Fear. Phobia. What’s the difference? What’s it all about?
In this solo episode, we have a chat about all this and more, based on my 9+ years of experience in helping people to completely conquer their fears and phobias.
In this episode –
- Why do we have fears?
- What’s the difference between fear and phobia?
- Can we really conquer our phobias?
- …without terrifying ourselves in the process?!
and a whole lot more!
Note – this is currently a highly automated transcription, so some of the text might not be wholly accurate – we are working on improving this over time!
You’re listening to the Keith Blakemore-Noble radio show, helping you transform your deepest fears into your greatest strengths. Here’s your host, Keith Blakemore Noble…
Oh, hello. Welcome, welcome, Welcome. If you’re a new listener off your great to have you here, if you’ve already listen to if you wash a few before Great to have you back however you’re here, the important thing is you are here, so let’s get on with it. What are we talking about? In this episode? This episode we’re gonna be looking all about fears on phobias, fears or phobias. We’ll take a look at it. Why we even have fears while we have phobias. What’s the difference? Really fearing a phobia. How do we even get them? Can we get rid of them? Other things we’re gonna take a look at. So let’s dive straight in. Its this episode is just you and me until this deal is no deal. If you want you catching, it’s just you and me on DH. Actually depend on how your catches remember to hit, Subscribe. Remember Toe lever of you remember toe like us whenever it is. Anyway, let’s dive in. So why do we have fears goes. The reality is, when we’re born, we are born without fear. Nobody is born with fear were born completely fearless. As parents of young young babies will know, they are completely fearless, which can sometimes cause problem stresses and fears for the for the parents. But when we’re born, we have no fear. So how come we have fears? Well, it’s all to do with our unconscious mind doing its job, which is to keep us alive, to keep us safe. That’s the primary function of the unconscious mind to keep us alive, to keep us safe, to protect us. And it does that by learning as much as they can from everything that goes around it. It had allies is what happens. It applies meanings to our experiences. Give me, and from that it learns how we respond to different things. When we do things in life. Generally, we don’t work it out from first principles. Every time. If we decide to pick up a glass, we don’t try to work out how to move a hands on arm and have to grip the glass and all these sorts of things. We know how to do that done it so many times. It’s sky rulebooks, unconscious mind rules and programmes. If you like your software on your computer programmes and eight runs for each individual thing, any time encounters a situation, it checked to see what programmes it’s got that tell it had tto handle that situation, which means he knows how to read. That’s where fears and phobias coming because at some point something has happened and our unconscious has decided this is something which poses a risk and it’s something of which we should be afraid now. It could be something happened to us on that triggered lots of emotion for us. Andi. It gave us a scare and sorrow unconscious goes This is something that scary. Avoid it. If you encounter this situation again, run, It could be we observed or we saw somebody else acting in that particular way. We see somebody I mean, for example Suppose this’s definitely true for phobias also works true for fear. Suppose suppose you see a parent who every time you see a spider, they freak out. Your parents absolutely freaks out Every time they see a spider very quickly. Our unconscious decides that tight little people call. The thing must be a major threat. Because even a parent is freaking out. Because, you know, when we were really, really young our parents, they’re like gods, right? Nothing face. And they’re indestructible as far as we’re concerned. If they scared by something, it must be something to be scared off. So we learned to be scared of it. Hey, excuse me. Sorry about that. Or we make he getting told over and over and over again. Something is scary. Something is dangerous. We absorb that. We take that we we believe and act accordingly. No, some fears are very, very other. Save valid. I don’t get into the whole valid in Palo fears, but valid as good a word as any justifiable. Some future. Justifiable. Because the thing of which were afraid opposes us a very real risk of harm or worse. So, I mean, if you stick your hand into a fire, it burns right. It hurts. So we kind of get afraid of sticking your hand into the fire. We’re not gonna do it again. And that’s a good thing, because that is something which could cause us, huh? They’re really says all matter of Amara fears we develop which a part of our self protection, our survival mechanism. That’s our unconscious mind doing, cracking job of keeping us alive. And your mind has done a great job of keeping your life right. You’re here. Yeah, and the fact that you’re here means you’re unconscious has done an excellent job of keeping you alive. Phobias, however, are well, let’s take a look. What is the difference between a fear and a phobia? Because people will sometimes use the terms interchangeably and they kind of developed in similar ways. But there is a big difference on DH. I would say that the difference is that a phobia is an