Taming the Fear
"The only thing we have to fear is fear, itself"
Master the fear monster using hypnosis
"The only thing people fear worse than death is public speaking"
- an urban legend (?)
It was only a month until the big corporate sales convention. "Bob" (not his real name) had always looked forward to the national meeting, a great time to renew business relationships and reconnect with old colleagues. Yet this year was different. This year, several hundred of his colleagues from all around the world were going to be looking up at the speaker podium, where Bob would be presenting the opening presentation. All of his peers, hundreds of faces in the audience would be awaiting his words.
At some point, Bob had forgotten how much he had been afraid of public speaking. It had been a while since Bob had had to give a speech. He had always managed to avoid any situation where he might have had to do so - that is, until now. Now, the thought locked him up in panic. Fear, stress, danger, what was Bob going to do?
Why did Bob have that morbid fear of public speaking? Similarly,why do some people fear air travel, driving, bees, water, or any of a multitude of possible things that we encounter more or less routinely in our lives.
A few months ago, I had another client (I will call her "Suzie") who had a mortal fear of spiders. Her fear was so great that any time she and her husband had to leave the house, he would have to walk first from the front door to the car, just to make sure there were no spiders anywhere along the path. Once the coast was clear, she could then make the dash from the house to the car. In her mind, I suspect she was lucky to survive that harrowing gauntlet, free from whatever harm some mythical spider somewhere might have done her.
Sound irrational? It is. Yet I often hear from potential new clients some time before they have that all-important speech, need to take an airline trip, or some other situation where they will be exposed to - eeeeks!!!!!
The fear is debilitating, and it's unexplained.
Deep fear lives within the most primitive centers of the brain. These are the locations deep beneath the reasoning centers, the neocortex and related structures within the brain that support higher logic and cognition. No spider was going to hurt her, yet somewhere deep within the emotional centers of her brain, a connection had been made between the possibility of encountering a spider and mortal fear.
Fear has its purpose in our lives. It keeps us safe. It prevents us from getting into situations where we shouldn't be. Fire, bad weather, a dark alley and the possible mugger hidden within it - fear keeps us away from possible danger. it is an essential survival tool, but only when used in moderation. When it gets out of control, it can become debilitating, ruining peoples' lives.
How do such irrational or unrealistic fears take their place within the mind? Was there a dangerous spider in Suzie's past? Did our sales rep at the national convention have a frightening encounter while giving a speech? Perhaps, yet the panic response is far beyond anything that a healthy caution would provide. Something else is going on - something has gone wrong...
As I interviewed Suzie during our first session, we talked about her family history, her relationships, and other aspects of her past. I learned much about the tapestry of her mind, what made her tick. In doing so, she she told me that she had had some pretty rough times at one point in her childhood - clue number one...
Her parents had divorced when she was in her late adolescence, and shortly thereafter, her father had remarried - clue number two...
She also remembered her parents fighting a lot during her early childhood - even to the point of physical altercation. Even today, she felt ashamed that she was unable to somehow protect her younger siblings from the violence around them - clue number three...
As we conducted deep trancework, hypnotic regression, and related hypnotherapy techniques, we uncovered the first time Suzie felt the feeling of fear. And almost without fail, the family dynamics were at the core of it. Spiders were not. As I asked her to go to the first time she felt that feeling, when a spider was present, she returned to one of those early events, a time as a toddler when Mommy and Daddy were yelling at eachother. Suzie and her sister hid in fear amid the verbal (and physical?) violence, Over in the corner, she saw a spider, hanging on its silk thread from the door frame. Click - the deep brainstem of the child made the connection: spiders = fear.
A few years passed. Fights, eventually divorcing parents, uncertainty and fear became an integral part of life. And in the midst of it all, there were spiders. As Suzie watched, spiders became more of a threat, until at some point the fear became debilitating. Now, Suzie sat in my office, suddenly realizing the connection.
With Suzie in deep trance, I was able to talk with her inner child, as well as her rational adult self. Now, that inner child could see that spiders were really nothing to be feared. In fact, Suzie was safe, happily married and living an otherwise- wonderful life. And once her inner child realized this, the fear was suddenly relieved. While Suzie will probably never take up spider collecting, she is now able to function in life. Her unrealistic and sub-rational fear has passed and she can live life - thanks to hypnotherapy.
Similarly, after a few sessions of deep hypnosis, Bob was also able to transcend his fear. Recently, he gave the keynote address at his company's sales convention. He is now a rising star in the company, no longer having to avoid those situations that might involve public speaking.
Fear is an important part of our lives. Yet when fear gets out of hand, it can become crippling. Yet in many cases, that powerful, unreasonable (and unreasoning) fear can be managed - or even eliminated. The subconscious mind can be freed of its straight-jacket. All with the power of hypnosis.