When fears are faced, they get erased.
Intentionally facing irrational fears ultimately reduces them. Rational fears usually are associated with specific dangers. Irrational fears mushroom in size and generalize to the most harmless acts or objects. Most people proofread a letter once before mailing it. When you fear making mistakes (and being “incompetent”), you might find yourself proofreading 5, 10, or even 20 times. Then your checking ritual could generalize to reading your shopping lists over and over for mistakes.
Exposure —> —> Anxiety —> —> Anxiety —> —> Rituals/obsessions
To “decondition” anxiety reactions, you need to face the things you fear. When you intentionally provoke anxiety but imagined consequences do not happen, the association between your fear and the trigger event is broken.
You can learn that no harm will come by deliberately:
Taking the following steps will help you learn that putting yourself “in harm’s way” can be healing: