Being afraid is normal, and if you are human just as I am then you feel fear from time to time. Feeling fear is not always a bad thing since fear can be healthy or unhealthy. A healthy fear is an emotion that warns us about upcoming dangers, preventing us from making mistakes. A healthy fear protects us from physical and/or emotional injuries. However, many times we promote unhealthy fear. Yes, we promote this by due to experiences we had in the past, or anxieties we feel in regards to the future. Unhealthy fear takes control over our minds, making us feel paranoid about what could happen. Allowing fear to control us and keep us from experiencing the joy we deserve.

One of my biggest fears as a child was being in the dark. I hated dark rooms, dark corners, and I hated the night. The reason I hated the dark was due to watching so many horror movies. Because of this I began believing the horror I saw in those movie could be real. Well, I grew up and I still fear the dark. No one knew it, but I knew about it and that was enough. One day, I decided I was tired and should no longer fear the dark. I had no children at the time. I asked myself, how could I help my children with their fear when I was not able to overcome my own. I had to do something.

One weekend during the month of May, I decided to stay home alone and watch horror movies. I told myself that I would find out why I was so afraid. I also decided to find something positive from each horror movie. For some peculiar reason, that night it rained. While I watched the movie it began to storm, and I became overly fearful. Before each movie going to the restroom was difficult, and the darkness seems to be alive. After each movie I wrote what I learned on a sheet of paper.

Yes, believe it or not, I learned something. From the movie Nightmare on Elm Street written by Wes Craven I learned to be careful what I fed my brain. I defined what was real and what was not real. I also learned that I must find a way out or further in, but find the way. Today, I continue to watch horror movie and always learn something new each time, without fear of the dark.

The umbrella of fear is very large since everyone is afraid of something or someone. Some people are afraid of the past coming back to haunt them, fear of the unknown future, fear of rejection, fear of love, fear of roaches, fear of heights, fear of their parents, fear of pain, fear of aging, fear of poverty, fear of losing one's self, etc. However, it is vital that we face our fear, if we do not face our fear we miss out on fully enjoying life. You only have one life to live: live it.

Overcome Your Fear
It is vital that you work towards facing your fears. If you don't face your fear, your fear will steal your joy. There are different ways to overcome fear, but since fear is a personal issue, your must focus on what is best for you. My fear of darkness vanished after my decision to watch movies all night. Although it worked for me, it may not work for everyone else. Therefore, decide what is going to work for you after utilizing some of the following methods:

o Admit you are afraid
o Identify what is it you are afraid of
o How does this fear makes you feel
o How does it affect your current life
o When is your fear visible
o If you didn't have this fear, what can you do better
o Why is it necessary that you overcome your fear
o Why steps are you going to take to face it

In order to overcome your fears, you must first learn about them. If you analyze your currently afraid of, you may learn about the weaknesses and the strengths of that fear. Why is this important? Let's put it this way. If you are going to war you need to have some knowledge about your enemy, right? If you don't know anything about your enemy, there is a great chance you lost a battle that has not yet begun.

“You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’ You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”
-?Eleanor Roosevelt

Once you have studied your fear you will be able to define if the fear is healthy or unhealthy, and move forward with a battle plan. The best way to challenge your fear is to do that which you are afraid of. Be mindful of the law or doing anything that may cause your death. Other than that, don't let fear stop you. When I am afraid, “I do it anyway.”

Keep in mind that the negative emotions you experience from your fears often come as a result of what your mind has compiled. First change the way you are thinking, be honest, think positive, and have a better attitude about your situation (any situation). Your mind will then change your emotions and you can have a better experience. Do not allow fear to stop you from doing that, which is important to you.

Author's Bio: 

Sandra Graves, author and motivational speaker offers no quick fixes, but provides tips and motivation to get the reader on the way to understanding themselves. In comparison to other self-help handbooks, 7 Days of Self-Love strongly focuses on helping others identify their strengths and enjoy their life given gifts. You can find her book at or hire her for your next event.

Sandra Graves "Gra-viiss"
Author/Motivational Speaker