FEAR is a thief!

By December 1, 2016 August 7th, 2019 Articles
nlp blog

FEAR is a thief!

Yes, fear IS A thief…

It can rob us of all the amazing things we’d like to experience in our lives.  It can hold us back from taking the necessary risks and scare us so bad we stop before we even start!  On the other hand it can keep us from doing stupid things, from harming ourselves, even from danger.  Fear is inevitable!  Its ultimate purpose is to protect us.  But… we only take notice of the feeling when it doesn’t serve us… Right? .

When a fear emerges from the bowels of your unconscious, what do you do about it?

 If you’re like most people you do one of 3 things you’ve been conditioned to do;
1. Deny or Ignore it.
2. Panic, become neurotic, anxious, make yourself sick over it.
3. Deal with it appropriately, or as Wayne Dyer says;
Respond with ability – that’s called Response-Ability!  I LOVE THAT!

Unfortunately WHERE do we learn how to deal with our fears appropriately…

Well, like everyone else on the planet (a universal qualifier in NLP) you learn from your primary care-takers; your parents!

Modelling their behavior, how they TOLD you to respond, or WATCHING how they would respond, or more IN-effectively, REACT to some circumstance(s).

So why do we REACT rather than RESPOND to our fears?
It’s our Fight or Flight defensive mechanism operating at its best.

Learning lessons is essential going through life, it’s called GROWTH.  Without learning the necessary life skills we head into adulthood like we’re taking a plunge into the ocean without knowing how to swim.  Without effective life skills or tools to manage our FEARS/emotions we run the risk of drowning in our own experiences.

Here are 3 simple steps you can use immediately to conquer your fears and emotions at any time…


As Dr. Phil says; “You can’t change something you don’t acknowledge!”
This is the most challenging thing to do ISN’T IT?   Because once you acknowledge it you have to face it, and once you face it you might have to DO SOMETHING about it.

And you don’t really want to do something about it…  that’s why you haven’t up until this point, correct? Im being sarcastic (on purpose). We don’t want to HAVE TO do something about it because that means I have to FEEL THE PAIN.

And when we feel the pain our body wants to run away, normally!
 “We do MORE do avoid pain, rather than GAIN pleasure.”
So everything inside of you wants to avoid/run from this feeling. The first thing to do is acknowledge that’s it JUST a feeling, an emotion.  It won’t kill you, it won’t harm you,  it wont stop you… unless you let it. 

First step; simply acknowledge it.
What name would you give this feeling? 

Where is it located in your body?
How do you decide to do this?


Nothing is more important than your breath! You can go 7 days without food, 3 days without water…
but only couple minutes without air.

Funny thing is…  we tend to forget we are breathing. How many times during the day do you actually pay attention to your breath?  Usually only when you can’t, or its difficult does it come into your CONSCIOUS awareness. The trick here is to become more aware when your body is telling you something, like when its feeling a fear or pain of some sorts. It’s your body doing what it does best… protecting itself. Simply that!

Step one: Be aware, Pay attention,  Fear and Pain are just indicators!

When I was in the health & fitness industry for 20 years clients would come into the gym and complain of all sorts of pains, soreness and illness and I’d just ask them  “what is it telling you?” And they’d look at me like I was crazy UNTIL they took notice and came up with an answer, usually the answer to the solution to the problem.

Step two; Breathe it out.  Take a moment and just BREATHE.  3 deep breaths!
Notice WHERE the fear or pain it’s located. See if you can mentally MOVE the location to another part of your body. ( I know this sounds weird but YOU CAN do this). See if you can mentally MOVE IT outside your body.

Because once you can move it you can change it.  You have more control than you think you do.

Notice which way its spinning; clockwise or counter-clockwise. Then reverse the direction and speed it up, then put it back inside where it used to be and notice how different it feels now. I know this sounds REALLY STRANGE but this is how the body works. Fear and pain are just manifestations of our mental maps. You CAN change your perceptions of them. 

But don’t BELIEVE ME, try it and find out it works for yourself!


In NLP we have a very powerful tool we teach our students called ‘Re-Framing’. Basically its a method used to alter your perception or perspective of an unresourceful interpretation of an experience.

Reframes are linguistic tools which when applied to your currently held belief or fear will possibly shift your interpretation of that particular experience. Remember, events are meaningless until we place a prescribed meaning on them.

The meaning we place upon these experiences allows us to perform or behave within a particular context. A Reframe can quickly interrupt your thought process which then may cause you to experience new internal representations replacing their old limiting ones.

So to interrupt this negative thinking or fear, simply ask yourself;  “What else could this mean?”   Because once you give it another meaning,
a plausible interpretation that can actually work, you will begin to FEEL different about the situation.

For example: let’s say to want to talk to someone and before you approach them they give you A LOOK!  Most people will decide that “they don’t like me”  all that from just a look.  But what if you place another meaning upon that LOOK.
What if you say to yourself, “Maybe it actually wasn’t to ME!”
Or; What if its just something I’m wearing that they dont like!”
Or; “what if its toilet paper stuck to my shoe!”  :- )
Sometimes it doesn’t have to be serious, it can be funny as well. It only has to change your state of mind so you can TAKE ACTION, right?

Here’s another example:
What if you want to communicate something to someone important to you but you know they’re going to GET MAD AT YOU…
What question can you ask yourself that will give this an alternative meaning so you can create a WIN-WIN for both of you?

Maybe something like:
– maybe “they dont like confrontation!”

– maybe “they’re just as scared as I am when confronted with being wrong!”

– maybe “their parents yelled at them trying to get to the bottom of things so now they are very protective of their feelings!”

You see, you truly dont KNOW where people are coming from inside their own heads. Sometimes a simple Re-Frame can help you get through your biggest fears.

Because all FEAR really is… YOUR perception of what it is!  GOT IT?

Whatever gets you through the fear and allows you to take action is just perfect for YOU!


I’d love your feedback.

Here’s To Your Success, John

AND if your interested in attending the most powerful self-development workshop check out this! 

John James Santangelo PhD

Author John James Santangelo PhD

John James Santangelo PhD - nationally acclaimed speaker, author, seminar leader, and business results coach, has been a guiding force in empowering individuals, businesses, and corporations to excel at peak performance. John is a foremost authority in success principles and expert in the field of communication; an NLP trainer and clinical hypnotherapist. He has worked with companies such as The Learning Annex, Los Angeles Sheriffs Dept., Mary Kay Inc, Multiple-Sclerosis Society, Make-A-Wish Foundation, Well-Point, Xerox, RE/MAX Realtors, the Teamsters Union, and the US Army counter-intelligence team. Whether you’re looking to fulfill short/long term goals, increase your sales performance, or hire John for your next event, John will help you achieve that success! Visit www.LANLP.com or call (818) 879-2000

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