Deep down, most of us are afraid of something. Whether it’s a reasonably rational fear or one that we’d rather not admit we have. But – collectively – what are our top fears?
1. Fear of Public Speaking
This is usually quoted as the biggest phobia on the planet. Even higher than fear of death (number two on this list).
Why should this be?
Public speaking brings up lots of different issues.
For a start, there’s a chance that you’ll embarrass yourself or somehow make yourself look stupid. Never mind that most people in the audience will just be glad that it’s not them on the stage and will probably be secretly Tweeting or texting rather than listening to you. It’s the thought that they could be paying attention and that you might – just might – mess up that worries public speakers the most.
There’s also the worry of “drying up”. You’ve probably cringed when this happens on shows like Dragon’s Den or television talent shows. And the worry of it happening to you kicks in, maybe even causing the issue that you were worried about.
The trick with public speaking is to pretend that you’re addressing just one or maybe two people. That. And practice. The more practiced and confident you are, the more likely you are to overcome your fear of public speaking.
2. Fear of Death
Sorry to tell you this but – at least with our current technology – death is inevitable. Religion promises us an afterlife but that’s not been proven. Some people believe in reincarnation and use instances of deja vu to show that this is true. But we haven’t really got a clue whether these are right, so it’s probably best to assume that once we die, that’s it.
So, why are we scared of death?
After all, once our heart stops beating we will have no conscious feeling.
It’s probably the lead-up to death that scares people. The thought of maybe a prolonged and possibly painful illness. Leaving stuff undone or uncompleted. No longer being with loved ones.
All those feelings and more contribute to our fear of death, causing it to be high up on most people’s list of fears.
3. Fear of Spiders
There are evolutionary reasons for the phobia of spiders. Some of them can bite and poison us. But a lot of people have taken that deep rooted fear and translated it into the much more common – and harmless – spiders that we are much more likely to encounter.
Of course, that knowledge doesn’t exactly help when we’re in a face-off with an inch long creature that realizes we’re not its next meal but we don’t. Read the rest of this entry »