Fear: The Exhale

Kat Nicholls
By Kat Nicholls,
updated on Mar 6, 2024

Person writing in journal

Reflect on these five prompts to help you understand and move past fear

Our exhale podcast episodes are an opportunity to pause, reflect and take action on what you learned in the episode the week before. Last week we explored the topic of fear and really got to understand how we can become stuck in it.

In this exhale episode, we’re sharing five prompts to help you reflect on any fears holding you back and what action you can take to get unstuck. Watch below or listen wherever you get your podcasts.


(Edited for clarity)

Kat: Hello everyone and welcome to the first Exhale episode of season two of Finding What Works. If you tuned into season one, you'll know these episodes are bite-sized moments for us to pause and reflect on the conversation we had the week before. Sometimes this looks like offering journaling prompts and questions for you to consider other times it's expert-led practices and exercises.

Today we're going to be reflecting on last week's conversation about fear, sharing prompts to help us identify any fears we might have in our lives at the moment and ways that we can move past them. To respond to these prompts, I would recommend either writing them down in a notebook or perhaps speaking your answers into your phone as a voice memo. And the first question I have is, what fears do you currently have that are holding you back from what you want to do? 

In last week's conversation, Laura made the point that overcoming fear isn't necessarily about getting rid of the fear, but instead moving past it and towards where we want to go. So think about any fears that are currently holding you back from where it is you want to go.

Next, I want you to ask yourself, what would change if you could move past these fears? So how would your life look different? What would open up for you?

Getting a clear vision of this can be a really helpful motivator. So now you have a better idea of what fears are currently holding you back and how things could be different if you could move past them. So let's think about now how to make that happen.

My next question then is what support could help? In last week's conversation, Frances spoke about mindfulness and hypnotherapy and how they can be helpful,
whilst Laura talked through some psychotherapeutic approaches like EMDR and acceptance and commitment therapy, my tip for you would be to go away and research some of these different approaches to see if any of them might be a right fit for you.

In a similar vein to this, my next question is, what self-care practices could support you? Last week, Zac spoke about some of the tools and techniques he used to help him overcome auditory hallucinations and fear. He discussed the importance of self-care, connecting with others and adapting meditation techniques to suit him. He also talked about pushing through his desire to avoid fearful situations and instead exposing himself to them to help him move past that fear. So think about some of the different ways that you can support yourself on this journey of facing your fears.

To finish, I want to ask you, what steps are you going to take next? We learned in last week's conversation that fears can turn into anxiety and phobias when we avoid them. We also learned that it's often the experience of fear that we try to avoid, something Laura described as experiential avoidance. This can drive our fears and make them more difficult to move past. With that in mind, taking action is the thing that can help us move out of this frozen and fearful space and into what it is we want to do.

So again, what steps are you going to take next to face your fears? And remember, if one of those steps is reaching out to a professional for some support, you can head to happiful.com to be connected to a range of different mental health and wellness professionals.

I really hope these prompts offered some insight. I know I certainly have some actions to take away from this myself, and I really hope you'll join me with that. I'll be back next week with a conversation about processing our emotions. Something I think will really benefit the work that we've done today. So I'll speak to you then, and until then, please take care.

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