Here’s a good one from Steve Maraboli.  Steve is a life-changing speaker, bestselling author, and behavioral scientist who lends his popular voice to various topics.

‘Your fear is 100% dependent on you for its survival’.

Oh how true this is!  The clinical nurse specialists in the hospital department where I worked gave a name to imagined scenarios by frightened patients with anxiety neuroses and irrational fears who always looked on the black side of life. In one word..

CATASTROPHISING

This was brought home to me when working with somebody who became frightened of leaving our office.  She would shake with fear and always wanted somebody to accompany her if she needed to go on an errand around the hospital. I often went with her and tried to calm her fears.  She would always carry a plastic bag with her if she left the office in case she vomited.

One day I stuck my neck out and ventured to ask her what it was she was afraid of.  She told me that she was afraid of panicking in front of people and vomiting.  The very thought of panicking in public hospital corridors would bring on one of her panic attacks.  In short, she was panicking about panicking.  At her lowest ebb she was off work for 6 months and some days could not even get up from the settee. She knew her fear was unfounded, but she could not stop it.

Fortunately she improved through cognitive behavioural therapy and anti-depressants, and over a period of time she made more and more forays around the hospital.  She eventually conquered her fears when she had her first child, and decided that panicking for no logical reason at all was not good when she was in charge of a baby.  She now has 2 children and often comes to see me.  We still get on very well, and she is a living example of how to conquer irrational fear.

So Steve, you’re definitely right about this one…

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