Essentially, fear is part of your 'freeze, fight or flight' response. This is a natural survival mechanism that has the function of preparing you to either avoid or to effectively confront a given danger. In a moment of crisis, adrenalin will rush through your system, helping you to think more clearly and act more quickly and decisively. This response might have been of particular use to your hunter/gatherer ancestors who would have shared their somewhat uncertain world with large predatory animals and some quite aggressive cavemen.
Usually, you do not experience too much by way of fear at the actual moment of crisis. Rather, difficult emotions tend to intensify sometime later when you begin to think back on what might have happened to you and you become concerned about what could happen in the future. It is therefore not really your fear that helps to protect you so much as your intelligence. In fact, most of the time, your fear may actually prove to be quite unhelpful.
You may argue that fear could serve to prevent you from doing something dangerous or stupid. This is a reasonable assumption but, in time, you may well find that it is in fact your fear that is holding you back. As you attempt to avoid the discomfort associated with certain situations, activities or people, your options can narrow and your world can start to grow smaller and smaller. Developing such an avoidance of situations likely to produce fear can obviously create real difficulties for you, as can developing of a fear of fear itself.
Over time, fear can eventually begin to muster its own vigorous energy. Strangely, it is almost as if it develops a sinister survival agenda, put in place to protect itself against you. Should this come about, it might seem to strongly resist your attempts to overcome it, as if you have now become its enemy rather than that person it needs to look after. If fear is starting to impact on your life in this, or any other way, please find some help. It makes sense to take your life back sooner rather than later.
Hypnotherapy, and its related disciplines, can be an effective treatment. The work we will do together will enable you to develop more appropriate ways of seeing the situations you face, as well as more appropriate ways of responding to them. Because fear is largely created by your particular style of thinking, you will find that you really do have the ability to make the changes necessary to take back control of your life.
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When you have the courage to tell the truth about what you're really afraid of, fear doesn't have control over your life.
Ali Vincent, Believe It, Be It: How Being the Biggest Loser Won Me Back My Life, 2009