Dealing with fear

NLP techniques

It is good to know that dealing with fear may be assisted by NLP techniques, isn't it?  

You are probably aware that so many tragedies and deaths have been caused throughout history because of our reaction to fear.  

When communities are worried because people fear the loss of livelihood or intrusion by people from other parts of the world who they believe may affect their way of life, there is a tendency to act unreasonably.


If you want to conquer fear, don’t sit at home and think about it; 

go out and get busy

Dale Carnegie


Dealing with fear and the witch hunt

The Salem witch trials in Massachusetts in the 17th century is just one such example.  Religious extremism led to many false accusations and countless people accused of witchcraft were put to death or died in prison.  Those events are perpetuated in the phrase “witch hunt” which we use today.

Not so long before – at the end of the 16th century – Giordano Bruno was burnt at the stake for proclaiming that the Earth moved and alleging that there were other worlds circulating around other stars.  

Jesus of Nazareth was put to death on the cross over two thousand years ago basically because the Romans feared he would challenge their supremacy.

These days we regard such measures as barbaric and extreme, but you only have to glance at the daily news to see people being killed and maimed in appalling circumstances often in the name of somebody else’s religious beliefs.

Dealing with fear – fear spreads

You may think that our individual fears are difficult enough to cope with, but when those fears spread throughout a community or nation, mob mentality takes over and flies in the face of reason and common sense.  

Principles of justice are overridden and people are liable to be put to death on a bare accusation without proper evidence to support it.  Fear brings out the very worst in us all.

Many religious leaders and politicians down through the ages must take their share of the blame for promoting a culture of fear in order to achieve their ends.  

A powerful way of getting people to follow your cause is to put them in fear of some dreadful event (for example, death) and then offer them a solution in the form, perhaps, of salvation (life after death).

Dealing with fear – political and religious leaders

How often do we see political leaders at election times prey on the fears of the electorate rather than put forward a solid programme of their own?  

In the tough economic times which the world faces at the time of writing, one would expect politicians to be uniting, spreading positive messages to encourage the world’s citizens to work together in harmony for the prosperity of all.

Unfortunately, too many of them find it easier to raise fears about immigration or suggest that one person is making too much money at the expense of another without real evidence to support the allegation, all of which breeds disharmony.  But they see it as easy votes.

Dealing with fear by tackling fears

So how do we tackle our fears?  Firstly, we keep our eye on the ball.  

Avoid getting into groups of people who frequently talk in the negative. 

A significant NLP strategy at this stage is to decide what you want for yourself, not what you don’t want.  

Ask your friends what they desire and most of them will immediately respond by telling what they don’t want.  

As soon as they do that, their concentration is in the wrong place. 

When you think you make mental pictures, so if you are thinking about what you don’t want you are envisaging it.  

Your mind will do all in its power to create the mental pictures in your mind.  

It follows therefore that you will want to think about what you do want rather than what you don’t want.  

If you think to yourself, “I don’t want to be poor” you make images of poverty.  If instead you think, “I am wealthy”, you imagine yourself living well.

In the same way, if you wish to lose weight it is better to think of the body shape you wish to gain rather than losing pounds, because your mind focuses on overweight instead of slim shape.  

“I want to stop smoking” immediately conjures up a picture of smoking a cigarette.  Better to say, “I would like to be fit and healthy” and dwell on the pictures that those words bring to mind.

Dealing with fear – what do you fear?

Most people who read this article will be fearing such events as unemployment and the inability to fend for themselves, although others may be in fear of much darker consequences.  

Whatever those fears are, the strategy probably needs to be similar.  

Remember that all the resources you need for anything are within you, and you need to spend time tapping into those resources to help you through your current situation.

There are other pages on this website that can help you with specific difficulties.  

At this stage, sit down quietly, close your eyes and try to clear your mind of the specific fear.  

It will  help to do that if you think of a beautiful moment in your life.  It could be anything.  

It could be the expression on a child’s face or a flower in bloom. 

Concentrate on it.  See the image.  Make it bright and bold.  Hear what you would hear and feel what you would feel.  

As the image, sounds and feelings grow, make them bigger, brighter, louder and more intense and let the feeling overwhelm you.

Dealing with fear – state the positive

Now think of a positive way forward.  What can you do to achieve the outcome you desire?  What positive steps can you take towards it.  

What skills have you got?  Do you need to learn some other skills to supplement them?  Think back to what you have achieved at times in the past.

Everyone has achieved something.  What did you do then that was so good in order to achieve what you did?  Are any of those skills and abilities transferable to the present situation?

Who do you know who might be able to assist you in getting where you need to go?  

Sometimes it is better when we act in partnership with another and pool our different skills.  

Whatever you believe you face in the immediate future, don’t sit back and let your fear overwhelm you. 

Create a plan of action and follow it.  Do whatever you need to do to get there.  

From time to time the plan may have to be modified, but stick at it.  

The people who succeed pick themselves up when they fall over and carry on to the end.


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