Fear – Rabbit Caught in Headlights

Fear – Rabbit Caught in Headlights

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You may not have seen it for yourself but you will probably know what a rabbit caught in headlights means. For those who don’t I will explain. A driver with headlights on at night time usually driving down a country road will often see a rabbit in the middle of the road staring at the oncoming car instead of trying to get out of the way. The common explanation for this is that the rabbit is so taken with fear that it just freezes. Its normal body systems all but close down and it can’t function normally because of the fear of these lights (and a ton of metal) heading straight for it.

Compare that to what can often happen to us when we are fearful. It isn’t always the case but often we react the same way. Our fear of whatever the situation is overcomes our whole life and we are almost unable to function properly. Even if the fear is an unrealistic or imagined fear the effect can be the same. You can be fearful of heights or fearful of an illness as well as many others.

The thing about this is that most of the time when you have full facts in front of you then the fear reduces or disappears and your life gets back to normal.

Knowledge usually removes or at least reduces fear

Take for example someone who is afraid of flying. This is usually cause by the person not fully understanding how on earth a tube of metal can stay in the air. One of the remedies which is used by some companies to help people get over the fear of flying is to take them into an aeroplane cockpit, meet a pilot and explain how the thing actually stays in the air.

Fear happens because we don’t have what we really need.


  • First Time Syndrome. The first time one does anything, fear is likely to come up, often vanishing or diminishing if the situation arises again
  • Aloneness. When one is doing big things, or taking chances, and attempting to cause or get through these alone, fear often comes up. Aloneness can occur even if you are surrounded by people or love. What is needed is a handholding partnership to get through stuff.
  • Ahead of Self. The goal, growth step, or task is too big to hold, or the change too drastic, the process too much to fathom and continue. Ahead of self means that your self or soul is not yet ready for the upgraded life available by doing this thing. One’s appetite for the goal is greater than the ability to attract, have and keep it.
  • Perceived Consequence. When the Perceived Consequence is greater than your ability to recover or adapt from the “worst case” happening, your mind steps in to protect your physical life and creates fear to slow you down. Whether real or not, Perceived Consequences are often what stop most of us.
  • Pressure to Perform. People who experience performance anxiety, a type of fear, do so because of the perceived consequence, but also because the fear will protect them from other people (that’s people’s pressure), so they’ll shut down and resist the attempted influence of others.
  • Inertia. Law of nature is that it takes more energy to start something than continue something once it’s rolling along.


  • Identify the worst possible thing that could happen. Are you willing to live with that? If yes, then take the action, even if afraid.
  • Baby steps. Break down the goal into bite sized, digestible pieces, and complete at least one morsel.
  • Get started. Simply take 1-5 actions towards the goal, just to break the inertia #
  • Reduce or eliminate the perceived consequences. Take out insurance, Get agreements in advance to protect the parties
  • De-personalise the goal. Turn it into an experiment, adventure or test-case. This, rather than some big deal that means something if it doesn’t work out.
  • Get insurance. Get more people, money, support, insurance (literally) to reduce consequence and improve chance of success.
  • Be afraid and do it anyway. Sometimes, you can include the fear rather than resist, deny, avoid, medicate or react to it.
  • Get a partner. Scary things can become fun with a partner.
  • Set up a structure of support. Coach, equipment, support team. Contact me
  • Set up a consequence if you don’t do it. (Yes, this can work!)
  • Set up a deadline to do it or dump it.