For many people, fears and phobias have a grand negative impact on their lives. There are hundreds of phobias and as an RTT™ therapist, the most common phobias I get are fear of cats, dogs, bees, insects, dirt, and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) where everything has got to be exactly in the right place. In this article, you will learn how does fear become a phobia and the method of overcoming fear or phobia forever.
How the Mind Works
I have found that RTT can help my clients overcome their fears and phobias.
I created Rapid Transformational Therapy™ (RTT™) based on how the mind works. I teach that there are three things you need to know about your mind in order to run your mind rather than have your mind run you.
The words you say and pictures you imagine influence how you feel
When it comes to overcoming fears and phobias, one of the fascinating rules of the mind is that the way you feel is in direct response to the pictures you imagine in your head and the words you say.
How does this work in reality?
To give you an example, I was recently in Venice, finding out more about the Venice Heritage Museum, when we had flies in our house, which was really horrible, but I also found a trapped butterfly. I immediately put a little carrier bag over this butterfly, opened the door, and let it fly away. Because the butterfly was so pretty I could hold it, but if a fly landed I thought yuck, no.
You might not like a fly or moth landing on your shoulder, but for the butterfly, I said: “Oh look at that, isn’t that lovely.” It is a similar thing happening with phobias. The pictures you make in your head and the words you say influence how you feel about something.
Your mind likes what is familiar and dislikes what is unfamiliar
Another rule of the mind that links into phobias is that your mind likes what is familiar and dislikes what is unfamiliar. To demonstrate this, it’s best to give you a story.
A client came to me with a phobia of cats. She said “I’m absolutely terrified of cats. I’m supposed to go to Morocco, but I’ve heard there’s all kinds of cats in the street and I can’t go. When I go to someone’s house, I even have to check first if they have a cat, because this phobia is affecting my life.”
So when I invited the client to come in, I told her that I had a cat, but not to worry. I assured her that by the time we had finished the session, she would have that cat in her arms like a baby. Of course, she didn’t believe me!
During our Rapid Transformational Therapy (RTT) session, we regressed to a scene where her father was really scared of cats. When she was a small baby, a cat had jumped into the stroller, the pram that she was in, and he screamed “Oh my God, that cat’s going to kill you.” He ran over, shooed the cat away and picked her up, very distressed and scared.
What is an imprint and how does it impact us?
When you are a small child, if something traumatic happens or you have a very upset adult or screaming and crying going on, the child forms an imprint. The client’s first imprint was: Cats are really scary and they kill children.
Some years later she was in the garden and there was a cat there. She wanted to look at the cat, but her father shouted, “Don’t touch it. They scratch you and they carry disease. If they scratch you might get septicemia and that can kill you.” So the reinforcing message she took from that was that cats can kill you.
It’s actually very unlikely a cat could kill you. However, this client formed a full-blown phobia, reinforced by the fact that every time the father saw a cat he got really upset, screaming and shouting that they are dirty, they scratch and bite. So after we had a look at this, she could understand where her phobia came from. I worked with her so that she was able to let it go, to realize that it was no longer relevant to her life, that it was her father’s fear not hers, and that she had the power and choice to change her mind.
After the session, downstairs we went, and indeed she had my cat in her arms like a baby. I happened to have a cat who loved being held. Off she went to Morocco, her whole life was changed because she got over the fear of cats.
Causes of Fears and Phobias
It doesn’t matter what your phobia is, no one is born with a phobia.
You were not born with phobias, no baby thinks that the cat is going to bite them. In fact, if you leave a baby alone, it will stick its hand in a dog’s mouth and pull a dog’s ear. It might put a cockroach straight in its mouth, or eat worms. Babies might even stick their fingers in an electric socket because they don’t have any such fears or phobias.
Babies are only born with two fears: the fear of being dropped and the fear of loud noises. It’s a primitive reaction. Babies don’t have all the other fears we learn as we grow up. Babies don’t have fear of someone knocking at the door late at night. No baby on a plane thinks it’s going to crash. They don’t think “Oh no if I have any more milk I’m going to get super fat!”
