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Paralysed by fear?

The phrase "paralysed by fear" doesn't just apply to heroines in books. Many of us have experienced moments where we’ve been too scared to move. In most cases, this is a reaction to sudden acute stress or danger.

You step into the path of a speeding car, and you hesitate for a fraction of a second while your body processes the danger your eyes have just seen and decides in which direction to make you run to keep you safe.

For that one fraction of a second, you are indeed paralysed by fear.

Fear paralysis is our body’s way to ensure that we don’t put ourselves into dangerous situations.

But what if the situation is only perceived to be dangerous, like visiting the dentist, taking an exam, or a driving test? None of those “dangers” are immediately fatal if you fail, but many of us can “freeze” when facing them.

It’s because our bodies have decided that they’re the same life-and-death situations as stepping in front of a speeding train and have stopped us in our tracks.

To resolve this situation, we have to teach our bodies an appropriate response to danger. We have to remind ourselves that a failed exam will not result in our immediate demise, and that’s something where I can help.


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