It is usually understood that “fear” is rational but is called a “phobia” when the fear becomes irrational. These irrational fears are driven by emotions; meaning willpower, facts and reassurance have little impact. Phobias can make the sufferer’s life miserable, cause embarrassment and undermine self-esteem. Phobias can easily develop in childhood or in adulthood, and can often start from something very simple. However, no-one needs to live with a phobia, as there is a way to deal with it in a positive and lasting way.
Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) provides that positive process, and does not involve a lengthy analysis of where it started, or having to be exposed to the topic of the phobia over and over again. It’s easy to do and works in line with the way we store our memories – and has even been described as fun!
By way of example, Bex has had an irrational fear of open water for over 30 years. The fear of the sea, rivers and lakes started from an early age when she watched Jaws the movie. This phobia had caused Bex to miss out on a number of experiences that she now regrets, including holidays, swimming and boat trips with the children. An expensive and exotic holiday was coming up and Bex finally decided that she was not going to let this phobia spoil her trip. She wanted to go snorkelling, on boat trips and even a banana ride – if only she could overcome the phobia.
Bex wanted to overcome this phobia once and for all, so we worked through the NLP process. Before the session, Bex was asked to think of a situation which would prove to her that her phobia was cured, once the process had been completed. She decided that a boat trip would really prove it to herself, especially as the last time she went on a slow moving, sight-seeing boat she sat in the middle of the boat in tears for the entire trip.
Within 45 minutes, Bex had transformed from being petrified of the thought of open water, to someone who could not wait to go on her first boat in 30 years. Bex described the process as “unbelievable” and was “surprised, and really pleased that the emotions have disappeared entirely”.
It was now over to the boat trip that Bex had chosen as her “test”, which would be her final proof that the phobia had been overcome. When she arrived at the venue, the sight-seeing boat was out of action but thanks to the great team there, they offered a speed boat trip instead. This would really be a test, given her previous experience in a boat. However, Bex had no nerves, no reservations and was so excited about the opportunity that she thoroughly enjoyed the experience, which lasted for over an hour!
Another example of how phobias can have a serious affect on life was a lady who was so scared of snakes that she stopped dead in the middle of a busy road, with her child in a buggy, because she saw a billboard with a picture of a snake on it.
You can decide enough is enough and stop wasting any more years and opportunities by suffering with a phobia. Click HERE for more information.