First, let’s get this obvious fact and statement out of the way: spiders are scary and gross-looking. There’s a reason it’s such a common fear, especially with the female species (it’s much more common with us women — apparently four times as much).
“From an evolutionary perspective, this makes sense, as women would have encountered such creepy crawlies regularly while gathering food…the cringe factor could keep both moms and their infants safe,” Jeanna Bryner quotes David Rakison in her article on arachophobia in Live Science.
“Macho men, on the other hand, would have needed to take frequent risks when hunting and so evolutionary pressure to jump at the sight of a spider would be less than beneficial.”
As much as it irks the feminist in me, it makes sense.
So how does arachnophobia relate to life? And, why am I writing about such a random correlation?
I’ve been traveling a lot around Southeast Asia the past few months. I’ve lived in a lot of ‘open-air’ environments. Yep, this means a lot of nature and often, lots of spiders.
I initially overcame my fear of spiders, at least to a small degree, in India. I was living in an open-air ashram in rural Rishikesh.
It’s not that they were crazy big — nothing like what I hear Australia boasts (I just starting sweating a little at the thought) but they were there, in pretty close quarters.
I think what really did it for me was my environment. What I mean by that is that the people I was around were not nearly as afraid of them as I was. My arachnophobia, at that point, was super irrational. I was unable to even be near one and maintain my composure. My heartbeat would start to race, etc, etc.
But being surrounded by people who finally weren’t reacting in that way (in fact, quite the opposite, as most people in the ashram were totally against killing any living thing) cultivated a new way of viewing the sources of my most intense phobia.
This makes sense, seeing as how research actually proves that arachnophobia can stem from our upbringing.
“As with other phobias, arachnophobia can develop in a person because she sees the reaction to spiders of others with the phobia,” Rosemary Black writes in her Psycom article.
“For them, it’s a learned response — it makes an impression when they see a family member shriek in terror and run out of the house at the very sight of a cobweb,” she says.
I started to finally understand that they weren’t out to get me. They weren’t evil, dangerous creatures lurking and waiting to pounce like I’d always imagined. Fear really is a manifestion of our own thoughts, just like anything else. Learned, and then manifested.
It’s easy to fall into these moments when we feel like everything is out to get us — like life is out to hurt us all the time. Just like with arachnophobia, it’s built up in your mind.
Law of attraction is a real thing. Ever wonder why you seem to always find the spiders while no one else even notices? The more you think about something, the more you embody that thought, or fear, the more comes your way.
The more you believe your own thoughts, the more you manifest them.
For example, the more you believe something good will happen in your life — whether it’s getting that job offer, making more money, or finding love — the more you will inherently begin acting in accordance with this believe. Actions, thoughts, and words combined in one unified direction creates a response from the universe.
In a less spiritual, more logical nutshell, if you like: you end up creating this event for yourself because you work toward achieving it. Seriously…why would you work towards making something happen for yourself if you don’t believe it can really happen? If you can’t imagine how it’d feel or what it’d be like, why would it ever happen?
It won’t. So, manifestion works both ways!
Manifesting something positive in your life requires building up these affirming thoughts and beliefs in your mind.
Manifesting something negative on the other hand, like the idea that spiders will hurt you and are out to get you will create that kind of experience as well.
So reversing manifested thoughts and consequences is possible, too. Changing your environment can certainly help cultivate different thoughts and feelings, but if you can’t do that, then start within.
Whether in arachnophobia or in life, create a different idea. Plant it like a seed in your mind.
Meditation is a great time to do this, and you’ll find plenty of meditations dedicated to just that on YouTube and elsewhere.
After getting yourself into trance mode, in a deep meditative state, tell yourself, “Spiders are not scary. They’re living beings just like me. They’re more scared of me than I am of them, and they are not out to hurt me.”
Or, “I’m an amazing being capable of achieving anything I want and attracting it into my life,” customizing it to whatever you’d like.
Either way, leverage that law of attraction and start becoming observant of what you see happening as a result. The after-effects may surprise you.