The good news for anyone with a phobia is that it is acquired and can be released
All of our fears really go back to the idea that it will kill me, but generally, these things won’t kill you. It’s a state of mind. You have to choose to believe you are safe. If you believe you are safe you will feel better than someone who believes that they are not safe. So do anything you can to believe you’re safe. Rationalize why you’re not safe or talk yourself out of it. Use your mind. You have a brilliant mind and you always have a choice.
Overcoming Fear or Phobia Forever
So if you have a phobia or indeed you are a therapist working with someone who has a phobia, here’s the method for overcoming fear or phobia permanently.
We acquire phobias and therefore can release phobias, by doing what RTT does:
- First of all, go back and have a look at where the phobia came from.
- Secondly, change the pictures in your mind and change the words you say about it.
- Thirdly, start to make a new belief familiar. The more you do it and realize that nothing bad happens, the more familiar you can make it in your mind.
Where did the fear or phobia come from?
No one is born with fears. Babies aren’t scared of the dark or dentists. Ask yourself, if I wasn’t born with this phobia, where could I have got it? You may find that you remember. You may ask your parents how old was I when I got this fear, what was going on? Or you can indeed talk to one of our wonderful graduates who will help you. Even if you don’t know, even if you can’t do the first bit, or feel like you’ve had it all your life, that’s okay. You can still change it anytime you want with RTT.
What are the words you use around the phobia?
If you have a fear or phobia, look at the words you say about it. I had this lovely guy who had cancer but could not go in the scanner. He said “Every time I go in it, I feel like I’m in my coffin and I’m going to die. I have to press the button and come out because I’m so claustrophobic, I can’t do it.” The hospital said that he had to go in the scanner, to see if his cancer treatment was working. He said “I can’t. I’ve tried, but the minute that drawer goes in I tell myself I’m in my coffin, it’s like a premonition, I’m going to die of cancer and I have to get out.” You see what he was doing with the pictures and words he was using, saying “I can’t” and linking it to dying.
I gave him a really easy simple solution. I told him “You are going to get in that scanner and go wow, how lovely, I’ve got 30 minutes to relax. Imagine you are in bed. Tell yourself I’m super chilled, this is so relaxing. I’m just going to lie here and do nothing, it is wonderful and I can easily do it. I am choosing to lie in this scanner and tell my brain this is just like being in bed. When I’m in my bed at home I lie still, I relax, stress drains away.”
When he went into a hospital and did it, the whole medical team gave him a standing ovation, because he’d never been able to do it before. He said that meant more to him than all of his businesses.
You cannot control the external world, but you can control your thoughts
You can’t control the weather, you can’t control the traffic. You may not be able to directly control your body because if you did you’d never get a cold or a headache. However, you can control your thoughts. If you take control of your thoughts you will never fear being out of control, because the only thing you ever can control is your thoughts.
The role of control is that the only thing you can control is your thoughts. Your thoughts control your feelings; your feelings control your actions; your actions control your events.
When you take control of your thoughts, it changes your entire life. When you make your thoughts positive it makes your life positive. What’s so amazing is that it starts out as what you do, but then becomes who you are.
Transform phobias fast
If you are a therapist or you want to be an RTT therapist, we have the tools and techniques that can help transform phobias fast.
Many of our RTT therapists specialize in phobias as RTT makes such a difference to people’s lives. I’ve done this with children of five who are phobic about spiders, bees or moths and made them see the moth or bee or spider as beautiful.
When you learn how to overcome fear or phobia, look at where this could have come from. Look at the language you use and the pictures you imagine. Then choose to dramatically change the words and pictures and make it familiar. Wire it in by repeating your new beliefs as many times as you can in as many different ways as you can. The more you repeat something, the stronger and more real it becomes.
When you do this, you will see that you have immense power for overcoming fear or phobia.