Fear represses our actions. It makes us believe that we are in constant danger and that there is no way out. We begin to distrust everyone and withdraw into our own space. 

Fear triggers our feelings of anger and hate, causes us to lose self confidence and our life becomes focused on pessimism and gloom. In extreme cases we start to believe that the end is near.

How to Overcome Fear, How to Be

Simply stated fear is the opposite of love. 

Mahatma Gandhi said; "Where there is love, there is life".

In order to start experiencing life we must first learn how to overcome fear and in order to overcome fear we first need to understand what causes fear.

The good news is that overcoming fear is easier than you think.

This section on how to overcome fear is made up of eight subsections. Click on the underlined link to open the page containing more detailed information for each of the chapters.

The first chapter deals with the human body’s design.

1. What Causes Fear

Fear is triggered in our brain by an organ called the amygdaloid nucleus. The amygdaloid nucleus or amygdala is an almond-shaped neural structure found in the anterior part of the temporal lobe of the brain.

It is a component of our brain’s architectural design and it works as an early warning system whenever we are faced with a potentially dangerous situation.

Ironically, it is our brain’s design and how we have evolved over the years that conspire to keep us in a state of fear and pessimism.

Go to my page on What Causes Fear and you will understand why our brain is convinced that it is living in perpetual danger.

In addition to our physical architecture, our mind’s programming is shaped by our interaction with our immediate environment. We fabricated a set of beliefs, often without any logical foundation, based on our early education, observing our parents and immediate family, our community and the media. 

We are convinced that we are right and we are incapable of considering any other possibility.

These preconceived beliefs are referred to as cognitive biases.

2. Cognitive Biases

There are as many definitions for cognitive bias as there are cognitive biases.

Cognitive is derived from the noun cognition which means knowledge.

Bias is defined as a partiality that prevents objective consideration of an issue or situation.

Simply stated, our cognitive bias is a tendency to assume and treat information according to our own likes, dislikes, and experiences.

Go to my page on Cognitive Biases to understand why these partialities contribute towards our state of fear?

3. Fear Conditioning

From the two previous chapters, we now understand that because of our physical make up and our acquired biases, we have become conditioned to accept that it is all bad.

And the media knows and trades on this.

Bill Applegate, a news director for WNEV-TV in Boston adopted a simple criteria for his lead news story: “If it bleeds, it leads”.

And, according to my experience, this standard has since been adopted by newspapers, television, internet news, radio stations and the advertising media.

Go to my page on Fear Conditioning to see how the media are all competing for our amygdala’s attention.

Then there are people who claim that what is being reported, as good news is not true. There are claims that Neil Armstrong never walked on the moon; that it was all filmed in a studio.

4. The Conspiracy Theorists

I do not subscribe to conspiracy theories but they certainly deliver a, sometimes, plausible alternative to what is being fed to us by the media.

If you have seen the 1997 film, Wag the Dog, directed by Barry Levinson and starring Dustin Hoffman and Robert de Niro, you cannot help but think whether all those clips which are presented to us with the news are real or just very realistic fabrications.

Are all the media stories presented to us real?

For an alternative view of the “truth” open my page on The Conspiracy Theorists.

5. Types of Fears

Just like cognitive biases, we have identified and compile a list of fears.

We are so consumed with fear that we have actually identified and named over 500 fears. It seems that there is just about nothing that we do not fear.

I have compiled a list of some of the names that we have given to the various Types of Fears.

6. A Mind Without Fear

We accept bad news as fact through our negativity and authority biases.

This has resulted in a brain convinced that it is living in a state of siege.

But nothing could be further from the truth!

How to Overcome Fear, How to Be

In his book, “False Alarm: The Truth about the Epidemic of Fear” Marc Siegel reminds us that life in the developed world is safer, easier and healthier now than it was,  not that long ago.

Your cognitive biases are probably preventing your from believing that you can live with a mind without fear but let me show you how you can do this by using common sense, and a few simple tools.

Go to my subsection, Living From a Mind Without Fear to learn how to overcome fear.

7. Cyber Bullying

Cyber bullying is a means whereby someone instigates fear in someone else via the internet, I guess, just for the fun of it.

The problem is that young children are taking these bullying tactics seriously and in extreme cases the victims of cyber bulling have gone as far as to commit suicide.

Go to my page on Cyber Bullying for some suggestions on how to overcome fear caused by these internet hooligans.

8. Quotes About Fear

I find that reading positive quotes help me keep focused and optimistic about life. I guess that this is a result of my own ingroup bias. 

To help you stay positive, I have compiled a page with some of my favourite quotes about fear or rather, on how to overcome fear. Click on Quotes About Fear to open the page.

There is a lot to be positive about.

Look around you and you will notice that we live in a world where our lives are improving day by day as new technologies are discovered.

You have learnt that you can defeat all probabilistic fear from your life by using a process of validation whenever you feel anxiety creeping in.

You now know how to overcome fear. 

Go from How to Overcome Fear to Setting Smart Goals
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