Stopping in time because you are scared of an abyss or deep water because you cannot swim is very smart and helps us to survive. However when your fear is not in proportion with the actual danger, we speak about a phobia.
In some situations you experience a numbing tension, growing panic or even a panic attack. Because of this you start to avoid these situations, even though you rationally know this in unnecessary.
Without you knowing you might start to avoid more situations that have slight elements of the other situations you have been in. Your trying to avoid those panic attacks in every way and a growing fear is created of the fear and panic attacks.
The phobia can also be limited to something very specific. The range of objects that can terrify us is unrestricted.
Your surroundings might be very understanding (and therefore unknowingly supports the avoiding) or not at all; you have to: be strong, carry through, stop overreacting.
A phobia does not say anything about our personality or our character and it is certainly not a weakness.
A phobia is an exaggerated fear response that can happen to the best of us and can be helped by EFT in a fast and effective way.