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Why doesn't facing my fears make them at all less scary; I thought doing this over time was supposed to help...?

9 Answers
Last Updated: 08/14/2018 at 6:35pm
1 Tip to Feel Better
Moderated by

Johanna Liasides, MSc


I work with youth and young adults to help them improve depressive symptoms and self-esteem as well as effectively address family, relationship and peer conflicts.

Top Rated Answers
April 21st, 2015 7:37am
It is supposed to help, but the important thing is doing things intentionally. Having a goal phrase with you. "I am getting stronger each time I do this". Intention is everything, if you believe it wont help, it wont. You have to believe and choose for it to benefit you.
March 2nd, 2015 4:01am
Facing fears (in a graded way, i.e. building up to a fearful event slowly) [known as exposure therapy] can help sometimes, however from a CBT perspective I'm wondering if you are also looking at your thoughts relating to your fears? Facing your fears is changing your behaviours (you are facing and not avoiding your fears), however your particular fears might be driven by thoughts. For example you might be having thoughts like 'That dog will bite me'. So trying to face being close to a dog, if you are still having these types of thoughts, won't fix your problem. It's difficult to say, however I would recommend seeking out help from a fully trained CBT practitioner who has lots of experience and qualifications. Good luck!
March 3rd, 2015 2:52am
Ever hear of the quote - fall down seven times, stand up nine? Nothing is ever going to be perfect in life. To be able to tolerate something isn't that you accept it completely and then the issue is gone. It's each and everyday that we practice mindfulness and determination that gets us to deal with challenges more effectively and with more confidence. There's no quick fix for anything, it's the repeated attempts to resolve an issue that make it less of a challenge in the future.
May 2nd, 2015 4:52pm
It would get better. It just takes time. Just remind yourself every time when you're facing it that you have accomplished in facing your fear in the past and was great at it so you can do it again this time!
August 14th, 2015 5:57am
I understand where you're coming from. Sometimes facing your fears doesn't entirely help. It's ok that it doesn't. Sometimes it can be even more scary than it was before. Everyone is different.
August 25th, 2015 4:10pm
For many people it does help over time however in certain cases facing your fear will not help. One example of this is intense phobias. If you have arachnophobia, looking at spiders alot will not necessarily help you loose your fear. If you are really set on getting over this fear I would suggest contacting a local therapist for solutions or tips.
August 27th, 2015 1:20pm
All people are different, and people respond to different sorts of help differently. You might be unable to face your fears and have them become less powerful. Some people, that definitely works. My advice is to not dwell on the fears, and let them pass softly, rather than facing them head on. Acceptance Therapy is a good guide to read for this.
June 7th, 2016 6:53pm
I believe that sometimes, we just tend to keep worrying about things that we shouldn't. That means that even though we know deep down that we have nothing to fear, we keep fearing them.
August 14th, 2018 6:35pm
Fears are fears. And being scared is okay. But the more you face them the more familiar they become.