Fear is an emotion induced by perceived danger or threat, which causes physiological changes and ultimately behavioural changes, such as mounting an aggressive response or fleeing the threat. Fear in human beings may occur in response to a certain stimulus occurring in the present, or in anticipation or expectation of a future threat perceived as a risk to oneself. The fear response arises from the perception of danger leading to confrontation with or escape from/avoiding the threat (also known as the fight-or-flight response), which in extreme cases of fear (horror and terror) can be a freeze response or paralysis. ~ Wikipedia
There are, of course, many types of fear. We will experience most of these fears at some point in our lives. But one deep, hidden fear will tend to dominate and control us. This dominant fear will motivate us, and shape our personality more than any of the other fears.
As Tolkien said:
One fear to rule them all,
One fear to find them,
One fear to bring them all,
And in the darkness bind them…
Most of the fears that build our personality are formed in early childhood. Research has shown that we are born with only two fears – Fear of falling and Fear of loud noises. Rest everything is acquired with time.
Fear makes what you become!
Each of us is controlled by a fundamental fear which is mostly unknown. We develop a defence mechanism to fight it and it shields us from reality. We change ourselves to deal with it. And that change continues today in the form of our personality, our beliefs, and our actions.
We look at the world through a broken lens, which we perceive is the norm and build our lives around it. Our relationships, career choices, kind of clothes we wear, even the way we walk and talk are influenced by this unknown forces.
Here are the 10 fears which could be holding you back from achieving success:
- Fear of being worthless – when you want to be worthwhile and valuable, but think you are not skilled enough.
To get over it, you need to analyse what are the skills required to achieve your goal. When you list down these attributes, you’ll start to learn new ways to achieve your goals and how you can contribute with your existing skill sets. It is about realisation and positive action, which will drive you through this fear.
- Fear of losing control – individuals here are highly independent and self-confident. They are natural born leaders, but can also be bossy and domineering. Self-driven and enterprising, they deny their own emotional needs.
Krishna says, “The only person you can control is yourself, every other sense of control is an illusion”.
Though we love to control things around us, we must do this in moderation and with mindfulness. There are things which we can control, like the words we speak, actions we do and paths we choose, rest of the life is out of our control. We should accept this fact and be joyous, enjoying the ups and downs unanimously.
- Fear of being unloved – we all want to be loved, for which we go to great lengths in quest of finding the perfect mate. We give love, expecting to be loved in return, and this is the vice which causes misery – expectation.
One must learn to give unconditionally, especially in these dealings. If there is a feeling of give and take, it normally leads to calculations, comparisons, and at last heart burn, when you feel you have given more than you received. Love is a very feeble thing, it may happen in an instant and fade away similarly. Normally because expectations mismatch. To keep the spark alive, give space, love because you want to give affection and always have your own passions and life.
- Fear of uncertainty – most of us are scared of change and uncertainty, like a city, job, friend circle, adventure sports, new dish, and the list goes on.
Krishna says “The only constant in this universe is change.”
We must learn to accept change and uncertainty. This is the only path towards inner peace and happiness. Worrying about future will only steal the joy of the present. We must create a strong anticipation system that’ll guide us in making the right choices, that is all what we should do, and leave the rest to life.
- Fear of failure – we are always contemplating our actions because of the fear of failure. We are apprehensive in taking new actions, because we fear the embarrassment of failure.
Everyone falls, successful people are those who keep getting up every time. There is no formula to succeed in each of our endeavours. The brightest and the richest fail multiple times, but their determination makes them what they are. Learn to keep your curiosity high and be open to new challenges and tasks. This is the only way to success.
- Fear of missing out (FOMO) – a term commonly used by the cool kids. These individuals have a great appetite for life and are always greedy for new experiences. They are constantly wishing that you are somewhere other than where you are right now. This fear will distract you from forming lasting relationships, as you are always focused on other people.
Simple way out of this is to focus on what is in front of you – live in the present. Enjoy every moment as it comes, give your all to people around you and be content with what you have, because the unseen may be fascinating, but is not real.
- Fear of being without support – dominant traits of these individuals are that they crave for a sense of security and fear losing guidance. They often find support and guidance within an organisation. They seek the approval of others. Slow to trust, they may test those around them, and they can be paranoid. This fear cripples confidence and self-esteem. One is always looking for validation from others.
You can get over it by being a little brave. Try out something new all by yourself, there is no harm in being a little adventurous. If it works out or you enjoy doing it, try something new again next time. This will give you confidence in taking decisions by yourself and validate your own skill sets.
People support those who are self-reliant and bold. Be an example that you want to see.
- Fear of being judged – this is a very common issue and it gets ingrained in our system at a very young age, when our parents, teachers, siblings or friends pass a comment or make a remark at our actions. This unknowingly settles in our mind, making us over protective about our surroundings and people in general. Feeling vulnerable, or available for attack from others, is an uncomfortable feeling which is the main reason we don’t open up freely.
This fear stems from past experiences, but we need to train ourselves that community at large is here to support us. There would be some who may say something unfavourable, but the majority would be helpful, supportive and friendly.
Instead of being afraid of what others think, we should embrace our personal story and share it with the world because that is what makes us unique. And by doing this we will be able to build stronger bonds and be a part of the team.
- Fear of getting hurt – everyone gets hurt and everyone comes out stronger. There is no way to avoid being hurt. Life has been designed in the way that no matter what precautions you take you’ll get hurt.
The only way through it is to live life. When you get hurt get up, dust yourself, learn a lesson of what to avoid and move on. The worst habit of humans is that we keep repeating our mistakes and then we blame the system, universe and God. We should learn to change, only then we can avoid past mistakes and becomes stronger for future.
- Fear of conflict – these individuals strive to avoid loss and fragmentation, desiring peace and harmony. They dissociate from conflict, and possibly from themselves. In a fight or flight response, they normally take the flight.
Conflict, confrontation and divergence is a natural phenomenon. There is no way to please them all. Hence holding yourself back, may be counterproductive sometimes, as you may become vulnerable to attacks and others may take advantage of your weakness.
Be firm and righteous, this doesn’t mean that you have to pick a fight every time, but just that you should state your concerns and be vocal about it. This fear bottles up a lot of frustration and anger due to inaction, which may explode unexpectedly on a wrong person, at a wrong time and place. Hence by being vocal you empower yourself and are more at peace with the world around you.
Fear is an emotion, hence it is something which is created by you. If you can create it you can destroy it too. Fear is the only factor holding you back from success. Getting over it may not be easy, but if you train your brain, you can get over it. Try meditation, it is a great tool to rewire your brain positively and get more control over your emotions.