intense, irrational fear of something that poses, you know, real threat or home on intense, irrational fear of something that proposition. No threat, no harm. So let’s let’s take a look at what might be a different irrational fear and an irrational fear. Heights Heights is a great one. A lot of people have an aversion to heights summer like mildly, and some have a full a phobia of heights. So if the thought of climbing up onto the roof and running along the ridge tiles if that makes you feel a little bit. Oh, not so sure I should do that. It’s scary. Good. That is a fear that has a very rational basis, because yet you could fall and injure or kill yourself right? It poses a very real risk. So, yeah, being afraid of doing something like that, that’s a valid fear. It’s Ah, it’s a justifiable fear where fear of heights turned into a phobia is even if it’s just the thought off, perhaps being on the twentieth floor of a skyscraper, nowhere near the windows but just coming out to the lift and stepping onto the twentieth floor. There are people for whom that generates a lot of fear, poses no risk whatsoever. They know it’s safe, but there’s an irrational fear because ofthe heights. Or it might be that you are in, say, an aeroplane, and you find when it’s on the ground, you don’t mind the takeoff and all that sort of stuff. But you look at the windows that won’t know we’re thirty thousand feet above the sky above the above, the sky above the ground, and I’m not petrified because of the height. I can’t It’s irrational because you are perfectly safe. You’re not gonna fall anywhere. So, uh, a phobia is an intense, irrational fear of something that cause you no harm. Fear of spiders. It’s a very common one phobia of spiders. When you get into Tamil will talk about the intensity in just a moment. But having a phobia of spiders, it’s irrational because we know the spider poses no threat, right? I mean, particularly when you’re talking about common house spy that here in the UK poses absolutely no threat. What? So you are far more dangerous to it than it ever would be to you? And yet for so many people and I know this because I usedto have I used to have three phobias. I had a phobia around meeting and speaking with strangers. Social phobia, a genuine, real strong phobia that I had a very strong phobia of heights and I had a strong phobia off spiders See a spider on the floor like climb up on the way from it. You know, you poses no no risk, no threat to me whatsoever. So get in the way. That’s the thing with a phobia with phobias. We know they’re irrational and It’s no use telling someone who’s got a phobia. No, he’s telling them all. Get over. Is it rationally Kandahar? We know it’s irrational. I remember one time I was friends of mine were moving house, so I was with the husband. We went to the carriage to clear the guarantee that we moved a big, big sheet of wood that was against the wall. Billions of spiders. That must be a couple of dozen, but it felt like billions. That’s why did all scuttle out from hiding thing he and I backs against the other wall. Uh, kind of like, Go put those things away. Oh, it’s just silly. Isn’t it way more of a threat to them that they are to us? Yeah, I know it doesn’t help, Does it? Know what you have? A phobia? You know, it’s irrational. So it’s no use telling someone with a phobia. It’s irrational. Get over it. We know it’s irrational, but we can’t just get over it. Well, look why that is in just a moment. But a phobia is an intense, irrational fear of something opposes, you know, threatened by what I mean by intense by intent by intense is not just a sort of mild. Let me have a ship. We are talking full on you, kind of getting on getting into panic attack anxiety type symptoms for for many people with with strong phobias. But it’s you would do anything to get away from it. Even in just the thought of thing makes you kind of break out into that cold sweat you can feel. Maybe your hands start to tremble. Little bit. Heart starter. Trying to raise even just the thought of that thing. It’s a very intense reaction. You might start screaming myself, shivering. Teo. I really have to get away from that. So it’s an intense, irrational fears for a phobia is, or the normal fear is much less, much less intense. So that’s kind of a difference between them. So it’s really important. We only use the term phobia when we’re talking about phobias. Far too often, people say, I’ve got a phobia about action. What they really mean is waxes Little. Little makes me feel a little uncomfortable, but that’s as far as it goes. Phobia is really an intense, irrational fear of that thing, so even if we know that the fingers get off is poses no threat. Why can’t we just rationalise ourselves out of it? It’s all to do with the way in which our mind works. We got kind of like three three layers, three levels, Teo. The way it works, we’ve got our unconscious mind, which processes all the stuff. That’s where all our normal, day to day stuff goes all our emotions that the unconscious is the domain of emotional emotions come from the unconscious, the conscious. It’s a bit we think with this it’s our awareness. That’s a bit that you’re aware of listening to me that’s your conscious, or you think about things you’re consciously thinking about that that’s your conscious. And that is a often a much more logical, methodical, logical asked area of things. The conscious is emotional and kicks him much more quickly than they are sort of. The unconscious