From a neurochemical point of view the brain treats an imagined fear the same as a real one. The body also responds to something that is not real as if it is. This makes fear a crippling sensation. When we feel real responses to something that doesn't exist, the imaginary becomes real. The brain, under real stress, shuts down the higher executive centers we need most to break free of our fear and assess our options. Fear, truly, diminishes us.
Facing our fear doesn't mean ignoring it. It doesn't even mean fighting it. These activities are likely to see us fail to overcome it. What we need is to acknowledge it. Understand it. Identify its real source and then work with it. By accepting that we shall feel afraid we also become familiar with the sensation of fear. When fear no longer paralyses us we can think again. It will have passed "over and through" us. And it will be diminished.
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