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Testing limits, changing thought patterns, overcoming and getting rid of fears: 8 tips

There are many things that can prevent you from achieving your goals. Fear is one of them. But avoiding the problem will only make it worse.

Fear isn't all bad

As we all know, fear can be a powerful motivator, and not all types of fear are bad. Fear is a natural feeling and we have to deal with it when we are faced with certain situations in life. Fear can be helpful and bad at the same time, and both types of fear can be overcome with the right approach.

Fear is a very strong fear of a certain situation. The downsides are emotional restlessness, panic, tension, and arousal. Typical fears are, for example, fear of heights, fear of flying, fear of the dark, pain, humiliation, public appearances, crowds or social contacts.

How fears limit life

Although fear of nature is a universal experience, it can still be a limiting factor in your life. In his book, The New Good Life, the Dalai Lama says that fear of heights is a widespread fear for many people. Fear is especially a problem when it dominates your own life as a real phobia and inhibits your own willingness to make decisions and creative options.

Fear of heights is widespread among mountain bikers and hikers. It's not uncommon for them to avoid the world's greatest mountains just because they're afraid of falling or injuring themselves. In fact, many people have this fear to some extent. Perhaps this is exactly why these people go hiking or mountain biking - to overcome their fear. For example, I am very afraid of dogs running freely. That's why I regularly get into discussions with dog owners who want to give me well-intentioned tips. Sometimes I even take detours to avoid a dog. But many fears are fuzzy, nonsensical and irrational and most of the time we even know that. However, we cannot defend ourselves at the moment, as hard as we try with common sense. Sentences like “You don't need to be afraid” are therefore often used in teaching.

Old-fashioned thought patterns from childhood make changes difficult

Because many of our fears are based on our earliest childhood experiences, a time when our brains are even more receptive to such new and terrifying impressions. So it is with my fear of dogs, which is based on early childhood experiences with dogs barking and jumping at me. These fears are correspondingly deep.

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So changing your thinking patterns is not always easy, but the most important thing is to try. Any change can be difficult, but we are able to change thought patterns at least for a period of time. For example, if a dog jumps at me and I cannot avoid the supposed danger, I have to calm down and tell myself that there is no real danger.

Approach the problem consciously instead of avoiding it

However, if you are really afraid of something and follow an avoidance strategy, then over time the fear takes up more and more space. If you do not take certain risks in the first place, you never know whether what you are afraid of will really come true and the fear is therefore justified, or whether it is perhaps something that you are only imagining.

The good news, however, is that if you are aware of your problems and fears, you can overcome them and feel more confident and open to new adventures. You cannot change the circumstances of a situation, but you can change your attitudes and thoughts about it.

The perception determines the situation

Because every situation is determined by our perception. This means that if we consider a situation dangerous, then it is dangerous for us too. But what happens when we decide to be brave and overcome fear? We will find that the situation in reality is not all that dangerous. Our brain has practically only fooled us into the danger. And our thoughts spiegelIn this way, they not only reflect our current environment, but they can also influence our future.

So we have to be courageous and repeatedly challenge ourselves to test our limits and master an apparently dangerous situation. Overcoming fears means overcoming the known and believing that we can learn something new. The best way to do this is to practice and get used to new situations.

Overcoming fears in a practical example

For example, if you are afraid of making longer hikes alone, perhaps you could just take a short trip to a nearby forest or park. The most important thing is that you learn to take these steps and gradually improve your courage. In fact, for me, hiking is one of the best ways to face and overcome your fears. Mainly because it is not really dangerous in large parts of Germany, but sometimes you have to master a challenging situation unexpectedly.

This is what happened to me recently on my hike on the 125 KM Lechweg in Tyrol. You don't expect any wilderness in Austria, in fact the landscape and the largely deserted area almost looked beautiful to me like Canada. On the way I didn’t meet any bears, but several times I met free-roaming dogs, in one case even an animal roaming around without an owner. There are also wolves in Austria.

In addition, I had to cross a picturesque but swaying suspension bridge, which, as it was so overcast and hovered in the thick fog a hundred meters above the abyss between the mountains, seemed even more unsafe. Finally, I had to descend a steep mountain on a small path covered in roots and stones that were totally slippery and slippery due to heavy rain. An experience that I would have liked to save myself if I had only known what to expect.

Overcoming fears and changing thought patterns: 8 tips

From these experiences I have drawn 8 lessons on the subject of overcoming fears that I would like to pass on.

  1. It depends on the attitude: If you want to overcome your fears, you must first improve your inner attitude. If you just look anxiously at something, you will never get started.
  2. Small steps: Long-distance hiking trails like the Lechweg are a challenge because you just have to keep walking every day and have no excuses. It is the same with fears. You can practice small things every day, overcome fears and improve your own attitude
  3. Set goals: Those who want to overcome fears have to set priorities correctly, identify goals and pursue them. This is also like hiking, especially long-distance hiking; No matter how much your muscles ache, you have to get there, even if only because the accommodation is booked.
  4. Believe in yourself and do your best: This is a difficult tip for people with strong fears. Believe in yourself, that's so easy to say when you are unsure. In fact, every coping with a dangerous situation is a push for self-confidence and helps. It is not for nothing that it is said:
  5. People grow with their tasks: Reassessing a situation: Not every situation that we classify as frightening is real. In the Lechquell Mountains I met a dog that ran freely and turned out to be a therapy dog. Sometimes in dangerous situations you just have to take a deep breath and force yourself to evaluate something differently. Often enough, the problem solves itself.
  6. Don't panic: For people who already suffer from fears, a suddenly occurring dangerous situation can quickly become difficult. Just like me when I met the stray dog. I forced myself not to run away, but tried to show with gestures that I am not afraid.
  7. Prepare yourself well: Sometimes fears are justified because they warn us not to do things we are not ready for. If you still want to tackle the topic, you should prepare well - just like on a hike that you don't start with the wrong shoes or without provisions.
  8. Just go ahead and do: Sometimes it also helps to just do it without thinking twice. Just as I would not have mastered the last stages of the Lechweg if I had known what to expect. Don't wait until you're ready, just get out there!

Conclusion: challenge yourself again and again

In conclusion, you should keep challenging yourself to climb the mountain, or at least the hill of your fear. Accept your fear, but face it at the same time. It can also help to meet other people who are already on the way and to interact with them.

Achieving goals is the key to success in life. Make sure you overcome your fears. You will never achieve anything if you let fear control you. Therefore, don't let fear stop you from achieving your goals.

You can start small and gradually improve your mindset. For example, if you are afraid of heights, you shouldn't start by climbing the highest mountain around you. Start small and you can achieve whatever you want to achieve. This is the only way you will learn to move about in the wild without fear and to look more and more often for opportunities to experience new adventures.

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3 answers to "Testing limits, changing thought patterns, overcoming and getting rid of fears: 8 tips"

  1. Jana G. says:

    Thank you for taking the time to write down your thoughts in a blog post. I really appreciate that. I've seen some really great blogs lately and your blog is definitely one of them. I just want to say that I love your blog.

  2. Martin Flicke says:

    Exciting contribution, thanks for that!

  3. Petra says:

    great contribution

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