I step up to the microphone. All of a sudden it feels like the temperature in the room has risen. My heart starts racing and my palms start sweating. The air leaves my lungs. I look out into the crowd and see hundreds of eyes staring back at me. In the back of my head I know this is the time to open my mouth and speak, but I can’t make the words come out.We all have a fear, even if we don’t know what it is. It could be spiders, or snakes, or public speaking.

Fears exist to keep us safe. Being scared is a normal reaction to things our mind perceives as threatening, no matter what they may be. But fears also hold us back. They keep us from doing the things we need to do and from being the people we’re meant to be. The good news is, they don’t have to be a permanent part of our lives!


Overcoming a fear is not easy. For some of us, it might be the hardest thing we’ve ever had to do. Step one would be accepting that you’re afraid, and knowing that it’s okay to be afraid. You’ll have to commit to wanting to change your mindset, and you’ll have to be dedicated.

A famous quote from the Harry Potter series (“Fear of a name increases fear of the thing itself.”) applies here. If you’re able to say out loud what you’re afraid of, it’ll be just a little bit easier to take control of it.

Exposure, as terrifying as it may seem, is one of the best ways to get over a fear. Start slow. Visit the arachnid exhibit at the zoo. Work your way up to holding a spider. If you don’t get that far, it’s okay. Your efforts are still valid.

The important thing to remember here is that your fears do not define you. Being afraid does not make you weak, it makes you human.


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