is a moat domain of emotion kicks him much more quickly than the conscious below the unconscious. You got that really, really Corbett Kanai reptilian brain fight off like the bitterness that’s kind of on the lookout for emergencies that the thing that’s really their purity spot spot danger and keeping alive on that act very, very fast. It has two because if he didn’t then he wouldn’t spot danger quickly enough free time to do something about it. So when you encounter this thing that you got a phobia off that really call part identifies, this is a threat. This is a major threat to us because that’s its job. Are unconscious, focuses on lots of other things. Why controls that breathing? When when we’re moving with walking, all these sorts of things we’re doing without thinking about who doing them unconsciously. But this really core part, all it focuses on is looking for threats. It sees a threat clam. It triggers us into red alert. Klaxons going red alert. Triggers are adrenaline and everything else to prepare our body, toe, run or attack, fight or flight right was that kicks in instantly. Very, very, very quickly, starts prepping. The body starts getting all the adrenaline and everything going on. That’s what’s going to responsible for increasing the heart rate, perhaps increasing this week, breathing consent to make us tremble a bit with it. It’s getting ready. Oh, all that energy building ready ejected to do something. The unconscious starts feeling all the nervousness and the fear that we originally associated with that that thing. The first, the first time we learned that this is dangerous. That heightens the The emotions are a conscious land. Urgently conscious comes along ages later. Now, in reality, this is all in a split second. But the conscious takes longer than the unconscious, which takes longer than that. Corbett so conscious later comes longer. You know what? That thing isn’t dangerous to it. It’s not a problem. So you go part of your mind going, Ah, pox. You mind going? So overall, your brains now receiving different input some part of me is saying this is gonna kill us. Part of it is saying that there’s no problem here. The brain’s kind of going well. I don’t know what the heck to do. That’s kind of where you can even get the freezing response because your brain’s getting so many conflicting things on DH. But time you’re able to consciously rationalise. This is not a problem for us. Your body has already kicked into survival mode has already got the adrenaline coursing through your system. It’s already got your heart pounding away to get more oxygen to the muscles to enable youto make a speedy, speedy reaction. And you can’t switch that off instantly. So that’s why even though we know the thing isn’t a danger to us, we still can’t logically rationalise our way out of it when we’re in that situation. You know, very nice, right? So Wave said we learned phobias way learn fear. Let me give you an example of just how we might do that. I’m gonna take the example of dogs. Now. Most fears phobias. As with most stuff that we learned, we tend to learn most behaviours and actions and so on that we learned we tend to learn before the age of about seven. There’s various neurological reasons for that will explore and another another episode. If, if that’s of interest, it doesn’t mean that you can’t develop phobias later on in life. Absolutely, you can. But they tend to originate before about seven. Nothing. Example off dogs. So suppose you’re a three year old and you going off to the park with your mom and dad. You’re gonna have to park to Blake. So you go, you’re off. Their mom and dad meet some other grown ups and they do What grown ups do they get talking to each other is all really, really boring. Right? So you wander off a bit on the grassland we playing and we explore on DH dog appears and comes racing towards you because it wants to play. I mean, the dog just wants to play with you, right? But you’ve no encountered one before And all you see it is this big slobbery, massive foreign teeth bounding toward you maybe even barking. It’s just going to go play. They play with me, play with me, play with me But you don’t know that. And you kind of think, Oh, what’s this? A scream for help? Because you want your parents toe to guide us. Tto do now your parents they’re too far away to about physically hold you reassure you, protect you whatever. So they may be sort of screaming yelling. You too come to that yet the dog to get out the way. So they’re not really reacting there, shouting and screaming and waving frantically Oh, my word. These are my parents. They’re like gods to us. There are unflappable. They are panicking about this really, really screaming. Oh, my word. This must be something that is really dangerous. This thing is gonna eat us. This is terrifying. You got massive emotion that you have terrified. And in that moment, your unconscious associates. This terror on this perceived threat to life associates us with this thing which relate to discover is called a dog. So at that point, we’ve learned this thing is scary. It’s seared it out brain. Of course, next time we see adult, it recalls all this emotion, the panic, the fear, the terror war starts to kick it, kick it into overdrive. So it does every time we see it all go after a while. You know when we think about a dog or even hear that, hear that, hear the name he had a What brings back all these emotions brings back all this experience, terrifies us, kicks us into fight