"Once I feared horses until I learned to ride. Then I found out that I was born in the Chinese year of the horse. I have feared many things in my life, but fortunately, I have been able to face my fears and eventually conquer them.
Having worked with countless people with high fear levels for over forty years that have led to immobilisation of their actions, I can tell you unequivocally that if you continue to do the thing you fear, the eventual death of that fear is certain to occur. First, it is natural and healthy to have some fear of many things, but is most unhealthy and unhelpful to have too much fear of anything!
It is healthy and purposeful to have 'rational' fears and potentially unhealthy and non-productive to hold 'irrational' fears. A 'rational' fear might involve getting run down by a passing car if one crosses a busy road in rush hour traffic without exercising care whilst an 'irrational' fear could be getting killed by a lion when one is never likely to be in the presence of one.
It is unhealthy however, to allow either rational or irrational fears to immobilise you. All problem fears are invariably 'irrational fears.' It often requires courage to face one's fear, but only through facing fear can fear be mastered and brought under control. It takes true courage to face one's fears and not repress them, but it takes control to be able to manage and master them.
Each time a fear is faced, its impact on you is lessened. Each time a fear is avoided, the fear level is increased. There is but one road towards conquering one's fear level and that is to recognise it, face it, learn to manage it and thereby dispel it from all serious consideration.
The most effective fear reduction method I have ever encountered is one that depends upon the trainee being familiar with the discipline of relaxation training. The method is called, 'Systematic Desensitisation' and it involves approaching one's fear in a step-by-step manner, first by learning to vividly imagine yourself doing it while in a state of 'relaxation' and then actually doing it in the outside world to reinforce the experience in one's memory bank. As far as body function is concerned, the brain is unable to distinguish between the 'real' and the 'imagined'; 'the inner and outer body experience.'
It is the presence and the degree of fear that matters and not whether it be from an inner or outer body experience. It is its excessive degree which takes it beyond one's immediate control and effectively immobilises and freezes one's actions. Hence the need to approach the problem by the twin means of imagination techniques and practical ones." William Forde: January 23rd, 2015.