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Advice On Confronting Your Fears

RANDOM STUFFChloe GordonComment

Fear is something that we all have to deal with at some point in our lives. Overcoming those feelings can feel really challenging. In fact, many people avoid facing their fears as a way of coping with them. 


However, if you can be strong enough to face down fear it can be a hugely positive experience. If you manage to achieve that, you will come through it a stronger person.
"Spider" (CC BY-SA 2.0) by davidjlee

This can be true with all-consuming anxieties as well as those smaller, niggling aversions. And taking on lesser fears can be a way of dealing with bigger challenges in life. Although, when it comes to fears, individual differences are always at play. 

Perhaps you don’t like the idea of speaking in public but have a presentation to make at work. Or maybe you are totally terrified of the dental check-up in your diary and it's giving you sleepless nights. Some people’s fears can feel trivial to others - like a fear of spiders or an intense dislike of people chewing food. That’s the thing about fear; it affects different people in different ways.

However, whatever you’re afraid of, there are many different coping strategies for dealing with and overcoming fears. Here are just a few tips on how to cope with what gives you goosebumps, in a bad way.

Challenging your fears

1. Study the evidence

You might be afraid to swim in the sea because you’ve heard about recent shark attacks. Maybe you developed a fear of flying because of the chance of a mechanical breakdown.

With these kinds of fears, if you look at the statistics - the evidence of how rarely things actually go wrong - you can use your common sense to reduce your anxiety. 

The truth is that with most physically-based fears, you’re more likely to get injured on the road than anywhere else. If you spent your life avoiding potentially dangerous situations, you wouldn’t have much of a life left at all. 

2. Put yourself to the test

The longer you avoid the things that you fear, the greater your anxiety will become. Whether you are afraid of going in an elevator or have a fear of flying, you need to gradually challenge yourself to try these things. 

Would using an elevator or an aeroplane make you far too panicky for you own good? Remember that there are ways to build up to this - including therapies such as hypnotherapy or cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).

Other coping methods use virtual reality (VR) simulation - where you can experience the thing you fear, without jumping straight into the reality of it. When you’ve built up a coping strategy and managed to deal with the VR version of what you fear, you can challenge yourself to move to the next level.

3. Use the ‘what if’ technique

What’s the worst thing that could happen if you faced your biggest fear? If you had to speak in front of fifty people and you stammered your way through it, would the world come to an end? No. Instead, you’d feel a sense of satisfaction that you’d stood up and done it. Even though you honestly didn’t want to. The next time, it would be so much easier; you might even start to enjoy public speaking if you did enough of it.

Addressing the symptoms of fear

1. Take a breath

When we’re anxious about something, our heart rate increases and we begin to hyperventilate. In this situation, do all that you can to remain calm. One easy way to get over a sense of panic is to focus on your breathing

Stand still. Take in slow, deep breaths. Focus on the passage of each one. This will enable you to become calmer as you forget the focus of your fear and concentrate on the action of breathing. Once the sense of panic has diminished, you’ll be able to approach your trigger more rationally.

2. Use visualisation

Another way to counter anxiety or fear is to use visualisation techniques to think about somewhere you would feel relaxed and calm. Or a 'safe space' as it's commonly referred to. 

It might be your bedroom at home or a beautiful scene from somewhere you’ve been on holiday. Allow the visualisation to dominate your thoughts for five whole minutes and the positive vibes will enable you to relax.

3. Talk it through

By sharing your fears, you can reduce the power they have over you. Talk to a friend or family member about what causes your anxiety. You’ll find that they may be able to help you look at your fears more rationally. 

We can’t escape having certain things that cause us anxiety or fear - we wouldn’t be human if we could. But what each of us can do is take a proactive approach and embrace the challenge of facing down fears rather than burying our head in the sand. 

Thanks for reading! 

Art Progression

CollegeChloe GordonComment

I think I’ve mentioned this pretty often, but I’m majoring in Strategic Communications and minoring in Technology, Arts, and Media. This semester my classes are very creative based. 

We’re talking Film, Photography, and Web Design along with a Crime and Society and a branding class. While these classes are at the peak of my interest and they’re the stepping stones to my future, they’re hard. Really, really hard. I don’t know if it’s because art is a tricky thing to get a grade for or if it’s just the idea of learning and honing in on new skill sets, but my grades this year are lower than last year when I was taking mostly core classes. 

