Fears are learned. The environment we grow up in and the mindset we are conditioned and programmed with shape our perceptions of fears.

So how do we unlearn our fears?

In the journey of transformation, one must first identify what needs to be transformed. Similarly, to unlearn fears, one must first identify what one fears.

5-Step Process to identify and unlearn your fears

  1. Make a list of what you are fearful of. These things could be emotional or physical.
  2. Beside each fear, write down where you got this fear from? (parents, friends, TV or Film or books)
  3. Write down what exactly would happen to you physically if you had to face this thing that was causing you to feel fear
  4. Write down positive aspects about the thing you fear from a logical and rational point of view
  5. Every time you feel fear, remind yourself about the positive aspects of that thing that is causing you to feel fear

It is the fourth step that people struggle with most.

For example, one of my clients had a fear of dying in a car crash. She didn’t fear death, however, a car crash was not how she wanted to die. She said she couldn’t find anything positive to say about a car crash.

You may agree with her. At some level, I do too. However, let us look at this from a Muslim’s perspective. Once I did this with my client, she was able to overcome this fear completely.

Where there is FAITH there is NO FEAR. 

Example of how to unlearn fear

Let’s look at how my client unlearned her fear of dying in a car crash using the above 5 steps.

  1. She listed her fear – Dying in a car crash
  2. She listed how she developed this fear – She saw pictures of a car crash in a newspaper clipping when she was very young
  3. She wrote down what would happen to her physically if she was in a car crash – broken bones, brain damage, blood everywhere (notice she didn’t mention death)
  4. She wrote down the positive aspect of this car crash – death, returning to Allah, and inshallah Jannah
  5. She wrote what she needed to remind herself every time this fear gripped her – That dying in a car crash will not matter when her soul is released from her body because she will no longer exist in human form. She will be awaiting her judgment day. She needs to focus on the now and do good deeds and look forward to entering Jannah when she dies.

This logical confrontation of her fear gave her a renewed perspective of her temporary existence here in this duniya.

As Muslims, we are wonderfully equipped with this realisation that life in the duniya is temporary. Fear is shaytan’s whispers to make you think otherwise. Steadfast faith and trust in Allah overcome all fear.