Acknowledge the fear
It is normal to feel fear when faced with the prospect of physical violence. This is especially true if you have never been in a physical altercation before. The first step to overcoming your fear of fighting is acknowledging it exists. Don’t try to bottle up your fear or pretend it doesn’t exist. Accepting that you are afraid is an important step in overcoming your fear.
Understand that fear is normal
Fear is a normal and necessary emotion. It’s there to protect us from danger and help us survive. When we sense danger, our brain sets off an alarm system in our body. This “fight-or-flight” response is a primitive survival mechanism that has been hardwired into our brains for centuries. It makes us feel fear so that we can respond quickly and effectively to threats.
The problem is that this system is designed for life-threatening situations, not the everyday challenges we face. So when we experience moderate or even minor stressors, our bodies can still go into fight-or-flight mode. This can cause us to fear even when there is no real danger.
Understand that fear is manageable
The first step in overcoming your fear of fighting is understanding that fear is manageable. It is a natural emotion everyone feels at some point in their lives. The key is not to let it control you. When you feel afraid, take a deep breath and remind yourself that you can handle this. Fear is normal, and it is okay to feel it.
The second step is to understand that there is nothing wrong with fighting. It is a natural part of life. People have been doing it for centuries. It is a way to release frustration and pent-up energy. If you are in a situation where you need to defend yourself, do not be afraid to fight back. Remember, you are not alone. There are plenty of people who have been in your shoes before and have come out on top.
Lastly, make sure you are prepared physically and mentally for a fight. This means staying in shape and knowing how to defend yourself. If you are not prepared, your fear will only grow. Take the time to learn some basic self-defense moves and practice them often. This will help you feel more confident if you ever find yourself in a situation where you need to defend yourself or your loved ones.
Identify the source of the fear
Often, fear is irrational and unfounded. To get over your fear of fighting, you first need to identify the source of the fear. Is it the act of fighting itself? Is it the potential for injury? Is it the fear of humiliation? Once you know where the fear is coming from, you can start to address it.
Determine if the fear is rational or irrational
When facing your fears, the first step is to determine if the fear is rational or irrational. Rational fear is based on a real, tangible threat. For example, if you are afraid of snakes, it is rational to be afraid of the evil ones that can kill you. On the other hand, irrational fear is not based on any real threat. For example, if you are afraid of flying, there is no real danger associated with flying in an airplane.
Once you have determined whether your fear is rational or irrational, you can begin to take steps to overcome it. If your fear is rational, facing it, head-on is the best way to overcome it. This means exposing yourself to the thing that you are afraid of. For example, if you are afraid of snakes, go to a zoo and look at them closely. Or, if you are afraid of flying, take a small plane ride. The more you expose yourself to your fear, you will become less fearful.
If your fear is irrational, the best way to overcome it is to change how you think about it. This means challenging your beliefs about whatever you are afraid of. By challenging your beliefs about your fear, you can see it more naturally, which can help reduce your anxiety. For example, if you are afraid of flying because you think the plane will crash, remind yourself that planes crash very rarely and that more people die in car accidents than in plane crashes.
If the fear is irrational, challenge the thoughts that contribute to the fear
If the fear is irrational, challenge the thoughts that contribute to the fear. For example, if you’re afraid of getting hurt in a fight, ask yourself about the likelihood of that happening. Most likely, it is very low. Once you challenge the thoughts contributing to the fear, it will start dissipating.
Create a plan to address the fear
The first step is admitting that you’re afraid. This isn’t always easy, but it’s necessary. Once you’ve done that, you can start to dissect why you’re afraid. Is it because you don’t know how to throw a punch? Is it because you’re worried about getting hurt? Once you know the root of the fear, you can start to create a plan to address it.
If the fear is rational, develop a plan to confront the fear
If the fear is rational, such as a fear of flying or public speaking, it is possible to develop a plan to confront it. Direct exposure to fear is often the most effective way to overcome it. This may mean taking a flying lesson or taking a public speaking class. It is important to start with small steps and work on larger ones. It is also important that the exposure be gradual so that it does not overwhelm.
If the fear is irrational, develop a plan to manage the thoughts that contribute to the fear
Many people afraid of fighting have irrational thoughts that contribute to their fear. If you can identify and manage these thoughts, you can help reduce your fear.
Some common irrational thoughts that contribute to a fear of fighting include:
-I’m going to get hurt if I fight
-I’m going to look stupid if I fight
-I’m not a good fighter
-Everyone is going to laugh at me if I fight
To address these thoughts, you can develop a plan to manage them. For example, you can remind yourself that:
-There is a chance you could get hurt regardless of whether you fight or not
-You are not obligated to fight just because someone challenges you to a fight. You can walk away or talk your way out of the situation without resorting to violence
-You don’t have to be the best fighter in the world to defend yourself. You need to be willing to defend yourself if necessary
-Not everyone is going to laugh at you if you fight. Some people may respect you more for being willing to stand up for yourself
The first step to overcoming your fear of fighting is taking action. This means that you must put yourself in situations where you will be forced to face your fear. You can do this by sparring with a friend or taking a self-defense class. As you take action and face your fear, you will realize there is nothing to be afraid of.
Follow the plan
One way to overcome your fear of fighting is to have a plan. This means knowing what you will do if someone tries to hurt you or someone you care about.
If you have a plan, you’ll know what to do now and won’t have to freeze up from fear. You can practice your plan, so it’s second nature, and if you ever need to use it, you’ll be prepared.
Your plan doesn’t have to be complicated. It can be as simple as deciding that you’re going to run away or call for help if someone tries to hurt you. But having a plan will give you the confidence you need to know that you can protect yourself if necessary.
Evaluate the results
When the fear of fighting is strong, it can be tough to take action. Doing something that makes you face your fear can be helpful. It can help you see that the results aren’t as bad as you think.
Adjust the plan as needed
Identify your fear. Common fears include the fear of being hit, the fear of hitting someone, and the fear of being in pain. You may have more than one fear. For example, you may be afraid of being hit and in pain. Once you know what you’re afraid of, you can address those fears.
If the fear is rational and the plan is not working, adjust the plan
What if the fear is rational? For example, if you’re afraid of getting punched in the face, that’s a valid concern. In that case, you need to adjust your plan. “You can’t just keep doing the same thing repeatedly and expect a different result,” Dr. Carbonell says. “You have to change your approach.”
That may mean finding a different way to get to work, taking self-defense classes, or carrying pepper spray. “It’s about increasing your options and giving yourself more choices,” Dr. Carbonell says. “The more options you have, the less fearful you’ll feel.”
If the fear is irrational and the thoughts are not changing, adjust the plan
If you believe your fear is irrational and your thoughts are not changing, you may need to adjust your plan. This may involve meeting with a therapist or counselor to help you understand and manage your fear. You may also need to take medication to help you manage your anxiety.