I’ve always been the kind of person to make good grades. I’m not saying it came naturally, but I studied and made the grades I wanted to. My school work felt like it was in my control all the way until this year. My photography class is super fun, don’t get me wrong, but I just got a 70% on a project I thought I did well on. 

It was a little heart breaking because I feel like when your art work is graded lower than you think you deserve it’s a personal thing. Math is a yes or no answer, but art is like a yes, no, maybe, sometimes, here and there, up and down, left and right, all around kinda answer. It’s hard to grade and even harder to hear the grade. 

This year especially I feel like I’ve gained a deeper appreciation for art and all of the thought and hard work that go into it. I’ve decided that I’m going to start sharing a few of my projects on here so you guys can see the progression of my artwork and thoughts and feelings. Also so I can look back and see the progression, but I’m trying to not be too selfish. 
Kidding, but not really. 

So for my photography class, the first project we had was to photograph a series of three with the theme of “life, in-between, and death.” I first thought about what represents our lives as humans and then I thought about how each year to celebrate another year of life we celebrate through cake. I then thought it would be cool to photograph the life, in-between, and death of cake itself and this is what I came up with: 

The next project we had was to take an old family picture and put ourselves into it. I decided to take a picture of my great grandmother and her friends and put myself on one of her friends faces. I then placed us into the quad at my school so it was like me in their lives but also them in my life. A weird little project. 

The next one was on the topic of surveillance and how we, as humans, are always being documented even without out knowledge. We had to go out and take pictures of random people and then put them into a snapshot that we took from google images of the same place where we took our “stalker pic.” I then edited mine to look a little more “surveillance-y” and here’s what I came up with: 

Thanks for reading! 

My Wednesday

CollegeChloe GordonComment

Yesterday morning was a typical day. The leaves were falling off of the trees, ready for the fall crispness to settle in. Homework was on my mind in a pressing way. I was giggling with my friends about stories from the past. I had enchiladas for lunch. The day was my oyster. I was soaking it all in. 

In the afternoon, my best friend and I decided to camp out in the library until dinner time. We both had things to study for, projects to work on, and online quizzes to take. We packed our planners and laptops and headed to campus from our sorority house. Campus was busy, but nothing seemed out of the ordinary. It was Wednesday, nothing ever happens on Wednesdays.

My friend and I made it to the library, settled in near the front entrance, and opened up our laptops. Not five minutes after sitting down we received a text in a group message from our friend saying, “Is everyone in a safe place?! Potential active shooter at the UMC.” 

(The UMC is the most populated place on my campus. There’s a dining hall, a coffee shop, the bookstore, the spirit wear store, offices, there was a job fair going on there during this too.)

My friend and I got the message at the same time and looked at each other at the same time in a state of panic. 

We started to realize that everyone else around us was also getting messages, voices started rising from library level chatter to full force panicked conversations. People started running into the library from outside and other buildings. 

Time froze. Everything froze. Everything felt unreal. 

We hear about shootings way too often, which is absolutely disgusting. But we never expect that we’re going to be in that kind of situation, and when we are it’s terrifying and paralyzing and absolutely unreal. 

The library was put on lockdown, and my friend and I moved from the front entrance area to a fourth floor classroom to hide and stay out of the main chaos. We didn't really know what was going on, no one did. 

After they released us from the lockdown, my friend and I rushed back to our house. There were media crews, camera crews, and armed police everywhere. People were either absolutely silent or on the phones with loved ones. It was weird. I keep saying it was unreal, but it’s because we really felt like we were in a dream.

Later we found out that it was all a “hoax” (words used by the school) but it felt all too real to be a hoax. Everyone is still on edge, and no one knows what really happened. I am so lucky and thankful that nothing happened and that no one was harmed, but this situation shocked me — and my entire university — into realization that we’re not immune to this kind of thing. Obviously, you can’t live your life in fear of bad things happening, but it’s important to be aware of everything. 

My friend and I didn’t know what the right thing to do was. Should we have gone home before they put the library on lockdown? Should we have waited longer before going home? Should we have gone to the fourth floor classroom at all? There were a lot of unknowns which I think was the scariest thing. I’ve never felt more responsible for my own actions before.

I’m not trying to scare anyone by writing this post, I just want to spread awareness that these kinds of things happen and it’s important to understand what to do if they do happen. Don’t panic, be smart, and don’t put yourself in any situations that you can avoid. 

Most of all, trust your gut, I know you’re smart. 

If you want to read more about this specific event here is a link:


Thanks for reading!