or flight response. That’s how we get phobias. So I guess the question here, the next question is, can we get rid of phobias Always stuck with him forever? Yes, we absolutely can conquer phobias. I’ve helped Cantor’s people over there since two thousand ten to do just that to conquer their phone because I can’t get my three. I mentioned I had three phobias completely conquered all three of them on DH. Yes, we absolutely can conquer phobias. And no, you don’t have to go through all that, frankly, barbaric exposure, therapy and conditioning and all that kind of unpleasant, uncalled for nonsense, you know. So when you gradually expose yourself Mohr and Mohr to the thing that terrifies you until you kind of are able to cope with it, No, you do not have to do that. It’s barbaric. It’s unpleasant. It takes a long time. That’s not very effective on DH. It’s unnecessary. Um, the tools I use mostly based around NLP, sometimes with a bit of hypnosis, just to kind of really polish it off, but mostly based around and help me, which is basically talking directly with your unconscious in its own language and helping it to make sense of the experiences I’ve had, so that instead of learning that a dog is something to be terrified off it, it allows it to eliminate and just get rid of all dissipate, get rid of all the negative emotion that you experience in that first encounter, which then means next time you encounter adult, there isn’t the emotion there. So you don’t have that emotional overload, which means you’re conscious. Party. Let’s go. Yeah, no, that’s absolutely fine. Oh, keep fluffy dog. Let’s let’s give it a stroke. Oh, whatever. So, yes, you absolutely can’t conquer. Phone is what we do. Is we basically rewire than your neurology around that area? On how your brain to make new connexions and other brain Teo remove the negative emotional how the brain to realise I get it. I thought it was a threat. With hindsight, I can appreciate now. It’s not a threat. It is safe so I can rewrite my rule book I could remove. The emotion allows us to have a much more positive reaction to whatever it wass that used to scare us spiders on I mentioned. I used to be terrified of fine, absolutely fine with them now heights, not apartment. Used to be. I remember one time I climbed up a ski jump just on the outskirts of our slow from an earlier Winter Olympics, not their most recent Norway Winter Olympics with a much earlier one, and you can climb up in this this building Climb up, up the stairs, up, up, up and kind of look out at the top, Get great views everywhere, even climbing that even though I knew I was inside and it was safe because I’m yours getting up high That used to terrify me when I went up at I pick, almost petrified Now with heights, absolutely firing. Yeah, I’m not going to start running along, reached out so that’s just stupid. But I have a healthy respect for height, and I am able tto handle heights without issue. Social phobia used to hate the thought of speaking with strangers. Nowadays, it’s not a problem on DH in the right circumstances. I can thoroughly enjoy it in other circumstances. I just get on with this, okay, we have to do this. Let’s do it. It also means I could be on stage now. Do stuff on stage spoken toe. Eight hundred people on one stage one time loved every moment of it. Countless other people who have helped to completely conquer photos, and usually we do it in a single session of fire fastest I’ve ever helped someone the fastest they conquer. That phone was just under ten minutes usually takes a little longer than the station, half an hour to an hour, completely gone. Now there’s an interesting, interesting thing When you get ready a phobia because you get you get you get rid of it so quickly. Sometimes it takes the rest of the mind a little bit of time, Tio kind of catch up to this fact. The fact that you’ve got rid of that phobia, it’s kind of like, you know, those phone memory mattresses you get when you push your hand down, push, await the head on it. It kind of mould to the shape we have. Take your hand away. But there’s still that impression of your hand that it takes a little while for it all to you back up to normal on that kind of happened. You might, because you’ve gone through most of your life scared of whatever it is. And it takes the rest of your mind a bit of time, too. Come on to the fact you’re not scared of that anymore. Because there s the mind isn’t involved in the fear. But the rest of the mind knows that when we see a spider, we freak out. So spiders were scared of spiders, All right. Takes the rest of the mind a bit of time to route to cotton on to that fact that okay, actually, okay, I get it. We’re not scared of spiders anymore. I don’t do anything about being scared, but I know another part of my mind does the fear, but no, it’s not doing it now. It’s interesting. Oh, so it can take a bit of time for the rest of you mind to catch up to the fact you’re no longer scared. Our best illustration of this was earlier helped. One of the first lady’s out back in two thousand ten. She was petrified of spiders to the extent that she could not go into the bathroom in our own home if there was no one else there in case it was a spider there. So she couldn’t go to the toilet if she was alone in the house in case there’s a spider that that caused some problems, right? Yes. We had a session work together at the end of it. Said George. How you feeling about spiders now on DH from the responses and from the way