Continued from p. 1...

Typical Fear-reduction Goals

      Well-meaning Catastrophizer, Worrier, and Cynic/Doubter subselves often keep your insecure (untrusting) subselves anxious. A creative Magician subself may help by protectively distorting reality, and a Numb-er who mutes or anesthetizes "unsafe" emotions. Often the Inner Critic heaps scorn on other subselves for "being a wimp / scaredy cat / doormat / coward / lily-livered / "weak" / yellow / timid…", which inexorably nourishes Inner Kids' excessive guilt and shame.

      People who choose to reorganize their personality subselves under the leadership of their true Self (capital "S") can work patiently toward targets like these...

Adopt the attitude that like all emotions, anxiety and fear are useful (vs. positive or negative) responses.

Identify your current significant anxieties and fears, decide which you can and can't affect, and use this awareness to fill your current needs.

Evolve an effective way of identifying and reducing exaggerated or groundless old fears to healthy levels, and/or releasing them. ("I used to fear traveling in strange places. Now I enjoy doing so, selectively, because I'm learning to trust myself (my Self) in unexpected and alien situations.") Really releasing old fears is a permanent (core attitude) change.

Learn to recognize...

  • surface symptoms that indicate repressed fear (e.g. those above), and...

  • the difference between health-promoting and toxic anxiety and fear.

Identify which subselves feel each of your major fears (above). If any are inner children living in the past, evolve an effective rescue plan and invite them into the (safer) present time to join your other subselves.

Validate and affirm each scared subself's feelings and beliefs, and promote honest dialog with them, your Self, and other parts like your Nurturer and Spiritual One.

Work patiently to grow your scared subselves' trust that your Manager subselves can reliably avoid or cope with most real danger and manage unsafe situations effectively.

      More goals for reducing excessive fears to normal. Use a version of ''inner-family therapy'' to do the following...

Respectfully retrain your Catastrophizer, Worrier, Critic, and Magician subselves (or equivalent) to trust your Self and a benign Higher Power and stop scaring other subselves.

Retrain your Critic and Perfectionist to stop shaming other subselves for being afraid via (a) judgmental self talk, and (b) labeling normal, useful emotions like shame, anger, anxiety, and sadness as "negative" or "bad."

Retrain your Numb-er (Anesthetist) subself to trust all subselves' ability to safely tolerate feeling, and to allow feeling all emotions fully in the present moment. Emotions point reliably to current needs!

Learn if some subselves fear other subselves ("Keep that Rager locked up. She's going to get us killed!"), and convert that to cautious trust. As inner-family understanding, respect, and trust in your Self's effective leadership (harmony) grow, such fears will shift to tolerance and trust, and later to affection and appreciation.

Investigate possible connections between terrified Inner Kids and their Guardian subselves and any chronic physical symptoms you experience - e.g. cramps, muscular tics or spasms, migraines, asthma, insomnia, "digestive problems," ulcers, … Isolated or mute subselves can promote such symptoms in a desperate attempt to be noticed and comforted. For perspective, read this brief research summary on significant health risks from "chronic anxiety;"

Tailor and apply these options for building your self-confidence.

      Work with medical professionals to reduce these as your inner harmony grows, including ending dependence on chemicals (including sugar and fat) to self-medicate inner pain. A growing number of books document the power of "your mind" (subselves) to cause and relieve some physiological ailments. For example, see titles by Larry Dossey and Dr. Bernie Siegel.

table of contents      When you feel finished evaluating excessive-fear symptoms...

  • continue progressing on Lesson-1 here, and...

  • consider investing in the unique trauma-recovery guidebook Who's Really Running Your Life? (, 2011; 4th ed.)






      This article is one of a series on recognizing and reducing six widespread psychological wounds. It offers perspective on excessive (vs. normal) fears, and summarizes typical wound-symptoms and wound-reduction goals and options.

      The article suggests that our emotions from anxiety (worry) to fears to terror are a healthy unconscious response (reflex) designed to protect us from pain, injury, and death. Like all emotions, fears help to recognize that we have important current needs to identify and fill.

      This article proposes that excessive local and chronic fears are caused by protective personality subselves which haven't learned to trust that the wise, resident true Self, other Manager subselves, and a benign Higher Power will reliably keep them safe. Once this is accepted, patient commitment to some form of inner-family therapy can raise this trust and reduce excessive fears to normal levels.

      Pause, breathe, and reflect - why did you read this article? Did you get what you needed? If not, what do you need? Who's answering these questions - your true Self, or ''someone else''?

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Updated  August 10, 2013