Many of us go through life having a fear or phobia of something – at some level we may understand that it’s not a rationale fear, but nevertheless the overwhelming panic can grip some of us (sometimes when we least expect it). It’s emotionally draining and for many it has a significant impact on daily life.

A phobia is an overwhelming and debilitating fear of an object, place, situation, feeling or animal (source: NHS). It’s estimated that around 10 million people in the UK have a phobia –if this includes you, you are by no means alone.

When I speak to people who have a phobia, mostly they can recall where it came from, most of the time it’s from what we refer to in NLP circles as a one time event, a Significant Emotional Event (SEE). Even if someone can’t recall exactly where it came from they can alway remember a time when the phobia caused them a significant problem in the past, or indeed the last time that they were held hostage by their phobia.

Last week I was on a plane flying back from Belfast, and I couldn’t help notice that as I sat down and got comfy in my seat, there was a young lady sat in the row in front of me across the plane aisle – she was as white as a sheet. It was only a short flight back to Bristol, but I felt her panic about the hour that was ahead of her. She soon explained to the flight attendant that she had a fear of flying, and swiftly the team worked to move passengers so the young lady could sit with her fiancé. For a moment she relaxed, but then as the plane moved onto the runway she gripped her seat, her knuckles went white, and her breathing became rapid and shallow. During the flight my mind started to wonder … I wonder how this fear may have held her back in her life to date … what it may prevent her from doing in the future … and I reflected back on my own life and contemplated the many wonderful things I had experienced that I would have missed out on had I had a fear similar to this young lady. (For those that are wondering I offered to help the young lady).

You may be able to relate to this tale, but perhaps your fear is not of flying, perhaps it’s of public speaking, open/confined spaces, heights, dentists, social situations, thunder/lightning, creepy crawleys of whatever shape or size ….

When I work with individuals who have a fear or phobia the first thing I ask them to do, is to sit down and start to write what their life will be like when they no longer have their phobia (typically 3-4 pages in length – getting them to really think and consider) – what could they do, see, feel or hear – feel free to give this exercise a go and you’ll be surprised how this exercise alone does a good job a giving your fear or phobia a good kick 🙂

I have worked with a number of people over the last few years who had benefited massively from using the safe and untraumatic NLP processes that help people eradicate their fear or phobia.

Just imagine, how your life could be if you unleashed your potential by getting rid of what is holding you back 🙂


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