she got through it on you. She she conquered fear. I knew she was over. Just checking with how you feeling? Amass. Find She goes. I don’t know. Interesting. Interesting. Previously shooting. She had said, uh, terrifying natural. Okay, um, because you are here again the next morning. Okay. Tell you up. Go see how you get off because you’re saying I’d have to see a spider in order to know for scare debate. Okay, go. So you see what happens. Let me know in the morning. So the next morning. So how do you How do you get on? Well, I still don’t know. Okay. What happened when I went home last night and I went looking for a spider to see if I’m scared of it, but I couldn’t find any, so I still don’t know if I’m scared of them. Oh, no. I said, Hey, wait a minute here. So let’s get this right. You went home. You were actively looking for a spider. You didn’t find one. You’re disappointed you didn’t find one. You’re telling me you’re still not sure if you’re over your fear of spiders. I don’t yet she’s going. Yeah, I guess you’re right? Because previously, if someone had said to go home and see if you can find a spy, there should have been No, I’m not gonna look for a spider. It it takes the mind can take the mind a little bit of time to come on to the fact that hey, actually, I’ve got over that fear, which is that you can’t be really rather interesting. But the point is absolutely You can call gear from you don’t need any of those exposure treatments or any of that nonsense concrete in a single session. Bam! Gonna work with its spiders, dogs, dentist heights, flying, driving any of them or perhaps esoteric phobias. Whatever it is you can absolutely conquering. That’s pretty much it for today, though. For this, for the samples We’ve taken a look up fears. We take a look at phobias. We take a look Att, how we get them. What? The difference we fear a phobia is we’re taking a look at how we develop them. Look at how we get rid of them. That really is it for this episode? I hope you’ve enjoyed it. If you can join it to be a favour. Whatever you call this? Watch it. Listen to it. Whatever. Wherever you got this subscribe popping a comment raters give it. Give us a gives it rating. Five stars will be eighth. Share it with other people. This will help us to get out there and help more people toe to find this other information. That would be absolutely awesome if you could do that. You do that for me, please. Thank you. That really is it for this one. I will catch you in the very next episode. But until then, take care. Look after yourself. And remember, change is always possible when you change your mind, you quite literally change your life. Bye for now!
You’ve been listening to the Keith Blakemore Noble radio show Helping you transform your deepest fears into your greatest strengths. To find out more, please visit KeithBakemoreNoble.com
Keith Blakemore-Noble – Fear Strategist, coach, international speaker, multi-time best-selling author, hypnotist, occasional magician, and presenter of this show.
And someone who, for far too many years, was massively held back by a very strong social phobia – speaking with strangers, or even meeting strangers, was at best deeply uncomfortable, and at worst utterly terrifying for him. For far too many years.
So he did the logical thing – he pursued a 20 year career in IT with some success (becoming a Fellow of the BCS in the process).
Until one panic attack too many, which forced him to reconsider his life.
So he studied NLP and hypnosis, used those tools to conquer his own fears and phobias, and since 2010 he has helped others around the world to transform their deepest fears into their greatest strengths through his coaching, speaking, books, and trainings. Indeed, since 2010 he has helped over 5,000 people to transform their lives.
Having travelled the world for a while doing this, he has settled back in his native Scotland, where he is focusing on the next step in his journey of helping as many people as he can to conquer their fears. Which includes this Show!
Since 2010 Keith has helped over 5,000 people to transform their lives.
Now he brings the distillation of his experience into a weekly show designed to help you to transform your deepest fears into your greatest strengths.
Some episodes feature Keith running solo, discussing topics related to fear, phobia, mindset, and taking an interesting look into where it all comes from and what we can do about it.
In other episodes, Keith invites a special guest to join him and to discuss their experiences in overcoming their own fears, so that we can gain some insight into how we might do the same, or even to explore the more esoteric areas around fear – sometimes in some unexpected yet very interesting ways!
Presented in both audio and in video, across multiple platforms, so that the show can meet those who need it where they are.
Award-winning coach, international speaker, multi-time best-selling author, hypnotist, occasional magician, and writer of this post, Keith spent his first 40 years suffering from several phobias including being terrified of speaking with strangers. After one incident too many, he started studying and training in NLP & hypnosis to conquer his own issues, found he was rather good at it, and changed careers (aided by redundancy at just the right moment after 20 years in IT). He helps people transform their deepest fears into their greatest strengths, and having helped over 5,000 people across 5 continents, he is the UK’s #1 Fear Strategist.