In this video, How to Stop Anxiety and Fear – Part 1 – The difference and why it matters, in my new series of videos called You Asked.

You Asked, how to stop anxiety and fear from taking over when you have that big presentation, an important interview or a tough conversation to have with someone.


Well, there isn’t a simple answer to this, but I’ll work through answering this question over a series of videos.

So first, let me explain the basic difference between anxiety and fear and why understanding this first matters?

Well, let’s start with Anxiety. Anxiety is future orientated, it’s like a feeling of worry associated with an event in the future. This can include all sorts of thinking errors, like catastrophizing or generalizing about potential outcomes. This is where you imagine the worst case scenario or focus on what could go wrong, or tell yourself that you are terrible at presentations and ALWAYS do a poor job.

So let’s compare fear. Well, Fear is more immediate, it’s an alarm response to present an imminent danger that could be real but more often than not is perceived. Using the same example as giving a presentation, fear would kick in just before you take the stage to present. You would feel threatened, so you react with an autonomic surge of neurotransmitters, like cortisol and Adrenalin that create symptoms like faster heart rate or palpitations, you could start sweating, you would probably have faster and shallower breathing, your ability to think would be narrowed and you may even feel nausea. With fear you just might want to escape or run away from the situation.

So why is knowing the difference important? Well, there’s a couple of reasons.

Firstly, the types of techniques you use, although complimentary, are different depending on whether you are working on how to stop anxiety or fear.

Secondly, the level of intensity and duration of fear or anxiety is important in that you may need more specific support, than the techniques I’ll run through in future videos.

You may not know this, but 26% of Australians experience anxiety disorders in their lifetime so if you do suffer from this, you are not alone. So if your anxiety is extreme or persistent, then take action. You can read more and explore this by using great organizations and resources like Beyond Blue, which I’ll link below, or just simply discuss it with your GP or doctor.

Well, that’s it for this video, don’t forget to hit subscribe to get Part 2, where I’ll talk about more specific techniques that you can use to deal with fear and anxiety in the context of leadership.